Food: It’s all about emotions

By admin
24 November 2010

Control your feelings, dump the diets and you’ll be happier, you won’t overeat – and you’ll lose excess weight. That’s the wisdom of the woman behind the self-help book that made Oprah Winfreydecide to ditch all diets.

The chat-show queen, who has for years battled the bulge, said recently she’d abandoned her constant search for the perfect diet after readingGeneen Roth’s book Women Food and God.

‘‘I realised that a lot of us use food as a drug – to hide from our feelings, to anaesthetise ourselves, to escape,’’ Oprah said.

Roth’s approach is to avoid diets and to focus on the emotions that drive people to eat even when they’re not hungry.

The basic idea is: eat whatever you like when you’re hungry and be aware of your emotions when you’re not hungry but still want to eat.

And she writes from personal experience – by following the principle decades ago she lost weight and hasn’t regained it. ‘‘Every diet I’d tried since the age of 11 had failed, so why not do something radical – like not diet?’’

She realised that when you eat the food your body craves you feel better. She started eating only when she felt hungry and stopped when she’d had enough. And the kilos came off.

A year later she’d reached her optimum weight – and she hasn’t picked up weight in the 30 years since.

‘‘Most people have hardly enjoyed a meal in their life,’’ Roth writes.

‘‘There’s no joy or pleasure in food for them because there’s so much ‘I should, I shouldn’t, I’m going to feel guilty about it afterwards’.’’

Read about Geneen's tips for success in YOU, 25 November 2010.

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