Understanding Food Addiction: Finding a Manageable Approach

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Many people struggling to manage their weight and health hear this phrase all the time: eat less, move more. It’s the end-all, fix all attitude toward weight-loss and most topics relating to health and wellness. Unfortunately, it’s also a commonly perceived solution to the problem of food addiction.

In our previous blog posts on this topic, you’ve learned that food addiction is serious and complex- it’s not to be taken lightly! Periodically eating large amounts of certain foods can lead to addiction that starts in our brains and ends with unwanted health consequences such as weight gain, low self-esteem and feelings of not being in control.

Nobody wants that! If food addiction is something you’re concerned about or think you might be struggling with, there ARE ways to break the cycle.

Strategies for Managing Food Addiction

  • Start small – Begin with small changes to your diet or eating patterns. Slow, consistent progress will not only help you improve your habits, but also allow you to make changes for life.
  • Eat slowly – Taking your time when eating each meal or snack will help you eat less because it takes time for our brain to register that we are full.
  • Watch the sizes – Our bodies need less than food than we think, so be mindful of how much of a food you’re ordering or putting on your plate. When you start to get full, pack the rest of your food away instead of finishing the rest.
  • Exercise more – Simply getting out and being more active will give you more energy, boost your metabolism and release endorphins. You’ll feel less bored and more motivated to keep up healthy habits!
  • Get social – The group approach is better than being alone. Connecting with support groups or other people facing similar challenges can provide accountability and encourage you to keep working hard at your goals.
  • Eat strategically – Try eliminating, or eating less of, foods that are high in salt, fat and sugar. They may taste good, but they’re more likely to lead to addiction and unsteady eating patterns.
  • Be a savvy consumer – Read your nutrition labels! Know exactly what you’re buying and what’s inside.

Remember, it’s important to first identify areas of your life that need improvement. Then, begin making small changes to your routine and build up to bigger ones. Instead of solely relying on the “eat less, move more” approach, you’ll notice that these simple strategies will all add up to achieve a healthier YOU!

Want More Information on Food Addiction?

If you have additional questions on treating and managing food addiction, you can watch the full presentation by Dr. Gold from the 2014 Your Weight Matters National Convention. To watch the full presentation, click here.


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