Mental Hack #: Figure Out Your Eating Type And Then Dominate It
In Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink, PhD, he cleverly put many of us into five main categories based on our eating habits.
Although the categories arent new, he put some clever names that help you remember which kind of eater you are.
He breaks people down into 5 common groups:
A. The meal stuffer. Meal stuffers eat primarily during mealtimes, but they stuff themselves and eat to excess. They often eat so quickly that theyre uncomfortably full after. These are the kids we often say have good appetites. They often go back for seconds.
B. Snack grazer. Snack grazers reach for food whenever its available. Convenience is usually the main reason in other words, food is available and they just constantly reach for it as long as its there. Snacking is sometimes a nervous habit or something they do when bored. Sometimes they snack as an excuse to get up and walk around, or they just feel bored when watching tv or reading.
C. The party binger. Party bingers are usually professionals or people in corporate environments. Food is either a backdrop for business or fun, and its easy to lose track of how much they eat or drink. Lots of social events and business meetings means lots of food and eating out.
You know you are prone to not being prepared for lunch. And you know that you usually feel too lazy to go out for a meal and end up feasting on the vending machine. So what can you do?
You can consciously prepare lunch beforehand and bring it.
Consider A Sugar Detox
A sugar detox can mean anything from cutting it out completely to phasing it out slowly. Another type of sugar detox might mean avoiding added sugars, but still allowing for natural sugars from fruits.
The bottom line is that you should make a plan for what kind of sugar detox is best for your lifestyle and health needs. Learn more about how to do a sugar detox.
Substitute With A Better Behavior
When it comes to addiction, there is no one size fits all approach that works for everyone or even for the same person at different stages of recovery. And theres no addiction too small either to find the right approach for you or your loved one. At MATClinics, we pair outpatient medication-assisted treatment with counseling with cognitive and behavior therapies.
However, when it comes to sugar addiction, medications may not be needed. Take a moment to notice when you reach for sugar and then try to substitute that behavior with something else like meditating or exercise. Trying to keep your stress levels down as you work on breaking the cycle of this addiction can help you have few cravings for sugar at all. Thus, it will make quitting sugar easier because you have other behaviors and habits to combat the stress that might have been causing you to reach for the sugar initially.
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Seeking Help For Your Food Addiction
If you suffer from three or more of the above symptoms, then you may suffer from a food addiction.
If so, then I urge you to consider seeking professional help.
Often you will feel stigmatised because of your addiction to food. This is perfectly normal. People addicted to drugs and alcohol often do not seek out help because they are concerned they will damage their good image.
Unfortunately, this negative belief also applies to food addiction.
However, we urge you to get over these emotions and instead seek out professional help.
Therapy is known to effectively treat food addiction. Therapy helps food addicts discover their triggers of addiction.
For instance, cognitive-behavioural therapy may be used to identify dysfunctional emotions and through patterns that enable food addiction.
CBT then seeks to challenge and re-write these beliefs to healthier, more rational alternatives.
Furthermore, therapy typically includes an element of nutritional education.
If you attend a residential or outclient food addiction centre, you will typically attend group and individual therapy sessions.
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Reach Out For Support
Once youve decided to make a change, opening up about the problem is an important step on the road to recovery. It can feel scary or embarrassing to seek help for an eating disorder, so its important to choose someone who will be supportive and truly listen without judging you or rejecting you. This could be a close friend or family member or a youth leader, teacher, or school counselor you trust. Or you may be more comfortable confiding in a therapist or doctor.
Choose the right time and place. There are no hard and fast rules for telling someone about your eating disorder. But be mindful about choosing the right time and placeideally somewhere private where you wont be rushed or interrupted.
Starting the conversation. This can be the hardest part. One way to start is by simply saying, Ive got something important to tell you. Its difficult for me to talk about this, so it would mean a lot if youd be patient and hear me out. From there, you may want to talk about when your eating disorder started, the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors involved, and how the disorder has impacted you.
Be patient. Your friend or family member will have their own emotional reaction to learning about your eating disorder. They may feel shocked, helpless, confused, sad, or even angry. They may not know how to respond or help you. Give them time to digest what youre telling them. Its also important to educate them about your specific eating disorder.
Eating disorder support groups
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Fixation On Certain Addictive Food
Many people have favorite foods and might spend several minutes gushing over particular aspects like its taste or uniqueness. But with food addiction, that gushing will start to sound more like adoration. Think about the way self-identified coffee addicts talk about the importance of that morning cup. Food addiction can make fast food, ice cream, or soda take on an importance that will dwarf even the most obsessed coffee fixation.
