There are certain foods that have addictive qualities to them. These foods can be the stumbling blocks to reaching your fitness goals. There is something about them that you just can’t let go of, which begs to ask the question,“Do you have food or does food have you?”
In my entire life, I have never heard anyone say:
“I had 1 apple and the next thing you know, I finished the bushel!”
Although, I have heard people say:
“I had 1 cookie and the next thing you know, I finished the box” or
“I had 1 chip and the next thing you know, I finished the bag”
So how do you solve this problem?
First, I think you need to be aware of what your addictive foods are. The most common ones I see people having challenges with fall under the categories of sugar, wheat and alcohol. These also cause the most problems with the weight you’re trying to lose.
When you eat sugar, it releases dopamine in your brain, which creates a feeling of pleasure.
A protein in wheat breaks down during digestion into gluteomorphines and can bind to morphine receptors in the brain. This can create a euphoric feeling for some people.
And alcohol, well, we know what that does. You’re also not making the best eating decisions after a couple of drinks, which creates more food calories on top of the alcohol calories.
Once you become aware of your addictive foods, it’s time to implement some strategies.
Try to have protein with each meal so you don’t get an insulin spike from simple carbohydrates. Insulin is a big appetite stimulator, which can make matters worse. So if you’re going to have a cookie, have it after your protein meal rather than by itself.
Some people may have low serotonin, which will affect their impulse control. Kathleen DesMaisons wrote a book called, “Potatoes not Prozac” which can help sugar sensitive people. She has 7 Step program on her website that you can look at here:
Here are some other strategies that may help:
– When eating out a lot, if bread or chips are on the table, ask them to take them away so you don’t have to sit through the temptation.
– Also when eating out a lot, if food comes with a side of chips, fries or pasta, ask for a vegetable as a replacement. I have a client that asks for a bed of spinach instead of the pasta for her dinners.
– Don’t keep these addictive foods in the house when possible or don’t keep them in places where they are in your constant view. Buy smaller quantities and if you have children, don’t eat their sweets 🙂
– If you’re feeling bored, stressed or depressed, have some other tools to help deal with these emotions as opposed to reactively reaching for the sweets or having a drink. Go for a walk, journal, talk with a friend or have a healthier snack like fruit as an alternative.
The key to success is sincerely wanting to make a positive change and then taking the appropriate action. This doesn’t mean giving up everything you love, it just means moderating it to a point where it doesn’t affect your health or your weight.
Wouldn’t it feel great if you were healthier and lost those unwanted pounds?
Wouldn’t it feel great if you had food and food didn’t have you?