Everyone has a relationship with food to some extent. After all, we need it to live. With food surrounding us everywhere we go, sometimes we develop too strong a relationship. It becomes our guilty pleasure, and in some cases, our best friend, and we become addicted. As you try to beat your food addiction, remember that food can actually be as addictive as drugs to a substance abuser, or alcohol to an alcoholic.
There can be many different reasons for a strong psychological connection to food. Eating can be a source of comfort when someone feels depressed, overwhelmed, or stressed. It can also go deeper than that, and be the result of abuse, trauma, or an inability to cope with difficult situations. Fortunately, there are clear steps you can follow to stop overeating, some of them below.
Symptoms of a Food Addiction
If you or someone you know has a habit of these or other abnormal behaviors, a food addiction may be to blame.
- Eating to the point of feeling sick
- Continuing eating even after feeling full
- Eating in secret
- Going out of the way to get food
- Eating just for the sake of eating
- Avoiding social interactions to spend time eating.
If you find that you have an addiction to food, there are ways to break up with your unhealthy relationship. Try the following 7 steps to beat your food addiction and stop overeating:
#1 – Ask Yourself if You Are Truly Hungry
Before eating something, whether it be a slice of cake, a sandwich, or even an apple, ask yourself if you really want it. You may find that you are not even hungry, and are just eating “because it’s there”.
#2 – Keep it Simple to Stop Overeating
Eating real, whole foods, such as chicken with the skin, bacon and eggs, and salads with full-fat dressing will help keep you more nourished. When your body physically feels satiated, you are less likely to overeat or eat emotionally.
#3 – Plan Ahead
#4 – Don’t Think About Food
Thinking about your favorite treats will make you want to eat them. If the thought of that cupcake or milkshake pops into your head, quickly replace it with a pleasant thought of something other than food.
#5 – Allow Yourself a Weekly “Cheat Meal”
By doing this, you help yourself not to feel deprived. If you set aside one day a week to allow yourself that burger and fries, it will help you stay focused the rest of the time.
#6 – Don’t Revolve Social Interactions Around Food
Meeting up with a friend? Make it somewhere other than the local cafe! Have a date? Plan a movie or other fun activity. Have the day off from work? Go to the spa, take a long walk in the park, or go to a museum! Don’t make the local diner your first priority.
#7 – Know When to Ask For Help to Beat Your Food Addiction
If you feel that you need some help breaking your addiction, ask for it! There is no reason why you have to stop overeating on your own, and there are plenty of resources that you can use to your advantage. Speak to your doctor if you feel that you need some assistance.
Before long, you’ll find that you have ended your unhealthy relationship with food. With the right mindset, this is a goal that you can achieve, and you’ll soon be on your way to a healthy lifestyle!