Virtually every conventional approach deals with overeating in one of two ways.
THE JUST STOP IT APPROACH
The dieting industry’s favourite answer to overeating is simply to tell you to STOP IT! You know it’s bad for you. You know it’s why you’re overweight, you’ll feel better if you don’t... so just stop it. Summon every ounce of willpower or determination or whatever it takes to resist the urge and control yourself. If you want to lose weight badly enough, then you’ll do it, right?
THE OVEREAT, BUT ONLY ON FREE FOODS APPROACH
Some programmes incorporate overeating as part of their solution. The alternative to eating too many chocolate bars is to overeat as much as you like as long as you choose foods that they say are not fattening. They suggest you turn to low calorie, low fat, low carb foods (or whatever isn’t on their forbidden list) or fill yourself up with low calorie drinks. Binge on carrot sticks or celery, stuff yourself with ‘free’ soup, cram in as much cucumber or spinach as you like, nibble on rice cakes all day if it helps or pick at lettuce leaves and sunflower seeds in an attempt to satiate the insatiable. Some of these programmes positively encourage overeating with days when you can ‘eat as much as you like’ as long as you stick to certain foods. They go as far as to exhort you to ‘pile your plate’ with as much as you want.
None of them address the question of why we overeat and how we can stop. Not just for the few weeks or months but for good. Relying on willpower or simply replacing overeating chocolate with overeating carrots is not the answer. The sad reality is that the diets pave the way to overeating. Whatever diet we choose, we spend so much time depriving ourselves of the food we really want that as soon as we give up dieting, we’re eating for Britain... overeating all those off limits goodies, taking the brakes off... until the next diet.
THE BEYOND TEMPTATION APPROACH
In our first book, Beyond Chocolate, we wrote about own experience as two women who had struggled with our weight for years. We shared our personal stories and described how we transformed our relationship with food and our bodies. It’s six years since we wrote Beyond Chocolate and we haven’t stopped exploring and experimenting for a minute. We certainly have not stood still, happy in the knowledge that we’d cracked it! The 10 principles are the basis of a healthy and balanced relationship with food. As we say in the book, we didn’t invent them (well, the ‘Be your own guru’ principle is unique to Beyond Chocolate) we simply took age-old, common sense ideas and made them accessible. And since then we’ve been looking at overeating in depth, we’ve questioned and investigated. We’ve watched all our wonderful participants grappling and experimenting and out of their work and ours has emerged a process, a way of engaging with the part of us that is driven to overeat, the part of us that turns to food for comfort, or sweetness or distraction or just because it’s there, the part of us that falls into the trap over and over again, despite our very best intentions, despite everything we know. We have created a process which is not only unique and effective but which teaches us so much about ourselves and our overeating that we believe it enriches every part if our lives.
We have been diving into the subject of overeating day after day, we have put it under the microscope and observed it, we’ve worked with it and we’ve carried out experiments (on ourselves!). We know more about overeating than we could ever have imagined was possible to know. And we’ve poured all of that knowledge and understanding into our new book and our new Beyond Temptation Workshop.
The aim of both the book and the workshop is to guide you to stop overeating and discover how to live your life without turning to food, any food, as a treat, a salve or an escape. The way to stop is to identify the reasons you overeat and then deal with them, with a set of practical, effective tools.
Join us on March 3rd, we'll be taking you on an overeating tour and by the end of it you will have all the information, insights, experience and tools you need to have a relationship with food which feels balanced, healthy and free. See you there!