As i write this I’m in the garden catching some free Vitamin D as my dog, Clark, is rolling around in garden like a nutter. I look at him for a moment and realise that he is rolling around in the same spot on and over again. Clearly there was a scent there that he liked and wanted to smother himself in.


I found this behavior really interesting… why?

Well we got Clark when he was just 8 weeks old and he hadn’t left the kennel from his mum. He’s now 2 and hasn’t had much other contact with dogs either – apart from the occasional interaction with dogs at the park. So he really hasn’t had any influence or teaching from other dogs at all.

So this behavior was all instinct. He probably wasn’t consciously aware of what and why he was doing what he was doing – he was just doing it. INSTINCT!

We all have instinct behaviors and actions – hugging, kissing, eating and drinking; to name just a few. However, have you ever thought about your instinctive eating behaviors Vs the behavior you have developed from your parents or off others?

Let me explain. Lets take binge eating….

We all do it in some form, or certainly have at some point in time I’m sure. Usually connected with an emotional issue of some kind in which we turn to food for comfort.

Now… think back to the last time you binged on something.

Did you use a knife and fork?

Odd question, right?

Think about it…. did you use a knife and fork to eat whatever food you binged on?

I can almost guarantee the answer is no. You used your hands… right?

Ever noticed how all comfort food is hand based.

Crisps, chocolate, cookies, pizza, burger and chips, cake, sweets etc etc etc

Now look at this in terms of instinctive behavior Vs acquired behavior.

We learn from a very young age that we should eat with a knife and fork. On a plate. At the table.

So why when we binge is it usually always with our hands, on our lap in front of the TV? Why do we instantly ignore this acquired behavior and opt for the instinctive behavior?


When we are vulnerable, scared, afraid, or just generally emotional, we revert back to instinctive behaviors without even thinking about it. Hugging, kissing, using our hands to eat with and if you ever remember the last time you cried yourself to sleep, i’d bet £1,000,000 you slept in the fetal position all night….. instinct. The evolutionary reasons why we do things!

So what can we learn from this?

A few things really, but mainly the understanding of these behaviors and how you connect with them on a day to day basis. If you can be aware of yourself in front of the TV, eating food with your hands, with your loved ones, even when you’re not hungry, then the chances are you can be aware that there is an emotional issue you need to take note of and address.

Its really fascinating when you look into it and there are of course exceptions to every rule, but in general i find these behaviors fundamental to understating our emotional connection to food and how/why we eat the way we do.

Want to learn more about this kind of eating behavior? Come to my Seminar at Silvermere Strength & Fitness on the 12th July from 4:30pm.…/

Early bird discount still available – limited to just 50 seats only.

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