Are you a snacker or a food addict? Most of us think we are simply snackers and wonder why our attempts to lose weight fail over and over again. Maybe your snacking habits go a bit deeper and you’re a struggling food addict and never knew it? As a former junk food addict, my personal answers to the following questions are what changed my life forever and finally brought me peace of mind, along with lasting weight loss.
Answer the following questions honestly. Take time to really think about your answers. Being brutally honest with yourself takes courage!
1. Do you ever feel guilty or ashamed about what you’re eating or when?
2. Do you eat what you feel like whenever you feel like without regard to nutrition?
3. Do you struggle with portion control or never pay attention to it?
4. Are you more than 10 pounds overweight?
5. Have you tried countless diets and supplements only to end up right back where you started?
If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, you may be a food addict. This may sound like bad news, but the good news is that now you can finally get started on the right path to your goals. It’s going to take a little bit of work. In fact, if it feels unnatural, that means you’re actually doing something different and that’s what it takes to get results! By ending your addiction with food, you will feel mentally and physically better – you have nothing to lose but weight and sadness, along with bouts of depression! Yes, that too accompanies food addiction.
It wasn’t a pill, cream or any magic potions that helped me lose weight and keep it off. Once I accepted the fact that I was a food addict, I learned to eat the way a food addict needs to eat – that was the magic bullet. We food addicts need to eat differently than the rest of the world.
Why not open your mind for the first time to a new way? It’s the new structure that heals. Remember, the foods we usually insist on having are the very foods that we are addicted to and cause binging in the first place. After the food fog clears, every day is far more exciting and enticing than food ever was or could be.
In fact, I have learned that when my food is in order, my whole life is in order. Focus on your progress – not perfection! There is no more room in your life for shame or guilt; it will only cause more binging. Forgive yourself and move on.
Being your Food Addict SOS Plan today:
- Reach out for help. Overeaters Anonymous is a free resource for food addicts like myself and they have the best recovery rate.
- Enlist a friend or supporter to guide you and keep you honest. A fellow food addict is best or someone who “gets it.”
- Email works wonders for expressing the feelings that drive the food addiction; it’s like journaling, so it allows you to see what’s really going on in your life.
- Throw out all of the trigger foods that you can’t portion control! If you can’t portion control it, you can’t have it in the house! Not even for your kids or spouse! Find something that they like that you don’t instead – these are also known as "safe foods."
- Start following a non-trigger food plan. This will help stop cravings and allow you to get to the root of the problem. Keep in mind it’s not food that drives the binging (also known to the denial crowd as "grazing" or "snacking"), it’s the emotion that drives that problem.
- Focus on eating two half-cup servings of fruits, at least eight half-cup servings of vegetables and three servings of lean proteins such as fish, egg whites, chicken breast and a low-sugar protein shake loaded with high quality nutrition every day.
- Get in touch with the “WHY” you struggle. Behind every addiction is an emotion waiting to be expressed; sometimes, it won’t be comfortable. FEEL it anyway. By feeling it and expressing it, you’ll find that the food cravings will begin to fade away.
- Exercise every day for at least 45-60 minutes or get a pedometer to track your steps. Exercise raises your happy hormones and, most of the time, it’s what we food addict’s lack. Ten thousand steps a day is a great way to start. Anyone can walk anywhere, anytime, no excuses! Lifting weights is also a great way to get in touch with your body.
- Take supplements to meet your body’s specific needs. Most of us food addicts are very stressed and anxious and this causes more binging! Try taking six drops of oxytocin (a neurotransmitter and the “love” hormone) under the tongue two times a day to help rebalance and reprogram your nerves and ease anxiety. You will find that relieving your anxiety is the cure for almost all of your cravings. Most of us know what to do, but when we are stressed, we lose all sight of good decision-making.
- Meet your bodies nutritional needs by supplementing with extra B complex vitamins and a full spectrum multivitamin to guarantee that your body gets what it needs nutritionally. Lack of proper nutrients can also cause us to crave certain foods!