There are certain hormones in our bodies that, as proven by scientists, are responsible for addictions. Overeating is an addiction too, since some people can have very little to no control over what and how much they eat. This not only leads to obesity, but to certain mental disorders, like binge-eating and even depression.
We at The Elite Indian have collected some great advice from nutritionists and food specialists to help you to fight food addiction.
- Replace processed foods and sweeteners with nourishing alternatives. Many researchers say that products that contain high levels of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and fats cause addiction, by triggering chemical reactions in the body. Processed foods mostly contain pretty much all of those, which is why it’s important to shop for healthier products. To make it easier, make a list before you go shopping, so you can stick to it and don’t make unexpected purchases.
- Control your portions. If you can’t completely exclude unhealthy food from your menu, nutritionists say that you can reduce your addiction to it by eating only a certain amount of it. For example, if you want to eat chips, buy the smallest pack, once a week. Also, learn what portion of a certain product is safe to eat and eat only one portion. If you’re still hungry after one portion, wait for around 30 minutes before having another. During this time your desire to eat will probably pass.
- Have regular healthy meals. You can reduce your cravings to specific products if you can satisfy your nutritional needs through balanced meals. We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In addition, some mental health professionals say that if you choose healthy food at the beginning of the day, it will generally contribute to incorporating healthy strategies into your routine.
- Change your social habits. Just like people with any other addiction, food addicts need to break the cycle, experts claim. Changing your daily routine can be a great help in getting rid of your unpleasant food habits. Try to spend more time being involved in activities that don’t include eating. For example, instead of going out with friends for dinner, you can go to a movie.
- Sit at a table while eating, focus on the food, and chew slowly. Our hormones are responsible for our appetite and calorie intake control, and it takes around 20 minutes for them to send the signals to the brain that you have eaten and that you’re already full. So slowing down will greatly reduce your chances of overeating and gaining weight.
- Pay attention to emotional eating. Many people think that eating a lot while they’re upset or stressed can help. But it only increases your food cravings, and has nothing to do with problem solving. First, emotional eating is mostly associated with unhealthy food choices like candy, pastries, and pizza, etc. You can avoid this by finding healthy ways to cope with stress. Meditation, yoga, exercise, talking to a friend, and even reading and watching TV series, if done regularly, can greatly help to reduce your stress, as well as help you to lose weight.
- Avoid caffeine. Good sleep is very important for staying healthy and dealing with everyday stress, and caffeine, being a stimulant, can greatly disturb your much-needed rest. Additionally, as research shows, there is a correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain. So reducing your caffeine intake can noticeably help you to lose weight.
- Cook meals at home. Eating at home is healthier for you because it gives you much more control, as experts say. When you know exactly how much salt, sugar, or fat is going into your dish and when you can swap ingredients in and out, you can have a better idea of how to hit your nutritional and caloric goals.
- Acknowledge any progress you make with incentives and rewards that you enjoy. For example, you can reward yourself with a spa procedure or anything else you really enjoy, after a week of regular exercise. Or, set a goal of eating healthy for a month, and then celebrate it with a weekend road trip with friends you enjoy. Experts believe that this kind of reward system really helps to overcome food addictions.
- Take care of your body. Studies suggest that massage can be a helpful part of your weight loss program. For example, a Swedish massage is very good for blood circulation and muscles, it affects problem areas of the body and improves your general sense of well-being. You can also use special creams for self-massage on problem areas like the belly, the legs, and the hips.
- Seek professional help. Dealing with the outcomes of food addiction can be quite overwhelming, so never feel bad about asking for help. If you think that you have an eating disorder, talk to a doctor right away. Treatment for these disorders often includes therapy, support groups, and some medications too.
Is there any food that you feel addicted to? Do you have your own way of fighting this addiction? Share your answers with us in the comment section!