Conditioned to over-eat, the reality of an affluent world!

Today I am busy running our NLP Diploma, we have a really lovely group of people and it is a lot of fun. For that reason I’m keeping my blog fairly short this week so please bear with me.

I want to talk about the elephant in the room! Yes sometimes we just over eat because in our cultures it is easy to do, food is plentiful and despite what we might sometimes say it is cheap! In many of our countries we are surrounded by fast food, restaurants and shops crammed full of food. We are encouraged to super size our meals or buy three for the price of two. So for some people the habit to over eat has little to do with trauma or deeper patterning and more to do with convenience and pleasure.

I was also shocked to learn that in the USA it is often cheaper to feed a family on takeaway pizza than it is to buy fresh whole foods for a meal. That is not the case in the UK where fast food is considerably more expensive but still within reach for the majority of households.

If you grew up in a family with a culture of eating large meals made up of unhealthy yet, let’s face it tasty options your habits and your taste buds will be conditioned to want to continue with that pattern in your adulthood. Add to that the fact that many of the unhealthy foods have ingredients that have an addictive element and it is no wonder people can stay habituated to unhealthy eating patterns.

So what is the answer?

Step one is to recognise if this applies to you! You will still need to look at ways of breaking cycles of behaviour the simplest of which will be to stop buying the unhealthy food in the first place. If your cupboards only contain healthy foods then it will be harder to snack on the wrong stuff. This alone may not be enough, you may need some help and this is where approaches such as NLP can help.

For example have you ever considered how you mentally store food? If NLP is new to you this may sound like an odd question. Try this experiment, think of a food that you like and that you know is not good for you. Close your eyes and intuitively point to the place you keep your “internal representation” of that food (it will probably be an image). Now think of a food that you know is good for you and that you are not particularly attracted to and do the same thing. The chances are it is stored mentally in a different place.

There are exercises within NLP that can help you change the way you store those images and by changing how you store the images you will begin to have different responses to those foods. It is also possible to deliberately attach responses of distaste to foods that you would like to stop eating, however you have to really want to give it up 100%!

So to summarise my thoughts today, where eating habits are just that, eating habits, make a decision to change. Take action to change your shopping routines and eating out habits. Employ support from techniques such as NLP to make changing those habits easier. Next week I will explore motivation to give you another ingredient for success!

Let me know your thoughts about cultural and economic habits. Is it easy to change? What has worked for you? What were or are the challenges?


About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
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One Response to Conditioned to over-eat, the reality of an affluent world!

  1. Rachel Dando says:

    Found eating right for my blood type very helpful, lot’s of cravings I had in the past were reaffirmed as positive foods for me. Listening to your bodies instinctive needs is important! Your articles are thought provoking & from that standpoint alone can only be a good thing…

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