Have you struggled with your weight for years? Do you attempt to make changes to the way you eat, but always seem to fall back onto old habits? Do you find yourself binging on food, and then feeling horrible about yourself afterward? If so, you may have a food addiction, and you’re not alone. Food addiction, is a very real struggle for millions of people. Thankfully, there’s hope. By taking the right steps, you can end your food addiction, feel good about yourself, control your weight, and live healthy, once and for all.
Here are 12 Steps to Ending Your Food Addiction, Once and For All:
Skinny Ms. Co-Founder, Gale Compton, lost 30 pounds five years ago and has maintained her ideal weight since that time. The steps below helped her end years of food addiction, lose 30 pounds and keep it off.
1. Get to Know Yourself
The first step in any recovery process is to admit to yourself that there is a problem. Food addiction is no different. Start battling back by spending some time reflecting on your past associations and experiences with food. Understanding why you overeat is a necessary part of the process. It can be helpful to keep a journal to track your food intake, as well as your emotions, successes, and any setbacks. This will make it easier for you to find patterns and will help you learn to avoid the situations that trigger binging. Learn more about the benefits of keeping a food journal here.
2. Make a Plan
Once you have decided to tackle your food addiction, once and for all, you will need to come up with a plan to help you avoid falling back into the same old habits and routines. Make a list of your biggest challenges, and follow through by providing yourself with an escape plan for each challenge. For example, if you know that you tend to binge while watching TV after dinner, mix up your routine by going for an evening walk or playing a game with the family. Here are some lifestyle goal setting guidelines to follow on your journey.
Also, be sure to check out these Healthy Snacks to Have on Hand.
3. Find Support
Having a friend or family member in your corner can really help you to stay motivated and strong. Here are a few tips to help you get your partner on board, but if you’re finding it difficult to find the support you need, or you’re just too ashamed to let others know how serious your problem is, there are other ways to find help. Anonymous support groups can be found in most major cities, and there are hundreds of helpful resources to be discovered online. You might find the help you need by visiting online forums or reading blogs written by others sharing in your struggles with food. Also, be sure to check into Skinny Ms. regularly for helpful tips and accurate information to keep you on track. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page, too!
4. Make Small Changes to Your Environment
If you are continuing to follow the same routines and patterns, it will be almost impossible for you to make any real changes to the way you eat. Avoid surrounding yourself with the foods you have the most difficult time saying no to, by filling your kitchen with healthier alternatives. Check out our list of superfoods that you can feel good about adding to your cart. Switch out traditional dinner plates for smaller salad plates, and mix up your usual routines. Making small changes will allow you to feel like something is different, and that difference is you! Check out these lifestyle changes that can help you find success.
5. Understand that Knowledge is Power
Learning more about your body and its association with food can help you make better nutritional choices throughout the day. Educate yourself on proper nutrition, the effects of exercise on the body, and healthy living, in general. By saturating yourself with the information you need to be successful, you’ll find it much easier to make the right choices when temptation hits. Learn more about the power of Clean Eating here.
6. Allow Yourself to Enjoy Food
Repeat the following three times: Food is NOT the enemy! Food is a necessary and delicious part of life. There’s nothing wrong with treating it that way. Allow yourself to appreciate the power of food by treating it with the respect it deserves. When you eat, turn off the TV, sit down, and focus on the food you’re about to enjoy. Chew slowly and savor each fantastically tasty bite. Search for healthy recipes made from clean ingredients and rejoice in the process of preparing a mouth-watering meal. Thinking of food as a friend, and not a foe, can help you to avoid the feelings of guilt and inadequacy that can often lead to binging. Skinny Ms. offers hundreds of healthy recipes that you can feel good about including in your new clean eating plan.
7. Know that There’s Nothing Wrong with a Little Distraction
When temptation comes on strong, there’s nothing wrong with a little distraction. Keep yourself busy and avoid the idle time that can lead to thoughts about food. Join a recreational sports team, find a book club, meet up for a hike with friends, or play with your kids at the park. Chances are, by the time you’re through, the temptation to binge won’t be quite as strong. And, you’ll be getting more exercise, too! How about distracting yourself with our Running for Absolute Beginner’s Program?
8. Keep Stress in Check
Nothing can bring on the binging like a little stress. When we’re stressed, we search for comfort, and for many of us, that comfort comes from food. Unfortunately, stress has some nasty effects on the mind and body. When you first find yourself feeling stressed, make it a point to stop what you’re doing, take some deep breaths and do what you need to relax before it’s too late. For many, this is all it takes to get some perspective. Has stress become the norm for you? Try this Relaxing Yoga Workout.
9. Understand that Weight Loss Isn’t Everything
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to become discouraged when the numbers aren’t falling off the scale as quickly as you’d like. It’s important to remember that weight loss isn’t everything. Changing your eating habits is about empowering yourself, feeling good, and getting healthier. If you continue to make changes, your body will only get healthier, and the weight will eventually slide off, too. Discover natural ways to optimize your weight loss.
10. Track Your Progress
Your journey to end food addiction won’t be short, but your choices to live a healthier lifestyle will only get easier with each passing day. Use your journal to track how far you’ve come and keep yourself steered in the right direction. By focusing on your successes, you’ll find it much simpler to get back on track if you misstep along the way. Follow our tips to help you stay motivated.
11. Forgive Yourself
Unless you’re perfect, you will have some setbacks along the way. The worst thing you can do is to allow these setbacks to push you right back into old behaviors. Setbacks are a normal part of the process, and forgiving yourself for a mistake here or there will only make you stronger. So, when you’ve fallen off the wagon, get up, dust yourself off, and get back on track. Each time you do, you’ll be that much closer to reaching your goals. Check out our 5 Tips that Can Help You Get Back on Track.
12. Reward Yourself
Change isn’t easy. When you’ve battled addiction and have seen results, stop and enjoy it. Rewarding yourself for staying strong with a new outfit or a night out with the girls can serve as a pretty powerful motivator to keep up the hard work. Give yourself the night off; you’ve earned it! Just be sure to get back on board tomorrow morning. And follow our tips to maintain a healthy weight.