10 Ways to Combat Food Addictions

  • Like all addictions, food addictions can also ruin a life. Usually the destructive process involves a decline in health and fitness levels. Weight gain and preventable diseases become dominate features in a life with a food addiction. The typical foods that many are addicted to include: sugar, carbohydrates, caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol. Here are 10 ways to combat your food addiction.


    1.      Contemplate Change: If you do not think you need to change your life, then change will not happen. In fact, why bother reading further, right?


    2.      Motivate for Change: Find a good reason to change. Maybe you just had a heart attack and would like to live longer. Maybe you are tired of feeling sluggish and would like to keep up with your children. Find a reason to make your health a priority.

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    3.      Find a Suitable Substitution: Substitute the food that you are addicted to with something healthier. For example, many people cannot stop drinking sodas. The fizz in the soda can be substituted with a healthy carbonated mineral water. Dried fruits make a wonderful substitute for something sweet. A substitute food can be just as satisfying if you have an open mind, especially if you are being attentive to the moment.


    4.      Slow Down: Over indulging on your favorite foods becomes a mindless act. Try engaging the mind by eating one Oreo or one tiny piece of chocolate as slowly as possible instead of munching down an entire half of a carton or box. Mindful Eating is known to help promote weight loss.


    5.      Relax: Many addictions are driven by stress and emotion. The best way to combat stress is by learning to promote the Relaxation Response through Meditation. In fact, meditation can be a substitute for emotional eating.


    6.      Recognize Your Triggers: If you are an emotional eater, maybe something is triggering an undesirable emotion. A certain someone, a certain place or even a certain television show could be triggering your food addiction.


    7.      Avoid Your Triggers: Once you know what triggers your eating habits, avoidance is the best way to detour your life around a potential relapse. Avoid the favorite hangouts that have peanuts and pretzels around every corner. Avoid the friend who just loves to handout candy. Avoid watching the late night shows that only rile your emotions and drive you to the refrigerator.


    8.      Trigger Management: Some triggers for addiction cannot be avoided; so be prepared. Have a strategy in place that can keep you from shoveling food into your mouth. Keep your mouth busy in other ways like chewing gum, drinking water, or whistling. Or take a walk in the opposite direction of your kitchen. Prior planning can help prevent you from returning to old, undesirable habits.


    9.      Food Addicts Anonymous: Yes, a 12 step program for food addicts might be right for you.


    10.   Stop Purchasing: Good health starts at the point of purchase. If the food does not land in your grocery cart, then it cannot come home with you. Limiting access to your favorite food can save you from yourself.


Published On: September 22, 2011