Monday, November 15, 2010

Overeating is not all psychological either

Many of us, perhaps particularly in the profession of psychology, fail to realize that overeating is only partly psychological, that there is a strong physical component to our behavior. Our clients may think, and we may join them in thinking, that if we can only find that one old emotional wound that needs healing or that one major conflict to solve, eating issues will magically disappear, as if that knowledge and that process alone are powerful enough to put a stop at last to the years of food-abusive behaviors.
It is true that much research has been done on the effects of various foods on our emotions. What does it mean emotionally if we eat too much or too little salt or fat? What happens inside our body if we choose only refined foods instead of whole foods? We may wonder why we race around in search of potato chips or chocolate with such fervor: what is our body trying to tell us that we are unable or unwilling to hear? Where can we acquire the knowledge we need to figure this out? Here is a good reference for you. In their best selling book, Make the Connection, Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey offer clear explanations of some of the ways our body works. Some topics they address are: natural “set point” weight, water retention, ways we burn and store fat, metabolism, effects of different types of exercise and substances on our body and ways to manage compulsive eating behaviors and weight. Their presentation is clear and comprehensive and I highly recommend their book to learn more about these topics.

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