Know The Truth About Junk Food
Most of us eat junk food without really knowing what we are eating. Finding out the ingredients in your favorite junk food can gross you out and make you crave it less.
For instance, processed foods like sausages and Tang contain carcinogens, which have been shown to increase the risk of cancer.
A quick google search will show you all the gross ingredients in your favorite food. You may even want to go farther and research how these foods are prepared.
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Do I Have A Food Addiction
Not every food addiction looks the same. If you have 6 or more of the above signs, its likely you have a food addiction or are slowly building one. As you can see, they tend to play off each other. For instance, being secretive about eating addictive food will lead to negative lifestyle effects and could well cause food addiction enablers to become your central circle of friends.
The most important thing about studying food addiction is understanding what it looks like so you can stop it before it gets really bad. If you want to know how to beat food addiction on your own, thats the easiest way. So even if you only recognize a few of the above signs in your eating habits, its never too late to fix them.
What Is Considered Overeating
You may indulge at dinner and end up stuffed or in a food coma, or you may snack throughout the day in addition to your three main meals. Regardless of how it happens, consistently eating too much may lead to weight gain and may cause a host of other health problems, including gastrointestinal tract problems, joint problems, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and sleep-related breathing disorders like obstructive sleep apnea.
Lets delve a little deeper into the relationship between food and your body. Your body uses calories from food for energy. The number of calories your body needs to function, work, exercise, and play depends on your age, height, weight, sex, and activity level. Smaller, shorter women need fewer calories for their bodies to operate than taller, heavier men. If youre an active person who exercises at least 150 minutes per week or takes at least 10,000 steps per day, your body will need more calories.
Although the USDA uses 2,000 calories as the recommended daily amount for the average person to maintain weight their weight, many women need fewer calories than that. You can get a rough estimate of how many calories you need by using an online calculator to determine your minimum caloric needs based on your height and weight. Then add more calories to this number according to your activity level. For example, a 55 woman who weighs 150 pounds will need about 1,7001,800 calories per day if they get light exercise.
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How To Stop Your Sugar Addiction: 9 Steps To Take
What is one way to stop addiction to sugar?
Vices come in many forms. Besides, having a quick sweet treat shouldnt be all bad. However, becoming addicted to anything is dangerous.
To help you kick your sugar addiction, we asked dentists and health consultants this question for their best pieces of advice. From reducing portion sizes to keeping a food log, there are several ways that may help you reduce your sugar intake and kick your addiction.
Here are nine ways to stop your sugar addiction:
- Reduce Portion Sizes
- Substitute With a Better Behavior
- Use Micro Meals
- Balance Out Your Meals
What Causes Food Addiction
Consuming highly palatable foods, or foods that are high in carbohydrates, fat, salt, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, triggers the pleasure centers of the brain and releases feel-good chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. These foods affect the same area of the brain as drugs, alcohol, and behaviors such as shopping or gambling.
Highly palatable foods often contain unnatural substances or higher-than-normal levels of natural substances that your body and brain can’t process. This results in your body being flooded with feel-good chemicals.
To help you hang on to or recreate those good feelings, your body and brain will begin to crave highly palatable foods. And, because your brain will adjust its receptors to compensate for the rush of chemicals, you’ll eventually need to consume increasing quantities of highly palatable foods to get the same feel-good reaction.
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Hiding Consumption Of Addictive Food
Even before noticeable weight gain or other negative effects have become obvious to observers, people with a food addiction might start to feel shameful about how often or how much of the addictive food theyre eating. Perhaps somewhere in the mind, we recognize when were overindulging even when we dont explicitly recognize it. Sneaking off to the ice cream truck every day or lying about how many times youve been to the new fast food restaurant can be signs of food addiction, although not necessarily on their own.
The Importance Of Deciding Not To Diet
After a binge, its only natural to feel the need to diet to compensate for overeating and to get back on track with your health. But dieting usually backfires. The deprivation and hunger that comes with strict dieting triggers food cravings and the urge to overeat.
Instead of dieting, focus on eating in moderation. Find nutritious foods that you enjoy and eat only until you feel content, not uncomfortably stuffed. Avoid banning or restricting certain foods, as this can make you crave them even more. Instead of saying I can never eat ice cream, say I will eat ice cream as an occasional treat.
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Mental Hack #: Leveraging Social
Your social networks can fuel your food addiction and contribute to being overweight.
A study done in the New England Journal of Medicine found that social networks can promote obesity people with friends, siblings and spouses who are obese are much more likely to be obese themselves.
