Food addiction is real. Sugar and processed foods have addictive chemicals in them. In this article, Dr. Lara outlines ways to stick with your weight loss program and avoid or overcome a food addiction.
How Can I Overcome Food Addiction?
The first step in overcoming food addiction is practicing mindful eating. Once you get the hang of mindful eating, it’s essential to know exactly what you’re eating, and to make food-related decisions based on nutrition, not cravings.
10 Tips to Help You Overcome Food Addiction
If you are aware of what you eat and why you eat it, then you are one step closer to gaining control of your body. It’s important to prepare your meal, sit down, and slow down when you eat. It’s vital to thoroughly chew your food before swallowing because it will make the nutrients easy to absorb. When you choose to eat mindfully, you optimize your digestion.
Read Nutritional Labels
We can easily be fooled by food packaging. It’s important to look beyond calories and carbs and pay attention to things like grams of sugar and serving size. For example, when you buy bread, look at the nutritional label to see exactly how many slices equal a serving. Next, look at grams of sugar and protein. What are you really eating?
If you decide to prepare a meal at home, you can look for recipes that include nutritional information. We include sugar and protein-related information in all of our healthy recipes.
Eat Whole Foods, Especially When Snacking
Protein shake mixes, granola, and even cereal can be loaded with processed sugar. Eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables, proteins, nuts, and seeds. It’s best not to add anything to whole foods to make the healthiest choice. I recommend eating carrots or celery instead of potato chips. These vegetables still satisfy the craving for a crunch and they're much healthier for you. Adding hummus or nut butter as a dip can make your snack even tastier.
Practicing gratitude comes in many forms. Some people pray before each meal. Some people write down what they are thankful for each morning. The critical part of all gratitude practices is consistency. When you welcome gratitude into your life each day, you start to feel better, and you’ll have a happy and healthy mind, body, and soul. I recommend this whitepaper from UC Berkeley: The Science of Gratitude.
Drink water and stay hydrated to upgrade your life. If you are craving salt, chances are you are dehydrated. Drink at least one glass of water every time you feel hungry and before you eat. Water will help you feel full faster, aid in healthy digestion, and make you more aware of what your body needs.
Choose Fruit for a Naturally Sweet Treat
There are plenty of sweet-tasting foods for you to choose to eat. It’s important to choose whole foods like strawberries, blueberries, or watermelon rather than processed sugar. Keep in mind; the sugar content can be surprisingly high in foods that you perceive as healthy. For example, if you think that eating yogurt is better for you than eating cereal, think again. Many yogurt products like Yoplait have twice as much sugar as a bowl of Lucky Charms. Neither choice is a healthy one. Eat raw fruits instead of yogurt or Lucky Charms.
Cook at Home
It’s hard to know what goes into our food when eating out. Restaurants often add unhealthy ingredients to make the food taste better. When you cook at home you know exactly what you’re eating. Cooking at home feeds your body and soul. You can find inspiration for your next home-cooked meal in our healthy recipes.
Sleeping is a rest period for our bodies. We process the day’s events physically and mentally. Sleep is a crucial part of being a healthy human being.
Dr. Lara’s Tips for Great Sleep:
- Avoid caffeine.
- Create a comfortable sleeping environment for yourself.
- Give yourself time to relax physically and mentally.
- Avoid computer, television and cell phone screens for an hour or more before bedtime.
- Consider a sleeping mask to allow your eyes to rest from light.
Exercise speeds up digestion and releases healing hormones and chemicals inside our bodies. The key to regular exercise is finding a routine that works for you. Some people enjoy waking up early to workout on the beach as the sun rises. Some people take a break every couple of hours and go for a 15-minute walk around the block. Gardening, walking, biking, weight lifting, sailing, running, there are so many activities to try. Make it a goal to get exercise every single day.
It can also be helpful to set a long term goal to create a routine. I run a marathon annually. By committing to this goal, I have to go on weekly training runs and eat healthily for months, or I won’t be able to run in the marathon.
Reduce Your Time in Stressful Environments
Some stress is good for us. Our bodies are made to handle some amount of stress, and that’s an awesome part of being a human being. But too much stress can negatively affect us physically and emotionally. When you start to feel “stressed”, take a few deep breaths and figure out what is triggering your stressed state. If it’s something you have to do, then do it and take a break afterward. If you know that a specific environment is not suitable for you, try to avoid that environment, change it, or change your mind frame toward it.
A Happy and Healthy You Can Overcome Food Addiction
Food addiction is something important to address in your life. It’s important to remember what you want in your life. Then take steps toward your goals every single day.
I set out in life to help people live healthy and happy lives. I do this by assisting people in losing weight. My weight loss program has helped thousands of people change the way they look physically and feel energetically. I’m proud of my accomplishment and the achievements of my patients. Everyone walks through the door wanting to accomplish something different. I work alongside people to heal, support, and inspire happy and healthy lives.
Browse Our Healthy Recipes
One of the best ways to avoid or overcome a food addiction is to make sure that you have plenty of good, healthy recipes on-hand. Recipes that you enjoy cooking and love to eat. While you’re here, check out our delicious healthy recipes for inspiring ideas.