Psychology of eating

Aside from eating disorders, the psychology behind eating is insufficiently explored. Yet, it is by understanding how food plans and diets are programmed to fail, that we can finally move on to healthier ways of dealing with food and/or body related issues. Emotions, relationships, context (family, school, work…), the image we have of ourselves are all aspects that cannot be ignored in this field.

This is why, I accompany people to better understand what prevents them from eating peacefully, that is to say without obsessing about food, hurting or restricting themselves. For this reason I decided to incorporate the Bio-Psycho-Sensorial * approach into my practice. Unlike dieting, this approach offers a healthy alternative, respecting both the mind (emotional needs) and the body (hunger signals) for people with a painful relationship to food.

YES, many people would love to be able to eat what they like, not worry about their weight, and feel good about their body. Eating is not only a physiological need but also an emotional need. It is quite common for a person to be tempted to eat (or drink) when feeling bored or after a hard day at work. Often when we are dissatisfied with our bodies, we think more about how we can control our eating habits (“can’t eat this or that”, “think about something else”, “eat more salad so you don’t have room for desert”,…) rather than how we can increase our sense of pleasure (“this chocolate is delicious”, “pampering my skin with lotion or clothes that feel good to the touch », « gently stretching my body after work”).

Though it may seem at odds with body dissatisfaction, never have pleasure and self-care been such key elements in helping solve this issue. It is in fact because pleasure is obtained that satisfaction can exist. When truly satisfied, we do not need to search for more. If a person cannot find satisfaction while eating, it is usually because certain emotions are in the way, such as guilt or fear, or because of eating mindlessly, without attention (in front of the computer, for example). By working on these particular emotions, as well as developing more presence, we learn to eat what we like and what we need, without overeating (except occasionally, which is part of a balanced way of life). Being at peace with food helps being at peace with the self.

For more ideas on how to increase attention and pleasure, please see the article in French on « Les 7 sortes de faim ».

For more ideas on how to live with body dissatisfaction, please see the article in French « Je ne suis pas un canon de beauté, et alors ? ».

Whether you suffer from an eating disorder (bulimia with or without purging, anorexia, compulsive overeating…), or just want to be able to eat normally without harming your health, I will help you learn how eating has become a response to non eating issues and/or psychological difficulties. Our work will consist of learning how to manage specific emotions, practice assertive communication, improve close relationships, and especially see how we can make your overall context more sustainable for a healthier eating habit to take place. 

In addition to our sessions, I strongly recommend completing our work with a G.R.O.S.** trained dietician that has studied concrete tools and exercises to help you listen and reconnect to your natural body signals. The complementary aspect of these sessions should help you gain in clarity quickly, all the while bringing the change you are seeking for.

As a reminder, my expertise, tools, or I alone, have no power to change anything without your consent, involvement and active collaboration (if interested, please read « Before Signing Up For Therapy »).

* The Bio-Psycho-Sensorial approach was developed by the G.R.O.S. (Obesity and Overweight Focus Group), based in Paris. The main goal is to help people regain a feeling of freedom in relation to food, while reestablishing a « healthy » weight, without dieting.

**G.R.O.S. (Obesity and Overweight Focus Group), their site here

Gestion du poids et Liberté

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