Understand that food addiction is a disease
It’s estimated that over half of Americans are affected by food addiction, and it’s one of the leading causes of chronic health problems in America. The good news is that you can overcome food addiction! It just takes some time and effort to retrain your brain.
Learn more about the problem
To overcome food addiction, you must first learn more about the problem.
You may want to speak with your doctor or attend a support group.
Reading about food addiction online is another way to learn. It will help you understand the signs and symptoms of food addiction. And how to avoid triggers that can lead you back into addictive patterns, and find healthy ways of relating to food that doesn’t include eating compulsively or overeating.
Learning about the physiology behind food addiction will give you a better understanding of why certain foods trigger an uncontrollable urge—and it could help prevent relapse in those who have already overcome their addictions.
Ask for help from friends and family
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are worried you won’t be able to fight off the temptation, ask friends and family for help. They can be a great source of support and encouragement.
- Ask them to keep an eye on you while they’re around. They can provide emotional support as well as act as an extra set of eyes to watch over what foods you eat.
- It’s important that they know how important it is not just for themselves but also for their loved ones who may be struggling with weight gain issues due to food addiction.
Pick a source of support to focus on
If you’re having trouble overcoming food addiction, it can be helpful to seek out social support. One option is an online support group: these are usually free and available in a range of settings and formats—from Facebook groups to in-person meetings.
It’s important to choose one source of support that feels right for you, though; if the group doesn’t resonate with your experience or needs at that moment, try looking elsewhere.
Other options for social support include family and friends (or even strangers!).
If you’re struggling with food addiction but don’t want to talk about it on social media, consider sharing your struggles with someone close to you instead.
Avoid high-risk situations and place
When you’re having trouble resisting food, avoid the places where you would be tempted to overeat.
This includes buffets, fast food restaurants, parties where there will be a lot of food, and convenience stores because these often have lots of high-calorie snacks which would be easy for you to overeat.
Eat and exercise regularly
Regular exercise is important for preventing cravings, but it can be difficult to do when you’re hungry all the time.
Exercise also boosts your metabolism so that you burn more calories at rest, which helps prevent binges.
Don’t skip meals; if you’re on the go in the morning or are too busy with work at lunchtime to eat something substantial, try making yourself some oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast!
Remember: don’t eat when you’re full; stop eating when there’s still room left in your stomach!
Be prepared for challenges such as stress, anxiety, or boredom.
As you work on your addiction, there may be times when you find yourself struggling. You may feel stressed, bored, or anxious. These are common triggers for unhealthy eating habits and you should know how to deal with them so that they don’t derail your progress.
- Is there something that always leads up to it?
- Do certain foods make it worse?
- Is there some situation like being alone or stressed at work that increases the urge?
Once you know what brings on the desire for junk food or overeating, then think about how you could avoid those situations in the future if possible
Have a plan in place that will help keep you from falling into old habits during times when triggers are most likely to occur. Make sure there’s something else planned for after these uncomfortable feelings pass.
Replace unhealthy foods with healthy alternatives
The first step to overcoming food addiction is replacing unhealthy foods with healthy alternatives.
Replace the high-fat, high-sugar snacks with fresh fruit or vegetables. If you like sweet snacks, try whole grains like oatmeal with a little bit of honey or cinnamon on top. Or eat a handful of nuts and seeds instead of chips or crackers.
Instead of going for greasy fast food when you’re hungry at work, make yourself a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and tomato slices—the extra protein will help keep your blood sugar stable so that you don’t get hungry again in an hour!
Don’t put butter on everything!
Instead, try olive oil or avocado oil which has less than half as much saturated fat as butter.
Recognize that the food you eat can be a form of self-medicating
It’s important to recognize that food is a form of self-medicating. It can give you a sense of calm and happiness, which we all want from time to time.
But it’s not the only way to cope with emotions. In fact, when you’re dealing with food addiction or are trying to overcome it, other ways to manage your moods may be more effective at helping you achieve long-term success.
After years of dealing with these issues while also being surrounded by pressure from society not just on how we look but also on what we eat.
Eat smaller portions of the foods
Portion control is one of the best strategies for eating less and maintaining a healthy weight.
If you’re used to eating lots of food, try serving yourself about half that amount at first, then slowly work up to your full serving size over time.
- Don’t go overboard on exercise; instead, incorporate activity into daily life. Exercise is important for overall health, but focusing too much on it can make someone feel like they’ve failed.
- Instead, focus on how much physical activity you do every day and develop healthy habits that get you moving naturally throughout your day.
Reward yourself for making healthy choices
Rewarding yourself for making healthy choices and not falling back into old habits is a great way to break the cycle of addiction.
It can be as simple as giving yourself five minutes of relaxation time, or it could be something like going out for dinner with your loved ones.
The reward doesn’t have to be elaborate; it just needs to motivate you to keep moving forward in reaching your goals. As long as it’s not food-related because then it becomes a reward for eating, there are many ways you can use rewards to help overcome food addiction.
For example: If I lose ten pounds this month, then I’ll treat myself by buying new running shoes or paying off my credit card debt!
Find ways to cope with emotional eating other than eating.
Once you’ve identified your triggers for emotional eating, it’s time to find alternative ways to cope.
If all else fails and you’re really struggling with emotional eating and don’t know what to do, talk with someone who can help guide and support you. Your doctor or therapist may be able to suggest additional resources in your area.
They’ll also be able to point out signs that things are getting worse—and whether professional treatment is necessary.
Find new activities that bring joy into your routine; these could include anything from taking an art class at the local community center or going hiking through state parks on weekends!
Have someone help you by holding you accountable for making good choices
Having someone help you by holding you accountable for making good choices, inviting you over for a healthy meal, or just having someone who supports you on your journey will make it easier to say no to unhealthy food.
Accountability can be a great motivator and if you need some extra help staying focused on your goals, finding someone who will support those efforts is a great place to start.
If you are not sure if you are addicted to food or not, ask a friend or family member what they think about your relationship with food.
Keep track of the things that are causing you to eat more
You can use a food journal to identify your eating triggers. You can also use it to record things that work in managing them.
For example, when I’m craving something sweet and I know it’s not healthy, I’ll write down what’s going on for me at that moment.
Develop hobbies or interests that have nothing to do with food.
- Make a list of things that you enjoy doing.
- Try to do one of those things every day.
- Seek out new experiences and hobbies, even if they’re outside your comfort zone—you never know where they might lead!
- Keep a journal of the different things you’ve done and how they made you feel (both good and bad).
- Don’t worry about what other people are doing; everyone has their own journey in life!
Food addiction is hard
Food addiction can be a long and difficult road, but it’s not an impossible one. You need to take a holistic approach toward health to stay determined, but with these steps, you can beat food addiction.
Remember that while food addiction is a disease, there are millions of people who have overcome this illness and gone on to live happy and healthy lives.
Remember that you are not alone in your struggle against this disease. There are many others out there who know what it’s like to fight against their own addictions, so take comfort in knowing that there is support available for you.
Remember also that food addiction is more common than most people think: Recent studies show that 20% of adults suffer from some “food-related disorder” including binge eating disorder.