Food addiction is REAL. It is just as deadly as an addiction to drugs or alcohol, but with slower death over time. It’s more socially acceptable in our society because SO many people suffer and refuse to admit it is a problem, so we walk around pretending it is the “norm.” People justify their choices by saying “we have to eat to live.” This is 100% true. HOWEVER, we do NOT need to eat cookies, brownies, deep fried foods and pure CRAP to live. We also don’t have to stuff ourselves until we feel like we are going to burst to live. It’s time to stop making justifications and get real with ourselves.
I am very familiar with food addiction because I have suffered from it for most of my life. Emotional eating, binging without being able to stop, feeling guilty, disgusting and ashamed after stuffing my face. It’s painful, it’s unhealthy and it’s not something I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.
If you suffer from food addiction, you likely have trigger foods that will set you off on a binge. To recover from addiction, you must commit to yourself that you will NEVER eat them again. Not even a “healthier option.” For me it is brownies and donuts. One is never enough. I have not eaten them in years. I used to make paleo versions and tell myself it was healthy, but I know better. Eating a whole tray of anything is just not “healthy” and my relationship with them is like a drug. So if I am going to be sober from my food addiction, those are things I must be willing to give up. An alcoholic can’t say they’re just going to have “one drink” and claim to still be sober, so a food addict can’t say they are going to have “one brownie” and claim to be sober.
If you are committed to change, there are Overeaters Anonymous meetings you can attend for support. I have listed some steps below that you can start taking to get on the road to recovery. One of the things I find MOST helpful in overcoming addiction is an accountability partner to be sure you stay on track. Hiring a coach, asking a friend/family member or attending a meeting is a great way to find a partner.
1. Balance your blood sugar – eat a healthy breakfast, eat small meals/snacks throughout the day
2. Eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet
3. Get adequate sleep (at least 7-8 hours)
4. Be sure your diet contains adequate nutrients. Nutrient imbalance can cause cravings. Check for proper intake of vitamin D and omega 3’s.
5. Check to see if you may suffer from food intolerances or allergies. Our bodies often crave the foods that we are sensitive to. For example, If you find you simple MUST drink that glass of milk when you wake in the morning, you may have a dairy issue.
Don’t suffer silently. Do something to change your relationship with food and your relationship with your body. You deserve to feel healthy, vibrant and happy!