Food addiction also known as compulsive overeating, is a serious problem that many people struggle with. It is a very real issue and extremely prevalent in our society. In fact, it is becoming a global epidemic and can be a precursor to various conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, etc.
Aside from its effect on our physical health, It is a vicious cycle having a huge impact on our mental and emotional well being as well. When we use food for comfort to help sooth our emotional stress, in that moment we may feel somewhat better but for many people, afterwards is when the guilt, shame and other negative feelings towards ourself will set in. To further add insult to injury, once we have those feelings amplified, we are more prone to further ‘stuff’ ourselves with more food creating additional negative feelings. Since the foods are usually unhealthy, inflammatory type foods, this causes us to feel bad physically too. Bloating, fatigue, foggy headedness, digestive upset and other physical symptoms result and this vicious cycle continues on and on and on…it can be quite debilitating and rob us of a joyful, productive and fulfilling life
So what can be done to overcome food addictions? The following are some of my best tips for overcoming this challenge.
AWARENESS: The first step in overcoming compulsive eating is to be fully aware of the issue. Being real and honest with yourself is important. Once you admit that you have an unhealthy relationship with food and that an addiction is present, it will be possible to overcome it.
SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY: Rely on others to help you. Whether you are working with a counselor, a group or program, the support of others both professionally and socially can make a huge difference in our success along the journey. Even close friends that we know and trust can be useful to lean on when we need the strength from others to get us through.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Work on loving yourself. Often, the reason that we overeat is a self-sabotaging mechanism. We know that it’s bad for us and that it ultimately will make us physically and/or emotionally sick; yet we do it anyway. When we learn to love ourselves and feel worthy of great health and wellbeing, the negative, self-defeating behaviors will dissipate.
NUTRITIONAL BALANCE: As a nutritionist, I fully understand the impact that good nutrition has on our physical and mental/emotional well being. When we nourish our bodies properly, brain chemistry will balance and hunger and cravings will diminish. When we put the right macro and micro nutrients into our body and fuel our bodies properly, a natural, innate willpower will appear. We will naturally gravitate towards foods that are healthier and more nourishing as we continue down that path of healthy eating. So healthy eating begets healthier eating. That becomes the antithesis of the ‘vicious cycle’ and makes the biggest difference in our ability to stay strong and overcome the weaknesses of those negative behaviors. Here are a few nutritional tips that will help to balance you and support the desire to overcome these behaviors..
It is absolutely possible for you to overcome your food addiction. We are all a work in progress when it comes to self-awareness and self-improvement. Being conscious, having a strong yearning for wellness and having enough belief in yourself and a desire for a happier life is what’s necessary to re-route your journey to one that will bring you health and joy. We have the power and inner strength to get past these unwanted behaviors. Make it a priority to work on this until you can have victory once and for all. Allow me to assist you on that journey. You deserve to live a happy, healthy, balanced and empowered life and… you are absolutely capable!!