October 26 Fox News Health released a piece on how to beat a food addiction. Unfortunately for most, they don’t know if they have a food addiction or what that even means. The Wikipedia definition of food addiction is; Compulsive overeating, also sometimes called food addiction, is characterized by an obsessive/compulsive relationship to food. This means that people simply eat because they feel compelled to, often way after they are full. When it comes to overcoming a food addiction, here are nine ways that you can do it.
- Take the food addiction test- Establishing whether your relationship with food is healthy or not is the first goal in overcoming it. You may have nothing to worry about, however, if you think this a problem for you, it is likely that you need some form of help. Anyone of any size or shape can have a food addiction. This test was specially developed by Yale University to target issues commonly associated with food illnesses.
- Start a food diary- Every dietitian and doctor wants their patients to do this when they attempt a healthy lifestyle change such as losing weight or starting an exercise regimen. Establishing the type of foods that you are eating, and being honest with yourself will show you what you are doing and areas that you can begin to change or stop.
- Establish staples from junk- Most of our brains are hardwired to want specific foods during certain times of the day, month, or when our body is feeling low in something. Learn what the staples are that you need that will control your brain’s wants.
- Limit food rewards- Most people will use food as a means to reward themselves for a job well done for most anything. Limit the food rewards that you allow yourself so that you don’t find yourself over indulging or eating too many of them.
- Increase your water intake- Drink a glass before 15-20 minutes before every meal. When you feel hungry, gulp down a couple tall glasses of water first. In most cases, you aren’t really hungry but dehydrating. Your body knows what liquids it can get from some foods so it will tell you to eat to gain these nutrients. The rest that is left behind simply stays there and leaves you with extra weight and little else.
- Watch for your body’s signals- A false fix is not uncommon. Like the example above, sometimes it is wanting something that it isn’t getting so it tries to trick you into getting what it wants. After ‘falsely fixing’ your needs a few too many times, your body won’t be happy with the amounts of food you are giving it because it’s gotten so used to being fed all the time. This leads to over eating instead of simply fixing the problem.
- Write a no-no list- Create a list of all the foods that you know make you feel sluggish and weak after eating them. Post a list of all these foods on the fridge, in the car, or anywhere that you are likely to see it when getting food. This can help your grocery shopping as well as keep you away from some of the more tempting things that you know you shouldn’t have.
- Remove all junk food from the house- This always seems to be the tough one, and the most expensive too. Removing all that junk food from your house will keep you from eating it because it isn’t there. Go to the store and spend as much time as possible in the fruit and veggie section and the bulk food section where you can get healthy whole grains, nuts, and dried fruits. Avoiding the aisles in the store will eliminate most junk food from your diet. Not to mention, all those bad starches, high fructose corn syrup, and fat.
- Chew your food 30 times each bite- Many parents told their children this when they were younger, but the matter of the fact is that it works. Each person has a “full window” approximately 8-10 minutes after they begin eating. If you are chewing each bite 30 times before swallowing it, you are going to be full quicker than simply shoving a cheese burger in your face then drowning it with a large coke and fries.