Now, although this wasnt in reference to online social networks , there is evidence that shows that youre many times more likely to share the same interests as your friends.
This is just the long way of saying that people have a huge influence over your success or failure, and youre likely to end up like the people around you in more than one way.
You can leverage the internet social spheres in your favor too. There are a couple innovative sites to help you integrate a positive social environment with your own personal goals.
Fitocracy in a nutshell: Its health and fitness, gamified. You earn points for doing quests , and then you can level up and reach new levels.
It integrates with a social feed like facebook, and lets others motivate and help each other out.
Stickk in a nutshell: Stickk is another way to socially integrate betting with attaining your own goals.
Its based on the whole carrot and stick theory of motivation that to motivate people, you can offer them incentives , or punish them.
The key is to pick a charity you hate so much that youd rather die than see your money go there
Social betting gone digital.
Social Causes Of Food Addiction
Scientists believe there are many social pressures that contribute to food addiction.
This includes social pressure to be thin and the social disapproval for people who are overweight.
This pressure fuels the food addicts self-disgust.
The resulting depression causes the food addict to overeat in an attempt to feel better about themselves.
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How To Stop Eating Sugar
1) Understand your sugar addiction is real. I dont want you to get caught up in a victim mentality, but there is some power in understanding that sugar is addictive.
When you eat sugar, it changes the chemistry in your brain by releasing the feel-good chemical called dopamine. There is a chemical change happening inside your brain you arent weak or pathetic for craving sugar.
If you feel shame about your inability to give up sugar, you will probably deal with the shame by eating more sugar.
Theres nothing to be ashamed of. Sugar is addictive for everyone because everyone has dopamine in their brains. If you crave sugar, then youre normal.
Theres a great book by Dr. Brene Brown called I Thought It Was Just Me . Shes a shame researcher, which sounds funny, yet shes great at putting the issue of shame into perspective. I highly recommend the book.
2) Flood your body with nutrients. When you stop eating sugar, your body removes toxins. These toxins are what lead to the withdrawal symptoms that pull you back.
The quickest way to rid your body of these toxins is to flood it with foods that are naturally high in vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help flush out the toxins.
In my free video series, I show you how to do this using 4 simple daily habits. If you want more nutrients, but dont know what to eat, then youll want to watch those videos before giving up sweets.
You can wake up in the morning, will yourself to give up sugar, and be back on it by noon.
Ditch The Diet Mentality
Fad diets probably wont help you stop overeating in the long run. Short-term, restrictive diets may lead to rapid weight loss, but they are often unsustainable and can set you up for failure.
Instead, make long-term lifestyle changes that promote health and wellness. Its the best way to create a balanced relationship with food and prevent habits like overeating.
Summary Instead of going on fad diets to curb overeating, find a sustainable way of eating that nourishes your body and helps it reach optimal health.
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Write Down The Reasons For Staying Sober
You can try this method of dealing with food cravings only if youre diagnosed as a food addict. Write down the pros and cons of staying sober. Include everything you might think of. For example, by abstaining from pizza, you will lose weight, improve your appearance, spend less money in your favorite pizzeria, increase your energy levels, reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease, etc.
On the other hand, avoiding pizza means no more pizza nights with your pals, no more pleasure from its taste, no more pizza-beer-football combo, the need to explain your food choices to your friends and family, etc.
Learn To Tolerate The Feelings That Trigger Your Binge Eating
The next time you feel the urge to binge, instead of giving in, take a moment to stop and investigate whats going on inside.
Identify the emotion youre feeling. Do your best to name what youre feeling. Is it anxiety? Shame? Hopelessness? Anger? Loneliness? Fear? Emptiness?
Accept the experience youre having. Avoidance and resistance only make negative emotions stronger. Instead, try to accept what youre feeling without judging it or yourself.
Dig deeper. Explore whats going on. Where do you feel the emotion in your body? What kinds of thoughts are going through your head?
Distance yourself. Realize that you are NOT your feelings. Emotions are passing events, like clouds moving across the sky. They dont define who you are.
Sitting with your feelings may feel extremely uncomfortable at first. Maybe even impossible. But as you resist the urge to binge, youll start to realize that you dont have to give in. There are other ways to cope. Even emotions that feel intolerable are only temporary. Theyll quickly pass if you stop fighting them. Youre still in control. You can choose how to respond.
For a step-by-step guide to learning how to manage unpleasant and uncomfortable emotions, check out HelpGuides free Emotional Intelligence Toolkit.
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