People who are overweight often struggle with food cravings or excessive desires for food. If you can tackle these, losing weight becomes a lot easier.This is why psychologist and weight loss consultant Graham W Price from ‘Get Slim Guaranteed’ focuses initially on helping his clients resolve these problems.
The key to weight loss success
Price says the difference between weight-loss success and failure is mainly about psychology. After all we all know what needs to be done … eat less, eat better, exercise more … so why do most fail or, if they initially succeed, put the weight straight back on again? It’s almost always down to psychological awareness and skills.
Price says the skills needed to succeed include motivation, self-control and resilience. The last is mainly about knowing how to deal with cravings and excessive desires for food.
Most people go through life resisting any uncomfortable feelings. They don’t want to have them, they worry they might get worse or they try to control, satisfy or suppress them. Resisting uncomfortable feelings, he says, is always unproductive.
Are you anxious about being anxious?
What most people don’t realise is that resistance always reinforces the programming that’s driving the feelings. It can make people anxious about being anxious, depressed about being depressed, enhance desires and cravings and, worst of all, encourage them to take actions to try to control, satisfy or suppress uncomfortable feelings. This, he says, leads to reinforcement of the beliefs that are driving the feelings.
So Price has some advice if you want to learn how to deal with cravings and stop them running your life.
Learn how to accept uncomfortable feelings. Remember there’s never anything we need do, or should do, with a feeling, other than totally accept it.
This isn’t the same as expressing feelings. It may well not be helpful to do this in many situations. Acceptance is about the way we think about the feeling. We need to understand that it’s OK to have feelings and so learn to accept them.
In order to learn to accept uncomfortable feelings – start in the shower. Stand under the flow of water and then gradually turn down the hot water until it is running cold. Accept the discomfort and choose not to leap out of the shower. Once you have mastered this you can apply the same techniques to desires or cravings for food.
The great news – once resistance has been replaced with acceptance, the reinforcing effect of resisting feelings is negated and we no longer need to behave in ways that aim to control, satisfy or suppress our feelings.
We no longer need to eat to satisfy excessive desires for food. We no longer need to consume foods we may be craving. We no longer need to use food to contain other uncomfortable feelings. And we no longer need to avoid any discomfort associated with exercise. We can instead do the opposite of whatever these feelings are telling us to do. We can ‘accept the feeling, choose the action’.
Now the real magic starts to happen! The unconscious programming that was driving the feelings begins to unwind. Instead of reinforcing the programming as we’ve always been doing, we’re now undermining it. The uncomfortable feelings eventually disappear.
Furthermore we start gaining a sense of control over our lives. Instead of being the victim of our unconscious programming, we’re now taking action to gain control over, and change, that programming.
About Graham W Price:
Graham W Price is founder of Get Slim Guaranteed. He is a chartered psychologist and weight loss specialist, an accredited member of the British Psychological Society (BPS), the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and a qualified coach.
He is author of “What Is, Is! The Power of Positive Acceptance”.