Three Secrets to Stopping Overeating
I lost 70 pounds many years ago, and I’ve kept off all the weight.
In my 30s, I dove into studying and researching weight loss due to emotional overeating.
I applied what I discovered to my life, and I lost 70 pounds.
I wrote If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight? over 10 years ago (don’t go buy that book—it’s been updated with my new research, and the new version is available in Self Coaching Scholars).
That was great. But it was only half the story of being overweight, which I didn’t know until I turned 40.
When I turned 40, my son was diagnosed with an insulin resistance. I was devastated.
So, I dove into insulin research. I became obsessed.
The result was I dedicated myself to my son and his health.
What does this have to do with losing weight?
Well, I figured out the other half of the equation to being overweight. Unbeknownst to me in the beginning of my research, it can be a hormone problem, not just an emotional eating problem.
I came up with a solution for my son, and it worked. Because he was a child (and kids take to things so easily), he lost 25 pounds in six weeks and has kept it off.
Immediately, I started applying the same thing I learned to myself.
I wasn’t eating emotionally at 40, but I was gaining weight, which didn’t make sense because I was eating the same food I had been eating for the last 10 years. It turned out to be a hormone issue, not an emotional eating issue.
Before I explain what I learned below, click the box below to get exclusive access to my free webinar and worksheet, which will help you put this information into action right away.
The Reason You’re Overweight
The reason you’re overweight is because you overeat.
The reason you overeat is because of these two things:
- Overdesire (caused by your brain and emotions), and/or
- Overhunger (caused by hormones)
Here’s the visual image of this causation:
When we can solve for overdesire and overhunger, you lose weight and keep it off. Even better—there’s never a need for willpower.
Food Is Your Emotional Escape
I ask my clients and students this question:
If I could take away overdesire and overhunger from your life, would you let me?
Many people say no to this question.
Stopping overeating is easy. Sitting with the negative emotion is what’s hard.
Usually, when you’re overweight, you’re using food as an emotional escape.
You come home from work, and you’re stressed. If you don’t know how to process stress and manage it, you escape it with food.
So many people escape their lives through food. But it’s not their fault. We haven’t been taught how to feel our feelings and experience them without escaping.
This is half of the overeating problem (the overdesire). The other half is overhunger, which comes from your hormones (see Secret #2 below).
Imagine that your most famous crush walks into the restaurant you’re eating at and sits down next to you. For me, this would be Oprah. Imagine that this person starts a conversation with you and wants to talk more.
Would you say “I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now. My desire for my food is so strong that it is better than talking to you”?
Of course not. You would stop eating and talk to your dream crush because a conversation with your crush would be way better than whatever it is you’re eating. Your desire for the conversation—your life in that moment—is better than food.
I work with clients on making their lives better than food.
If you’re looking forward to food the most, then your life isn’t good enough.
We need to make your life better. We don’t make your life better by changing it, we change your mind.
The Three Secrets to Stopping Overeating
I’ve broken down all my research and studying of weight gain, weight loss, and overeating into three secrets that I teach my students and clients.
These are the secrets to stopping overeating: 1) willpower doesn’t work, 2) there’s nothing wrong with you, and 3) your desire for food is normal and changeable.
Secret #1: Willpower Doesn’t Work
The first secret is that willpower to lose weight—and keep it off permanently—doesn’t work.
There are two reasons why willpower doesn’t work.
The first reason is that as humans, each of us has a limited amount of willpower. This is scientifically proven. So there’s no sense in fighting or trying to have more willpower. You can’t increase the amount of willpower you have.
The second reason that willpower doesn’t work is that when you use the willpower you do have, you’re usually pretty miserable.
You’ll be resisting, reacting, or avoiding the overdesire and overhunger.
It’s like pushing a big beach ball under water—it’s temporary. It may work for a short term, but it won’t work long term.
The temporary nature of using willpower, combined with the friction you’ll feel and the limited amount you have, make up the reasons why using willpower to lose weight long term is a losing game.
When you solve for overdesire and overhunger without using willpower, you lose weight and keep it off long term.
