Emotional Attachment to Food

Read main page of Emotional Eating and Weight Control here.

There is another aspect of our emotional life that can cause us to overeat and wreck any long term attempt to control our weight. This is when we form an emotional attachment to food.

A simple but all too common example of this is the person who, as a child, was always urged to “clean her plate” to please Mom. You don't have to have a Ph.D in Psychology to see how a child’s mind could soon link cleaning her plate to the pleasing feeling of gaining Mom’s love and approval.

And so, in this case, the child is conditioned to eat to gain a feeling of love and/or approval and not because she or he is hungry. As an adult this plays out as a mis-programmed Subconscious Mind driving us to eat to experience the feeling of being loved and approved off, not to satisfy hunger.

Of course, we know that eating can not really satisfy any other need than hunger. Thus, when we have finished overeating - the need we were trying to satisfy, say the need for love, is still there loud and strong. Guess what our response is? You've got it - start overeating again!

Other Emotional Attachments

Common attachments that Hypnotherapists often see their weight control clients associating with food include the need for a reward, love or company. In our culture we typically celebrate a success by going out to dinner, express love by giving a box of chocolates, meet our need for company by having people over to dinner etc.

I am not suggesting any of this is wrong – I love cooking and having family and friends over for company and to celebrate! But rewarding ourselves on a daily basis (or more often) with food treats, or trips to the refrigerator when we feel the need for companionship or to be loved can quickly lead to real trouble at the scales.

How Do You Know?

How might you know if you are using food as an emotional coping mechanism or if you are overeating out of an emotional attachment to food? Well, as noted, eating can remove only one feeling – the physical awareness of hunger. How do you know when you are truly hungry? As strange as it may sound, most people reading this in N. America or Europe will typically not often have known real hunger sensations.

Take this test next time you start to think you are feeling hungry. Ask yourself where the hunger sensation is coming from in your body? Most people will point to the area around their tummy button or lower if asked this question.

The feeling of true hunger comes of course from our stomach. However, this is located much higher up in our body than most people realize; under the lower left rib cage. If the feeling is not from there then it is not hunger that you are really feeling. Eating is not the response that will address whatever it is you are feeling.

A Practical Solution

Don't get overly concerned when reading this section. Be assured that there is a very practical solution for you if you suspect emotional issues are defeating your weight control plans. And it does not have to include lengthy and expensive psychotherapy sessions! Thousands of us have now successfully used Hypnosis to become independent forever of using food as something to distract ourselves from our emotions or as a reward.

The mis-programmed emotional responses we may have made with food are created and stored in our Subconscious Mind. Hypnosis is the most effective tool we have to re-program our Subconscious Mind. During an Hypnosis session we are talking directly to the Subconscious Mind where the problem resides.

"When you are overweight, there is a conflict between the Conscious Mind and the Subconscious Mind. The Conscious Mind says, "I know I want to lose weight,'" He said. However, the Subconscious Mind tosses up roadblocks such as emotional eating. Hypnosis can help get the two parts of the mind together."
Philip Shenefelt, associate professor of Medicine at the University of South Florida
Tampa Tribune, 8/04


The role of emotional factors in over-eating is often a revelation to many people. People experience a wonderful sense of deep relief and sense of control once they empower themselves to take charge of their emotional response to food through Hypnosis.

When you use Hypnosis to control your overeating;

  • You are in control,
  • There are no expensive food supplements to keep buying
  • No calories to keep counting
  • You do not have to go on a "special" diet
  • You can change your whole attitude to eating in a very positive way
  • You will typically end up eating in healthier ways quite naturally.
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