Why Does Food Have Power Over Us?

Just eat healthier. It's a simple idea and most of us have a pretty good idea about what we should be doing to eat healthier. So, why can't we follow through?


Please don't say willpower. Because that isn't the answer. Willpower is the friend that cancels on you last minute - good intentions but no reliability.


Sure, we do need to practice determination and discipline in our lives, but you can't rely on those things for long term success with weight loss and healthy eating.


Food has power over us. But it doesn't have to. Learning the underlying sources of power can help you resist the temptation of foods you know you shouldn't be eating.


1. Food Brings Immediate Comfort


In times of stress, sadness, and even celebration we reach for food to comfort ourselves. Sugar and salt can have the same impact on your brain as addictive drugs. So the comfort isn't just imagined - it's real.


When we want to feel better, and fast, food is there for us. The problem is that an hour or a day later, it can also make us feel worse for having indulged.


2. Food is Associated With Habits


We all have dozens of habits we practice daily, weekly, or with some regularity. And food habits are some of the hardest to break. So when you're trying to fight the power that food seems to have over you, you're also fighting an ingrained habit - which is very hard to do.


Habits can become things we do without even thinking, like afternoon snacking when we're not hungry. So it becomes a matter of identifying the negative food habit first and then trying to act against it.


3. Eating Can be Social


Eating with friends or family can also increase food's power over us. We add meaning to the food because it's associated with memories of our grandmother or because it's part of a weekly gathering with friends.


Social eating becomes more about feelings than food. And we tend to let our guard down when we are eating with other people because we match our habits to theirs.


Food is part of amazing cultural legacies. And that doesn't have to change. But if social eating is getting in the way of your wellness, maybe think again about the value you put into what you're eating.


Taking Back the Power


These are just a few ways that food can become a daunting opponent. And if you've ever faced up a piece of chocolate when you're tired or stressed, you know that "opponent" is the perfect word to describe it.


I work with individuals to identify what kind of power food has over them and how to gain that power back. It's one of the more effective strategies to reduce cravings and break out of bad eating habits.


Want to learn more? Book a free coaching session with me and learn what Chaston Health Coaching is all about!

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