Secret #2: There’s Nothing Wrong with You—Your Hormones Are Causing Excess Weight Gain
The second secret is that there’s nothing wrong with you—your hormones are causing excess weight gain.
Your desire for food is coming from your brain. You are motivated to eat food to stay alive. This is how the human brain works.
What happens is that we have a dopamine hit that creates desire. Then, our brain memorizes everything about the moment, so we come back to the food for more.
This was great for our evolution to get out of the cave and evolve.
But now, instead of a blueberry, we have blueberry juice. Instead of a subtle reaction to get us to continue to eat and stay alive, we have an extreme reaction that causes us to overeat and, therefore, be overweight.
The main culprits in food for this is with flour and sugar. We have taken it from its natural form and concentrated it down. So now our brains demand it.
By concentrating the food, we have concentrated the desire.
Insulin is the most important hormone when it comes to weight loss. When insulin is high in your blood, you are storing fat. When insulin is low, you consume your fat. When insulin is low, you can access your fat for meals.
The most important food that you will ever eat when you are trying to lose weight is the food already stored on your body. When insulin is low, your body will consume its own fat, and you will lose weight.
My goal with my weight loss students and clients is to teach them how to get the insulin in their bloods lower. Insulin’s job is to go into the blood and lower the blood sugar. Too much insulin in your blood won’t allow you to lose weight. (Type 2 diabetics have too much insulin in their blood; Type 1 diabetics don’t have enough insulin in their blood.)
You raise insulin by eating. When you eat, the food becomes sugar in the bloodstream. When you eat and the food becomes sugar, it’s insulin’s job to go into the bloodstream and lower the blood sugar.
And when do people eat? All. The. Time. This means that we’re never giving our body a chance to go in and consume its own fat.
What makes insulin go crazy up is sugar and flour because they’re concentrated. You get a huge sugar spike, which causes a huge insulin surge.
In order to bring insulin down, you need to eat less frequently, and you need to eliminate sugar and flour.
This is how your body will eat its own fat. This is how you lose weight.
So many people freak out, thinking they’re going to die if they don’t eat. You’re not going to die. Your body has a lot of fat on it for it to consume.
Withdrawal from sugar and flour is real. We’re pushing away our overdesire. We think we’re hungry, but it’s overhunger, so we continue to eat a little bit of sugar and flour.
If you’ve ever tried to skip a meal when you’re consuming sugar and flour, you feel like crap. You think you’re going to starve. This is because you have overdesire and overhunger.
Secret #3: Your Desire for Food Is Normal and Changeable
The third secret is that your desire for food is normal, and it’s totally changeable.
Your desire for food is normal because your brain is working how it’s supposed to. It’s working perfectly. The neurotransmitters are overreacting to the overconcentrated use of flour and sugar.
This is a result of your brain adapting to the modern environment.
Now, it’s your job to change what your brain is exposed to so you can lose weight once and for all.
Here are the steps to changing your brain and your body so you lose weight:
- Learn more about how insulin, sugar, and flour work in your body.
- Cut sugar and flour from your diet completely.
- The desire for flour and sugar will increase at first (from withdrawal).
- Once you become fat-adapted, you lose your desire for the flour and sugar (after the withdrawal pangs are gone).
- All the while, you are learning how to manage your mind and your emotions.
The result is that when your life isn’t consumed with eating for pleasure, you stop needing so much pleasure all the time. You start to move into a better place of well being and happiness.
The Other Half of the Equation
When you stop overeating and start eating the right food, you’re left with your life.
The next step is learning how to manage your mind and emotions when you do the food changes, because you won’t be able to manage the withdrawal and cravings on your own, long term. 50% of the time, your life is going to be filled with negative emotion and how to experience this emotion, instead of reacting to, resisting, and avoiding it.
This is where the other half of my work comes in—the emotional and mental work.
When you get help and do the mental and thought work, you will keep the weight off. You’ve then managed your mind and your body, and the result is that you create an extraordinary life from your future and achieve your dreams.
You can become a person who doesn’t think about and live for food.
Join me right now in this webinar, where you can download your free worksheet and get a free training on how to eat less.
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