It is well known that one sought after benefit of eating is to keep you feeling good. This is not just feeling physically good. Eating also makes you feel good emotionally. Just think of all the emotional positives when it comes to eating. There’s excitement, satisfaction, pleasure. There’s feeling filled up and not empty, emotionally speaking. There’s the calming effect and the soothing effect. The list is endless.
We also rely on eating to keep unwanted feelings away. Everyone indulges in emotional eating to one degree or another. You could say it can’t be helped. But a more accurate characterization is that “it does help”.
Let’s ask the question, what reinforces your eating so you get positive feelings and get rid of negative feelings? The answer that most people will probably give is that eating satisfies them physically. The food they eat makes them feel good. But this explanation probably isn’t true to the extent that people think it is. The prime reinforcer is most likely not physical satisfaction. A less apparent, but more powerful reason you eat is your belief that eating (and food) makes you feel good and prevents you from feeling bad.
What’s the best of way of demonstrating belief is more powerful than physical satisfaction? A common experiment tried every day by at least 45% of women in the United States is dieting. When you are dieting, you may not be aware of it, but you are trying as hard as you can to set aside your strong belief in eating as an emotional solution. Just think about it. In addition to the food part of the diet, there’s your new goal—feeling better because you are thinner. See. You’ve changed your belief. The new goal is your new belief; you believe you will feel better because you’re lighter. It isn’t simply a fact that thinner and lighter is better for you. More importantly, it's a motivator, a reinforcer; it’s a belief.
What this means is that the change you are making when you want to lose weight and keep it off is a change in your belief. Recognizing that this is true will help you focus more on your belief and less on the physical nature of your undertaking. This will result in better understanding of your weight issues and more effective solutions for them.