Food Addictions: Overcoming Them and Breaking Habits: STOP! Looking At The Scale and STOP! Calling Yourself Fat!
First, understanding and diagnosing your eating issues is priority.
What exactly is a Food Addiction?
Simply put, a food addiction is an obsessive or compulsive relationship to food where you engage in frequent episodes of uncontrolled or binge eating.
What are the signs?
The most common signs to having an eating disorder or food addiction are: eating past comfortably full, eating when you are not hungry, spending an excessive amount of time thinking about food, often eating in secret (because you are ashamed or embarrassed) and often eating at a rapid, uncontrollable pace.
What are the side effects?
If left untreated, food addictions can cause: an increase in cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, depression, body dysmorphic disorder, kidney disease, arthritis and in some cases, death.
What is the science behind Food Addictions?
In most cases, there is an abnormality in endorphins in the brain of binge eaters which leads them to a happy, content feeling when they take part in this behavior which often leads to addiction. It is very much like the positive endorphins released when someone does drugs or smokes a cigarette. Your body is giving you positive reinforcement for negative behavior.
“Eating too much junk food, gradually, over loads the so called pleasure centers in the brain.” – according to Paul J. Kenny, PhD, Associate Professor of Molecular Therapeutics at Scripps Research Institute in Juniper, Florida.
Now that we’ve outlined the issue, determined some signs, side effects and we understand the internal reaction to the problem, there ARE active steps you can personally take to start to combat the disease. Overcoming your disorder starts and ends with you. Sure, you may need to seek outside help, but step one, is you.
Ask yourself;what are your trigger foods, if any? Do you find yourself eating mindlessly or is there a specific food item that will draw your attention and send you down a spiraling path over eating?
Face reality and get on a scale! Stop hiding. What has this food addiction done to your health? Take that number and find motivation in it. Make it the LAST time you see that number on the scale.
As with any addition, you are going to want to enlist the help of professionals – trainers, therapists and nutritionist, screw the all-in-one guru. Find someone who specializes in the mental and emotional aspects of food addiction, someone who specializes in the breakdown of nutrients for your body, shape, size and lifestyle, and someone who can guide you through a healthy way to get in shape and allow all these programs to work fluidly together.
Get a solid support team around you – family and friends, those who help you and do not judge. Forget the people who have their own perspective and nasty opinions. They’ll tell you to lose weight now, and when you do, you’ll be too skinny. Find you own happy, healthy balance.
Be your own drill sergeant. I can’t say this enough. No one is in control of you, but you. Sure, you can see a therapist, trainer and nutritionist, however, when you are home, you are in control of you. Clean up your fridge and pantry of trigger foods, stock your shelves with healthy choices and prepare your meals ahead of time to avoid over eating, or eating junk while you’re out.
“Proper preparation prevents poor performance.” – Kai Greene, IFBB Bodybuilding Pro.
The chart below will allow you to swap out unhealthy baking items for something that will still keep you satisfied, while cutting calories, fat and carbs.
Ensure you are eating when you are hungry, not when you are bored, feel deprived, are upset or happy. Let your body speak to you and tell you what it needs.
Increasing your water intake and fiber intake will help you feel full and satisfied so you are less likely to binge. Great fiber supplements are easy to find – check out, http://www.speciesnutrition.com and check out Fiberlyze in lemon flavor.
Finally, keep a food journal. This may sound silly; however, keep a log of what you are eating, what you want to eat, how eating certain things make you feel to identify additional issues.
Realize you are not alone.
The biggest names in the world have eating issues that they have brought the forefront of their careers in hopes to inspire men and women. Oprah Winfrey. Mary-Kate Olsen. Demi Lovato.All women who have fought these battles publically. And the biggest names in fitness all have a day – to – day relationship with food.
I think someone with an eating addiction or bad eating habits can really go down one or two avenues. The first one is that somebody is just new to the fitness lifestyle and once they adapt they’re off and running with more determination than ever.
The other type, unfortunately are the toughest to adapt mentally, who fail time after time on diets whether it’s a contest diet or simply a diet to lose weight. Being a HUGE food lover myself when my calories are low, getting close to a contest I crave everything very intensely. However, I know what it feels like to lose a contest for lack of conditioning. Personally, I’d rather be hungry then ever experience that feeling again. If I lose from giving it my all; so be it, if I lose from not giving it 100 percent, I will have trouble feeling good about myself for a long stretch. I credit understanding the consequences to cheating and hating the consequences more than the suffering for my ability to never cheat on a diet.” – Phil Provenzano, founder of fitness & bodybuilding team, Team Provo
You’re on the road to health and progress, don’t trip or stumble over something you’ve left behind.
That number doesn’t define you or your self-worth.
I always use the analogy, when talking to clients who are calorie-whores (those who eat “low calorie” what is that crap?!). STOPworrying about the calories, or in this case, the number on the scale. What is that overall number made up of? Just like calories, your weight is made up of a number of things – Muscle, bone, fat, water, organs, etc. Calories are made up of protein, carbs, fats, etc. 200 calories in a Snickers bar will give you different results than 200 calories of lean protein like chicken if consumed daily, correct. So 200 calories, isn’t just 200 calories is it? NO! Get a body fat analysis done at your local health club and determine how much excess body weight (fat) you are carrying and what is normal for your body type/height. STOP looking at the scale; it is NOT a true reflection of you.
Truth is, obesity is a huge problem in America, but so is self-image and eating disorders. Adopting a positive, realistic approach, moving forward, is the key to a healthy mind – which is a must for a healthy body. Speak more about the human body overall, health, self-esteem and mental wellness versus, body composition like fat.
Never look to anyone for acceptance. Beauty is perspective. Those that called you fat at 250lbs, will call you too thin at 150 lbs. Find beauty and value in yourself. This journey starts and ends with you.
“So you need to lose some weight. BIG DEAL...It's JUST fat!!It doesn't mean you aren't beautiful, sexy, smart, worthy or important! It means you simply need to buckle down, stop eating the crap and get to the gym. No crying, complaining or beating yourself up is going to do a damn thing except make you feel bad about yourself and we all know THAT won't get you ANYWHERE!
"Let's make TODAY the day that you make a CHANGE in your habits and outlook. Pick your head up, walk tall like the INCREDIBLE creature that you are, start taking CARE of the skin you are in and let's DO THIS!!!” – Shannon Dey, IFBB Fitness Pro & Founder of Team Bombshell
YOU make the decision to change and get healthy – YOU decide when you are happy