If you are one of the 200 million overweight people in the United States, you are probably in hoping for an easy answer to the question, “How can I stop eating?” Well, you have come to the right place. The quick and dirty answer is you need to stop thinking about food in a problematic way. There is a way of thinking about food that’s a problem and a way of thinking about it that’s not a problem. If you continue to think about it in the problematic way, you will always struggle with your weight. It’s that simple.
The way of thinking about food that will keep your weight on and make it hard for you to take it off, is thinking about it romantically, imagining what food will taste like in your mouth and imagining that food can give you things that it was never designed to provide. If you think about food as a comfort, friend or greatest source of pleasure, you are barking up the wrong tree. Find other ways of providing those things for yourself, find other sources of pleasure that are truly satisfying and don’t fill you with shame and regret afterwards.
Thinking creates feelings and desires, which lead to action (or eating). The more you think about food, the more you will eat. Ultimately, you want to forge a mature, pragmatic relationship with food. This means thinking about food only when you are hungry and its time to eat. Other than that, if food thoughts arise, you form the new healthy thinking habit of noticing them and turning away. Diets and exercise are important in the battle of the bulge but to heal over eating at its core and finally answer the question, “How can I stop eating?” you have to fundamentally change the way you think about it.