Attitudes, Beliefs and Emotional Eating
This blog is a continuation from the Big Fat Lies, Burn The Fat interview. Tom and I spoke for nearly two hours. The second part of our conversation was about his new book,The Body Fat Solution. This is without a doubt, the most comprehensive weight loss book I have ever read.
The Body Fat Solutions is not a diet. In this book, Tom talk about Attitudes, Beliefs, and Emotional Eating. The mind has a lot to do with weight loss success. Tom and I talked about his new book and how the role our attitudes, beliefs and emotional eating play on our weight.
You need tools to stick with your plan and that’s what makes The Body Fat Solution different. A lot of what is in this book is how you stick with your program and that’s where people get stuck – the mental side of it.
One of the things that holds people back are “excuses”. In the book, Tom provides some great examples of common excuses and solutions. He calls this “Reframing to Eliminate Excuses and Resolve Inner Conflict.” People are always making excuses as to why they can’t work out or stick to their diet. Making excuses can become habitual. Tom says, “you need to become aware. Pay attention to what you’re thinking and be aware of the excuses you make. It’s a negative mindset. When you catch yourself, talk back to it and reframe it with a positive mindset. You will look at challenges with a different perspective – a solution mentality. This is what’s called reframing.”
Here’s a classic example of an excuse: I don’t have time to workout. Here is how Tom reframes this classic excuse – “you have all the time in the world. You have the same time everyone else has. Twenty four hours in a day. The same amount of time as Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and The President.” What you haven’t done is taken the time to sit down and prioritize your life – put health as a high priority.
One topic Tom talks about in his new book is “Limiting Beliefs”. I loved the way he covered “Limiting Beliefs” in his book. Tom presented it in a way that’s different from what I’ve seen in the past and really like how he talked about it. I asked Tom to explain what Limiting Beliefs are and how they can sabotage your weight loss efforts. “Some beliefs you know are not true, and they hold you back. A belief is like a placebo effect and it’s involved in the mind-body connection. A belief is an unconscious program that controls your behavior. You may have beliefs on the unconscious level that hold you back. It helps if you analyze your beliefs with a pen and paper to try to draw them out. You can’t change a problem if you don’t know you have one.”
Tom gave some great tips on questions you can ask yourself to discover your limiting beliefs and move past them. You can hear him on the podcast link posted at the top of this page.
Another topic in his book we talked about is Emotional Eating. Emotional Eating is one of the biggest sabotages of weight loss. Emotional eating does not require psychotherapy. Emotional eating is done unconsciously to fill a void, to alleviate boredom, stress, depression, etc. Tom maps out a plan on this topic with the A.W.A.R.E. Formula. I know so many people who struggle with Emotional Eating and could really benefit from this information in the book.
When it comes to Emotional Eating, food is used as a coping mechanism. There are several “triggers” which lead to emotional eating. They are patterns that can be broken via awareness.
A.W.A.R.E formula is a 5 step formula
Awareness – The first step is to raise awareness. Doing something as simple as keeping a food journal is an awareness exercise. Slow down when you eat. Eat exclusively meaning don’t pair eating with other activities such as sitting in front of the TV.
Watch for all your triggers – people, places, events can trigger eating. Make a list of your triggers. Prepare for your triggers so you can handle them. Some common triggers are stress, loneliness, sadness, boredom, TV, etc.
Arrest the behavior before it happens. If you feel the urge, stop it in the act. The word arrest implies that you have been policing yourself, your thoughts, etc. like staking out the scene of a crime. You can “arrest” it before it happens.
Replace the old emotional eating behavior with more constructive alternatives. If you’re using food to cope with feelings, you have to find a replacement for the old behavior. Some alternatives are exercise, taking a long walk, meditating, etc.
Establish new reasons for eating. What does food mean to you? Is food fuel? Do you think of food as nutrients? What are your beliefs about food? It’s not that some people have superhuman willpower to say no to every temptation. When a behavior violates your strongest beliefs, there is no temptation.
As we were nearing the end of the interview, I asked Tom if there was any one point he wanted people to walk away with. He paused for a moment, thought and this is what he said – “A lot of the biggest lies and myths in the industry are based on refusing to accept or not understand the fundamental cause of obesity and that is a caloric surplus.
That is the simple truth. A lot of people believe it has to be something else. Obesity and body fat can be very complicated but when you trace it all the way back to the point of causation, it’s the caloric surplus.
The confusing factors is how much you really eat and how many calories you burn. There’s so much that affects that caloric equation and it’s not just exercise physiology and not just nutrition. It’s your attitudes, thoughts and emotions and how you respond to your feelings. It’s also social. The people you hang out with affects how much you eat and exercise.
You need to accept calories in vs. calories out. You need to dig deep and understand why your caloric equation is out of whack. If you don’t accept that 1 piece, you’re going to keep falling for more myths and lies, but if you get that one point, your caloric balance equation, you’re going to continue to be a victim of the Big Fat Lies.
To learn more about Tom’s Burn the Fat program and the Big Fat Lies,Click Here! If you’re serious about losing weight correctly without all the hype, I highly recommend Tom’s Burn The Fat Program.
Tom Venuto Burn The Fat Big Fat Lies