How to get rid of bad eating habits

Dr Edith Stadelmann from Park Igls on mental nutrition coaching and relaxation exercises for stress reduction.

‘Most people come to me because they‘re unhappy with their bodies. The hips are much too round, she can‘t squeeze into that little black dress, he can‘t wear his best suit any longer because the zip won‘t do up – people simply want to lose weight but cannot change their dietary habits in the long term. In many cases, this is due to deeply embedded patterns, and the first step towards change is to discover and become aware of them.’

We are faced with a plethora of diets that promise everything but are destined to fail. In contrast, the health & sports psychologist Dr Edith Stadelmann believes that by questioning existing dietary habits, mental nutrition coaching offers a way of changing them for good. ‘The first thing to do is set a target – what do I want to achieve, how much weight do I want to lose, how can I eat more healthily – before embarking on a journey I need to know where I am going.

Then we need to analyse eating patterns; what are the critical situations, at what point does the trip to the fridge or the biscuit tin become inevitable? Is a 3-course lunch really necessary, does dinner always have to be so late and so very generous? What is uncontrolled eating compensating for? Did I have a bad day, were my feelings hurt or did I even experience rejection? Am I trying to dull emotional pain or do I feel a treat might make up for a lack of affection? In conversations with my clients we try to identify these patterns as clearly as possible and maintain this awareness – only then can we start to exercise the will-power to fight them. These old habitual patterns have to be thoroughly eradicated before new ones can be learned and practised. This doesn’t happen overnight. At Park Igls we encourage our guests how to move in the right direction; we give them recipes and many suggestions for changing their diets and applying the Modern Mayr cuisine. If they continue to practice these new patterns in everyday life, their chances of success are pretty good.’

Obstacles along this path include mental blocks, unconscious belief systems creating fears and stresses, and childhood experiences. Emotional problems are often expressed in fat deposits around thighs and abdomen because the body has its own symbolic language to express a person’s level of equilibrium. Mental nutrition coaching focuses on precisely this connection between emotional experience and eating behaviour. We start to work on ourselves by consciously controlling the way we think.

It is very often fear or negative belief systems that trigger stress and physical symptoms of anxiety. ‘We concern ourselves too much with negative things, building up the pressure until we are faced with a wall of stress which we don‘t know how to overcome. Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation can help us achieve a state of deep relaxation in the whole body. At the same time, we can try to be free of thought, become more intensely aware of ourselves and develop a positive sense of our bodies. By observing ourselves and synchronising our breathing and heart rate we become calmer, the muscles relax, and we have a sense of returning to ourselves. This helps us to cast off negative thoughts and emotions more easily and to achieve lucidity.’

A healthy diet in conjunction with relaxation techniques and perceptual training has a very substantial influence on wellbeing. This sets us on the right path to practice mindfulness, to deal with our bodies responsibly, and to create equilibrium between our body, mind and soul. In addition to Modern Mayr Medicine, Dr Edith Stadelmann offers mental nutrition coaching as well as several relaxation techniques, autogenic training, anti-stress exercises, breathing relaxation and perceptual training at Park Igls. 

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