Your brain uses different chemicals to generate different moods or feelings. Let’s call this neuro-chemical cocktail ‘brain juice’. This combination of neurochemicals in your brain juice affects hunger and is what causes some people to compulsively overeat. Always keep in mind that hunger is a primitive survival instinct that makes us seek food. Remember also that we still have the same genetic make-up that we had when we were hunter-gatherers and had to forage for food. Our chemistry and physiology have not yet adapted to the fact there’s a supermarket on almost every corner and food is available 24/7.
The process of generating an action to seek food occurs within your brain’s neuro chemistry (or brain juice) and is altered in response to internal signals from your body, or from external stimuli in your environment.
Your hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t sit on a rock watching huge mammoths go by and say, ‘Ooh, I fancy one of those, with large fries’. They hunted what was available, when it was available. Overeating didn’t exist. Theirs was a hugely physical lifestyle, so inactivity was not an option either. You won’t find any cave paintings depicting your fat ancestors, obesity didn’t exist.
If you consciously restrict your food intake to the point of starvation, your survival instinct will eventually kick in and, just as you cannot ignore the need for sleep, eventually you will eat. This is what happens, to a lesser extent, when you follow a strict, low-calorie regime; it’s like surviving on two–three hours of sleep instead of the required seven or eight – you can do it for a while, but there’s a tipping point at which your body demands sleep. If you semi-starve yourself with strict calorie restrictions, then at some point your unconscious mind will take over and drive you to eat. This drive is so strong it often causes bingeing and the feeling of gratification is then so great that extreme pleasure is associated with bingeing and a new habit is born.
Many overeaters think about food almost all the time; they are constantly on full alert for supplies. This is an exaggerated survival response. It’s a bit like a phobia, which is when a normal, rational fear such as a fear of spiders, is amplified out of all logical proportions and you run out of the room screaming when you see even the smallest house spider. Your conscious mind tells you logically that it won’t hurt you, but in your imagination, you create an alternative reality (usually imagining it as a huge monster) that triggers the physiological fight or flight response – a change in your brain juice.
A compulsive eater has the same exaggerated process in response to the need for food. When people constantly or regularly overeat, they think about food and what they could/should/would like to eat, pretty much all the time – except when they are actually eating. Ironically, when they are eating, they often just shovel the food in, sometimes not even noticing the tastes and textures in their rush to get the satisfaction of having eaten it.
This technique in my video can be used to create a neurological state anytime you want to, giving you the ability to feel differently instead. It’s a great one for when you want to rush back into the kitchen, reach for the biscuit tin, even after you’ve just eaten.
No one ever uses all their willpower not to have the thing they crave, and then say, “that was fun I’ll definitely do that again!” but if you STOP, visualise and create a different thought, with different associations, you can get to the point where not having just another small snack or third helping, feels empowering and is a stronger emotional reward as a demonstration of your power, and genuinely feels better than the food tasted.
If you want to come along and learn some great techniques from me in person, my upcoming events are:
Colour Fast Re-Set, Kensington, London, Saturday 8th September
One day that can transform your body and your health
On this one-day workshop you will learn exactly which nutrients cleanse your body, boost metabolism, energy levels and health, and kick start weight loss.
We will debunk the myths around fasting including:
The truth about Ketosis
14 hour fasts
Or if you want a real pampering come along and stay with me at a Champneys Retreat – my next retreat is happening September 9th at Champneys Tring.