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Thought for Food: Tips to Help Break Your Food Addiction

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

In a culture that is hyper-focused on food, it is almost impossible to not end up with one form food obsession or another. Some people are obsessive about eating healthy and living well. Their food obsession can actually be beneficiary to their health. For many others, though, they become food obsessed in general, craving anything and everything that makes them feel good emotionally (but, conversely, bad physically).

How do you break the chain once it's formed, though? In a society that is oversaturated with groceries, cooking, and dining out, how do you break the vicious cycle of food obsession? Many people will actually turn to therapies, such as hypnosis, once it has reached its extreme and seems impossible to break. But what if a few quick, conscious steps could go a long way to changing your food habits and break the obsession? I know I'd be willing to give it a try. After doing a little research, here are a couple easy, logical (they need to make sense, right) ways to curb and change our bad eating habits.

Don't turn to food when negative emotions arise. When you are feeling cruddy or sad and turn to food for comfort those emotions are simply pushed down for a short while. In reality, the emotions are going to resurface shortly, with the additional guilt of over indulgence. The next time you want to turn to food to brighten your day, instead of indulging, take a step back and analyze where the craving is coming from. If you face the problems causing your emotions, then return to the fridge, odds are the urge to eat will have dissipated.

When you do have an intense craving for your favorite food, think about it before you give in to it. If you spend a few extra moments wondering why you are craving the food that came to mind, and delay your actual consumption, odds are good that the craving will simply pass and you can move on. Our bodies are so accustomed to being fed whenever we feel like it that they send mixed messages to our brains, making us think we need food when we don't.

Keep moving to break the urge of snacking out of boredom. To stop the vicious cycle of couch-time snacking, instead of going to the pantry in search of food, go out the back door to stroll around the block. Usually we snack on the couch because we're subconsciously bored (and consciously bombarded with television ads of all the foods we shouldn't be eating). When you move not only are you entertained, but you're also not in the position to be swayed by persuasive advertising.

When you do want something to eat, and plan on snacking, take a small amount of your favorite healthy snack (such as raisins or carrot sticks) and take your time, savoring the flavor and feeling of eating. Often when we are hungry the sensation can be attributed to the desire to be eating, or chewing, rather than the need to ingest. If you space a handful of carrot sticks over a long period of time (say 10 minutes) you will find that you are satisfied.

When you do sit down to a meal, take a moment before eating to analyze how hungry you actually are. This will help you become more in tuned with the actual needs of your body, and help you take in only what it actually needs.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Thought for Food: Tips to Help Break Your Food Addiction

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