Over the years, obesity has become a major global issue. According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently more than 1 billion overweight adults in the world and the number is increasing at an alarming rate.
In America, being overweight is deemed “normal” as the average American adult is 23 pounds heavier than his or her ideal body weight. Moreover, obesity in the country has become so widespread that it is comparable to an epidemic affecting both adults and children alike.
Duke Medicine reported that some 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 through 19 are overweight. The medical resource also uncovered that nearly 1 in 5 American children aged 6 through 11 struggles with weight issues.
Considering weight loss?
Before you spend your hard-earned money on expensive weight loss programs, there is something important you must know first. To make sure your efforts do not go to waste, you should understand first why you are gaining weight.
There are two major factors that cause weight gain – unhealthy habits and emotional eating.
Habits that lead to weight gain
Eating in front of the TV, not getting enough sleep, skipping breakfast and remaining physically inactive are just few examples of bad habits that lead to weight issues. Many people are guilty of indulging in these practices and too often, they are unconscious of it.
Evaluate yourself and be honest as you examine the habits you perform. Acknowledge your unhealthy habits and from there, it will be easier to break them. “Do something new for 21 days, and you can break the habit,” suggested Weight Loss Clinic Dietitian Kathleen Zelman.
Here are the most common unhealthy habits you should look out for:
- Ignoring nutrition advice
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Eating junk food
- Drinking soda
- Skipping meals
- Keeping a sedentary lifestyle
- Consuming an excess amount of salt
- Not drinking enough liquids
Emotions and overeating
When feeling depressed or tense, some people turn to food for comfort. While this option is healthier compared to drinking alcohol and consuming other destructive substances, emotional eating is still a dangerous habit.
Emotional eating is frequently associated with the lack of self-control. However, medical experts insist that is rarely the case. According to Psychology Today, here are the five major factors that contribute to the unhealthy practice:
- Lack of awareness
Victims of emotional eating are often unconscious of what and why they are eating. Therapists regard this as “unconscious eating.” Unconscious eating is when you are finished with your meal but you continue to pick at your food, slowly eating the reaming portion that you intended to leave behind.
It can also involve putting candy, peanuts or other food in your mouth simply because they are placed in front of you.
- Food as a source of pleasure
Certain food choices can boost your mood. For instance, have you ever found yourself feeling a whole lot better when you had a big bowl of ice cream after a long day of work?
This is because sugar and fats releases opioids in the human brain. Opioids are the active ingredients found in illicit substances such as cocaine, heroin and other narcotics.
This means that the calming and soothing effects that you feel after eating ice cream is imaginary. It is real and these effects are the very reason why it is hard for many people to quit emotional eating. It is like kicking a drug habit.
- Inability to manage unpleasant feelings
From a young age, most parents teach their children to avoid things that make them feel bad. This strategy may spare their children from getting hurt or losing their temper, but it keeps them from learning how to manage their feelings.
Children who were unexposed to real life then grow up to become adults who cannot tolerate pressure, tension, sadness, anger and other unpleasant emotions.
Experts point out that without the ability to tolerate such feelings, a person becomes more susceptible to emotional eating.
- Body hate
It may sound contradictory but it is true, hating your body can drive you to indulge in emotional eating. When a person is unhappy with his body, he can either do two things: do something about it or lose the desire to take care of it. And with negativity, shame and hatred, there is no surprise that a person with body hate can fall into emotional eating.
Not getting enough sleep and food makes a person more vulnerable to emotional eating. When the human body is hungry or tired, it sends strong messages to the brain that signal it to eat. Plus, sleep deprivation and undernourishment all lead to hormonal imbalances which can make depression and stress worse.
Hope for a permanent change
Have you been struggling to break free from unhealthy habits? It is likely that you have already tried weight loss programs and products which failed to deliver permanent results. By now, you may already think that you are hopeless but I assure you, there is still a way.
With hypnosis, you can create a permanent change by tapping into the very place where emotions and habits reside – your mind. It will allow you to reprogram your thoughts so you can release your destructive habits and develop healthier ones.