Being overweight is usually a symptom of bad eating habits. It may have simply started out as the wrong decision which progressed into a routine, and finally matured into a bad habit.

No one ever wakes up to find themselves being overweight.

Acknowledging the problem and a deeper understanding as to the type of bad eating habit you have is a huge step towards a solution. This is something that a trained weight loss hypnotherapist can help you with.

It’s widely believed that there are different types of eaters which have their own set of habits and triggers. When you discover which of these you are, you can begin to formulate a faster, more targeted result.

Overeaters often fit into the following five categories.

The Addictive Eater

•    You think about food all day long
•    You eat really fast, don’t appreciate the food (you sometimes don’t even taste it) and then want more
•    You crave sugary snacks and are unable to resist until they’re all gone
•    You eat sensibly all day and then lose control in the evening

Addictive eaters crave junk food, fast food, fizzy drinks, sugar and carbs. They’re addicted to certain types of food and cannot resist them. Crisps, chocolate, biscuits and sweets are the culprits containing the most colourings, trans-fats and preservatives. These help produce dopamine (the feel-good hormone produced naturally by the body), which means that eating becomes a substitute for happiness over time.

The Emotional Eater

•    You eat when under pressure
•    You eat to block out feelings of stress, loneliness, boredom and sadness
•    You often eat in secret
•    Certain foods comfort you

Emotional eaters eat to get rid of a bad feeling. Their foods of choice include pasta, cereals, bread and refined carbs, which fill them up quickly. Once full, they become almost sedated, but it doesn’t last. Comfort is also found in sweet food such as ice cream, cake and chocolate, which take the emotional eater back to childhood days when sweets made them feel good.

The Habitual Eater

•    You finish everything and clear your plate
•    You often eat quickly and finish before others
•    You eat whenever food is placed in front of you (hungry or not)
•    Every occasion is an excuse to eat

As children, habitual eaters are brought up to finish everything on their plates, even if not hungry. This habit has been conditioned to the extent that it’s how they eat at every occasion, including everything placed in front of them. They hate to waste food and never throw it away, often finishing others’ leftovers too.

The Destructive Eater

•    You feel anxious about becoming slimmer
•    You’re more comfortable covering your body
•    You may sabotage your diet when you’re about to hit your target weight
•    You may fear being attractive, so you overeat in the lead up to a date

The destructive eater may sometimes use food to disguise their attractiveness or sexuality, hiding behind the fat suit due to feelings of vulnerability. Destructive eating can develop in those who have never felt enough love, compensating by having more than food than they actually need. They want big portions and frequent meals, fearing they may not get enough food. This can sometimes lead to anxiety.

The Ignorant Eater

•    You think pizza is a complete meal (because it has tomato and mushroom on it)
•    You eat low fat, diet and reduced sugar foods because they must be good for you
•    You think ALL salads are healthy, creamy coleslaws and dressings alike
•    You eat lots of microwave meals and other convenience foods

Ignorant eaters have let themselves be brainwashed by the food industry, trusting that everything they’re eating is healthy and harmless. They believe that convenience foods are as good as home cooking with fresh ingredients. They often seek diet foods and drinks and wonder why they still have a weight problem.

If you think you fit into one of these groups more than another, you’ve taken the first big step to fixing your bad eating habits.

Kick-start your journey towards a healthier set of eating habits

My first suggestion is to visit a trained weight-loss hypnotherapist. You’ll find a list of professionally-trained and accredited practitioners from around the world at the Association of Weight Loss Hypnotherapists. They’ll be able to pin-point your triggers and show you how over-eating isn’t always your fault. You can also begin to help yourself by using some of the following methods.

Addictive eaters can begin to exercise moderation or, even better, choose alternative healthy options. Once you start to eat healthier, more natural foods, your body will begin to favour the higher nutrients. Stop feeding the addiction and it will go away.

Emotional eaters need to recognize the bad habit and break the vicious cycle. Hot liquids, such as soups, have been suggested as substitutes for the old medicinal carbs. They are comforting and don’t put pressure on your digestive system like excess carbs do.

Discovering how the habitual eater acquired the habits in the first place is often enough for them to begin breaking the behaviour. Escape the childhood conditioning by asking for a doggy bag at restaurants, returning food to the fridge, or learning to eat slower to savour every bite. This gives your body the chance to recognise signals of no longer being hungry.

Destructive eaters need to recognise that their subconscious mind is driving their behaviour. The subconscious tries to protect you, but it does it the wrong way. Being subconsciously reminded that the destructive eater is in charge of what, when and how much they eat can break the cycle. This eater often needs a trained hypnotherapist to release or reframe trauma events.

Overweight ignorant eaters need to structure a move towards becoming a slimmer, well-informed eater. Understanding food labels is a great start, as is cooking homemade healthy meals rather than eating convenience meals. Planning a more structured, healthy eating plan is a fantastic way to reduce the need for microwave meals.

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Richard specialises in treating the symptoms that lead to weight gain, such as stress and anxiety, and ultimately weight management itself. Richard says, “Helping everyone is uniquely satisfying and that’s why my business isn’t a job – it’s a passion!”