If you have determined that you might be addicted to certain foods you might be wondering how you can get past your addictions, cravings and emotional eating.
I’ve come up with a few things that have helped me:
1. Don’t buy it.
I know, this sounds really simple. But my husband has a saying “If I buy it I will eat it” and so we don’t buy stuff that we don’t want to eat. There are all sorts of ways to get yourself ready for the grocery store.. Including not going down the aisles that have the most junk. Stay away from the meat/dairy section, the cookies/candy sections and the soda section in particular. If you can, shop at a healthier store with less junk in it. And if you can – avoid the store all together. Find out if any grocery stores in your area deliver groceries! There is usually a small delivery fee (under 10 dollars) and you can just have a set grocery list that you use every week if you’d like. I’ve used these services in the past and really like them. It saves money, time and impulse purchases.
2. Know your body and what it is going through.
Getting past addictions means that your body is going to have to do some adjusting. This is ALL good stuff. All of your detox symptoms are because JUNK is oozing out of your body – and you want that. You might even feel like you have a cold, get a runny nose, even a slight fever. This feels terrible, but I promise it’s the best thing for your body. Think about it, if all that stuff coming out of you is nasty feeling imagine how it feels inside your body! Take it easy the first week you start eliminating things – take it easy on working out, on planning a lot of activities. Plan on taking some very light walks, drinking tons of water, eating as much fresh whole foods as you can. I really have found smoothies help a lot in the process.
But whatever you do – do not let your body feeling nasty for a little bit, turn your new habits around. Just know that your body has to get rid of some junk to make way for the good stuff.
3. Tackle the big ones.
Often, people will eliminate what is easiest first. I’ve found that this really never helps anyone, and a lot of people end up eating MORE of the foods/drinks they are addicted to because they are refraining from other things. Figure out what your biggest addiction is , and go after that one, decide that it will be the first thing you eliminate.
4. “Cold Tofurkey”.
I have some mixed feelings on going completely off of something all at once. I have found that with things like caffeine, generally people can reduce their intake slowly over time. However, with things like dairy – I think by slowly trying to eliminate things might actually cause you to crave things more. If you are like me, and can’t really do the “I’ll only eat one” thing, eliminating something in small doses might not work for you. This is really up to the individual, but it requires you to be complete honest with yourself, if you know that you can not handle eating small amounts of dairy with out it triggering binges, or overeating, I highly suggest eliminating it all together, and working through the detox.
5. Avoid places of temptation.
If you had an addiction to alcohol, you probably wouldn’t hang out in a bar. If you have an addiction to cheese you should probably stay away from your favorite pizza place. (well unless they serve vegan pizza – like Z pizza now does at most locations!) . For a couple of weeks plan out your course of action to avoid restaurants that are not safe, or other social situations.
6. Tell you close family /friends.
I really had to work at this one at first. I stuck by my close friends who really understood the importance of what I was doing. I avoided family get together that involved food, I designed my life to fit my new lifestyle so I would have as few road blocks as possible.
7. Remember what you are doing it for.
Write a list out of every reason that you want to break free of your addictions. Include all of your health reasons, vanity reasons, personal and emotional reasons.
8. Write out who you want to become.
I am all about setting goals and visualizing the person that I want to become. I’ll often write out what kind of person I want to be, and then make it my goal to become that person. So let’s say you want to be someone who loves going for a run, eats a lot of whole fruits and veggies, and loves discovering new foods to eat… Just write it down, tell yourself as many times as you think about it who you want to become.
9. Do not let 1 set back ruin every thing.
The absolute biggest mistake you can make in all of this is to say that you will just start over tomorrow. If you mess up – deal with it. Drink a bunch of water, go on a light walk, call a friend, but do not keep eating. If you have a slip up, just accept it, and move on, right that very second. Do not wait for the weekend to be over, or the next day to begin.
10. Learn about your addictions.
Do as much research as you can about what is behind your addictions. Learn about where the foods you are addicted to are coming from. Understand the food industry, and how they make all of their money because of your addictions. Learn about your body and how each food effects it. In short, do your homework. Don’t just take my word for it, get out there and learn as much as you can. Make informed decisions about your lifestyle, and be willing to accept that you could be wrong about a lot of the way you currently think about food.