ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

A simple secret to keeping weight off that few people know

By Marcus Santer

I found a really interesting article yesterday.

From Orlando Health.

And it contained some interesting factoids like…

Those are some pretty suckass statistics.

So what can you do to shift the stats more in your favour?

Cue DR Diane Robinson – Neuropsychologist.

“Most people focus almost entirely on the physical aspects of weight loss, like diet and exercise. But there is an emotional component to food that the vast majority of people simply overlook and it can quickly sabotage their efforts.”

And make no mistake about it, food is massively associated with the emotions.

From my own experience…

And it’s not just my experience.

Think about our holidays…

You get the picture.

Food is very closely linked to our emotions and easily associated to ‘good times’ so is it any wonder many of us develop an unhealthy eating relationship, often without even being aware of it?

Fact: Food can be a great source of comfort.

And food can be a powerful stimulator of your brains reward centre.

You see, when your brain experiences something that causes pleasure, it wants to feel it again. And releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Which allows you to create a strong link to the thing causing pleasure.

Whether that thing is:

It doesn’t matter.

And for most people, what the brain wants…

It gets.

So if you’ve developed an unhealthy connection to food, going to it for:

How can you break the connection?

Here are Dr Robinsons suggestions:

  1. Keep a daily diary logging your food and your mood, and look for unhealthy patterns.
  2. Identify foods that make you feel good and write down why you eat them. Do they evoke a memory or are you craving those foods out of stress?
  3. Before you have any snack or meal ask yourself: Am I eating this because I’m hungry? If the answer is no, look for the root of your motive.

For me the big one is the last one.

Eating food on autopilot can be a dangerous activity.

If this is you, practice being able to insert a pause between thinking about food and eating the food and in that pause ask yourself the question:

“Am I hungry?”

And if the answer is: “No.”

See if you can find what’s actually going on.

Perhaps you’re:

Who knows.

But once you’re aware you can start finding better ways to ‘scratch your itch’.

If you’ve got issues with food, the aim is to break the emotional connection between you and food. So that you see it as fuel and not as a coping mechanism or temporary source of escape from uncomfortable emotions.

I’ll wrap this up with a quote from Dr Robinson:

“If getting your body in shape hasn’t worked out yet, maybe this time start with your mind.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

For another 120 tips dedicated to helping you live and age well…

Get my book: ZEN+ The Art and Science of Living Healthier for Longer.

Bye for now


[1] New Year’s Resolutions Statistics, Static Brain Research Institute, citing Journal of Clinical Psychology University of Scranton), 2015. Online: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

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