Knowing how to manage a food addiction can be challenging. We encounter food every single day, so how do we make the right choices about what and how much we eat? If you are or someone you know is struggling with a food addiction there are ways to cope and move into recovery. Here are some tips to get you started.
Know Your Triggers
The first step for coping with a food addiction is to understand what your external or internal triggers are that make you fall back into an unhealthy habit. Do you eat a lot when you’re stressed or when you’re bored? Do you have a hard time slowing down when eating a big meal? Do social situations where there are lots of snacks available make you binge? These are all examples of triggers. By identifying yours, you can start setting goals towards prevention.
As with any recovery process, it’s important to set goals. Start with something small and manageable like setting alarms at meal times so that you remember to eat properly or carrying healthy snacks like fruit or vegetables if you are an unhealthy snacker. Remember to take manageable steps and that no matter how small they may seem, you are heading in the right direction.
Food addictions can sometimes be harder to overcome than other addictions because it’s impossible to cut food out of your life completely. Instead, it’s important to find ways to limit your supply of the unhealthy foods you find yourself craving. For example, stop buying chips and chocolate from the grocery store or change your walking route if you always pass by a bakery. Take a friend shopping with you or have meals with a loved one so that you are more accountable to what you eat. Seek support by asking others to encourage you in your recovery process.
When in doubt, there are mental health professionals and nutritionists that can help set you on the path towards having a healthy relationship with food again. They might suggest that you attend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which helps an individual find appropriate responses to daily challenges or psychotherapy to help explore deeper issues triggering an addiction. Sometimes, our body has intense cravings because of a nutritional deficiency which a nutritionist can help identify.
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