The popular movie, The Hunger Games, is raking in the profits after capitalizing on the word-of-mouth from readers of the popular teen book and a boatload of publicity.

I wish I had come up with this name for the book I am writing.  The Hunger Games – doesn’t it sound like a self-help book for pulling yourself out of food addiction?

Well, here are some REAL Hunger Games we play.  Which one’s your favorite?

1.  Diet/Avoid Food All Morning and Binge the Rest of the Day

This is the surest road to excess weight.  I did it for years.  I thought I was “saving up calories” for the rest of the day and exercising my willpower muscles, but I was creating more hunger and programming my body to store fat faster and more efficiently.  I was also losing touch with what real hunger felt like and teaching my body I would not respond to its natural hunger cues.

2.  Plan Days/Events/Activities Around Eating

OK, my bad on this one.  It’s still my favorite example though.  I used to choose an Overeaters Anonymous meeting because it was near one of my favorite restaurants.  Since I was the one doing it, I can cop to it now.  It’s so counter-intuitive, it’s amazing.  Many of my clients tell me they hit goal weight in Weight Watchers and have already planned their “reward binge” or mapped out the directions to the nearest fast food restaurant.  Yeah, it makes no sense, but it happens.  A lot.  It’s a sign nothing has changed.

Do you choose events or movies because you like a restaurant nearby?  Does “being in the neighborhood” sound like a good excuse to hit a favorite type of food?  Or do you say, “Who knows when I’ll get a chance to eat this again?”  That’s not a real reason to eat, just a Hunger Game.

3.  Eating as Entertainment (Food Focused or Foodcentric Lifestyle)

When you get together with friends, family or a partner, is your main focus eating?  A movie is entertainment.  A bike ride is activity.  Eating is functional.  It’s the gas station.  Fuel.  It can taste great and transport your taste buds, but if it’s your main source of entertainment, it’s time to branch out and see more of life.

4.  Fear of Hunger

Many of my clients stash food in their cars, offices, gym lockers, computer cases and bedrooms so they will never be without a fix.  What’s so scary about being hungry?  Well, it’s usually not hunger we really fear, but the needs underneath.  These needs, often subconscious and unexplored, are darker and usually created long ago, in childhood.  However, it doesn’t matter if it’s unlikely to happen (running out of food or not being able to get to food in our society???), fear loves to run our behaviors.

5.  I’ll Fix it Later

This is my favorite.  We live under the illusion, reinforced by the diet industry, that choices today are unimportant because we have the ability to fix our weight later.  Have that rich, fat-laden five course meal and promise to run every day next week to make up for it.  Turn into the drive-thru – it’s OK because you’re going to the gym tonight.

This is simply untrue.  Dieting rarely works, and reinforcing this negative belief (or LIE) of the “quick fix later” just makes it feel true.  The truth is, once fat is processed, it’s more difficult to remove and resists dieting and excessive exercise.  In fact, the longer you work out, the less fat you will burn every minute.

Understanding how the body works is the key to ending the Hunger Games in your life.  Being consistently healthy is simpler and more effective than playing games too.

If you (or anyone you know) is ready to end the Hunger Games in life, share this post with them and check out my next enLIGHTen Your Life! class starting soon!  Click here for information.

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