What if your binges weren’t your fault?
What if it were simply the way your brain functioned?
And that you could stop binges at any time?
If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not.
If you’ve been listening to the news and doing some reading, you probably already know that interest in brain science and developments in brain science are at an all-time high.
Research has shown us that our brains have neuroplasticity… the ability to change. And this change can be seen, literally, with brain scans.
So what this means for people with compulsive behaviors, like compulsive eating, binge eating and obsessive thoughts and actions, is that these behaviors can be stopped.
Here’s the very simplified story:
Our brain has many parts… for the purpose of this discussion, let’s view the brain as having two main parts… the Higher Brain and the Lower Brain.
The Higher Brain is the part that we think of as our True Self, or the Human Brain. It is in the front and top of our brain, and controls rational thought, voluntary motor functions and logic, among other things.
The Animal Brain is lower, and is found in most living things… you may have also heard it being called the Reptilian Brain. It’s responsible for our survival… it tells us what we need to survive and acts in a very routine, programmed way.
How does this affect your eating?
Let’s say, like millions of Americans, you’ve dieted in your lifetime. Dieting can trigger the Lower Brain to urge you to eat, and eat, and eat. Why? Because it thinks by dieting that you might be starving, and its job is to keep you alive.
Eventually, over time, the urge to overeat to compensate for undereating becomes a habit. Guess what part of the brain handles this habit?
The Lower/Animal Brain.
And once these neural connections are made, that part of the brain will urge you to overeat, or binge eat. The feeling of ‘having to’ keep eating doesn’t come from your stomach, once you are physically satisfied. But many of us keep on eating because of that desperate false message we are getting from our Animal Brain.
It can feel extremely urgent that you eat. And continue to eat. And it feels like you have absolutely no choice.
So you give in.
And each time you give in to the binges, you are strengthening those pathways in that part of your brain.
When you are not hungry and you hear that inner voice telling you to go have ALL the cookies in the house, that message you are getting is just the way your brain has been programmed for survival.
And after a binge, most people vow to eat much less the next day, which again gives the Lower Brain the message that you are starving. So you keep on making these urges strong.
It can feel like you are trapped, with no way out.
The interesting thing is that even though the Lower Brain is giving you these inappropriate and unnecessary urges to eat, it actually can’t make you do a thing.
It can’t make you get up and go to the fridge.
It can’t make you order pizza.
And it can’t make you put anything in your mouth.
That’s because it’s your Higher Brain that controls your voluntary movement. Although it may feel like you are out of control, the rational part of you is always in control.
And there is a way to change this.
I’ve been using these concepts for months now myself and with my clients and have seen amazing results.