Igen Process

Overeating, a natural process!

Why Do We Eat?

Well of course, we eat because we need food for fuel. But, If you are like most Americans, you know that we all often eat when we are not even really hungry. Sometimes it is for social reasons, sometimes, it is out of boredom, or it might even be a procrastination technique. I know if I need to do a task I am loathe to do, sometimes I will say to myself, “well okay, time to do it, but I probably should eat something first.”

Eating Is An Automatic Behavior.

The drive to eat has a large instinctive and impulsive component triggered by sight, smell, and recall. Studies point to the fact that eating is not a conscious act but an automatic behavior. Automatic behaviors are those that occur without awareness, are initiated without intention, tend to continue without control, and operate efficiently with little effort.

We often eat without noticing taste or texture as we automatically chew, swallow, and begin on the next mouthful while watching a game or a movie or engaged in conversation. The first few bites can taste great, but as I become distracted by the TV or conversation, I will continue to finish the entire portion on my plate, just because it is there. It takes conscious thought to actually push away without finishing it all.

Hunger has nothing to do with it.

Ask people why they eat and most likely, hunger will not be the number one answer. Having easy access to food – and plenty of it, a lot of people in this society have difficulty remembering or even know what true hunger feels like.

Often, eating is triggered by our desire for comfort or joy. If you find yourself reaching for that cookie or bag of chips, even though you have just eaten, then most definitely hunger is not the reason. On a lot of instances, the greatest craving to eat happens during times of emotional turmoil – during times of sadness or great stress. Common triggers include unemployment, concerns about finances, relationship issues, work related stress and a whole spectrum of other emotional reasons. These triggers can cause emotional eating.

Creatures of Habit

As bad as it sounds, you sometimes eat out of boredom and eating fills the void when there is nothing else better to do. Or perhaps you find yourself munching just because the person you are with is eating. People are creatures of habit and if it has been a routine that lunch is at 12 noon and dinner at 6 pm, you automatically eat even if the real physical triggers say your stomach is still full (yep, that’s me). What’s an even funnier reason? Because it’s there and you can’t seem to pass it up. Remember that candy dish at the office that seem to beckon every time you pass by or that table of free samples at the grocery that you just have to try?

Eating can be triggered as well by happiness and satisfaction as when you’re celebrating an accomplishment or when there is a special occasion. In other words, your brain will prompt you to eat in a variety of circumstances that are totally unrelated to hunger.

So What Can Be Done?

The urge to eat may become so very automatic that it feels like it cannot be controlled. But in truth, it is a learned response developed over the years. The Igen Process helps you expose those automatic desires and urges. It develops strategies that rely on your reasoning abilities to deal with them and counteract their influences. Rest assured it doesn’t happen overnight, but knowing you are in control and how to handle these automatic urges is a huge step forward and does work.