How To Solve Food Addictions

 

 


Lots of Eating

Food addictions are a common health problem faced by millions of people in the US, and all countries who have a similar diet.  To better understand the scope of food addictions, make sure you read my previous post on this issue.  You can read it here http://janetbrunomd.com/are-you-suffering-from-a-food-addiction .

So, now that we understand what a food addiction really is — how can you overcome it?

Well, the best way to approach it is to understand exactly what is driving the addiction in the first place.

First Things First

Most, if not all, food addictions are driven by emotion.  The emotions may vary, but an emotional fuel is indeed at play in every addiction.  Anxiety is often a culprit.  Fear is another.  Frustration and Overwhelm also are common causes.  In most cases, self esteem is challenged or weakened.  A very typical human response to any of these difficult-to-handle emotions is to eat.

Surely, there are other responses to these emotions.  After all, these responses are totally normal in the complete human experience of life.  Having these emotions is something we cannot control.  However, how we respond to these emotions is key….

As a side note, if you want a refresher about how to improve your ability to RESPOND rather than REACT in life, then check out one of my recent articles on dealing with stress.  Check this out to reduce stress in your life: http://janetbrunomd.com/how-to-manage-stress .  If you want even further information on this topic, you can go watch one of my videos entitled “Stress Reduction And Nutrition”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxFv-De_9Gc .

How To Set Yourself Up For Success

Knowing that the challenging emotions will arise, and knowing that old habits are hard to break, you can set yourself up for success by removing  from your house the most addictive foods.  If you crave sweets, clear your cupboards of all the candies, cookies, pastries, and sweet drinks.  If your substance of addiction is ice cream, remove all the cartons from the freezer — and don’t replace them!  If your substance of addiction is  oily, fried foods — remove the potato chips, the oily popcorn, the fatty cooking oil, and all other foods that fulfill that craving for you.

Surely, this will be a challenge.  But, I guarantee you, if you take action while you are feeling strong, and clear your house of the offending foods, you will have to take even more effort to get in the car to get your ‘fix’.  While this is just a step in the right direction, it is a step that can help you gain some momentum.

What About Other Types Of Food?

Even though you have cleared your house of the specific offending substances, there are several things you can do to your diet to even further set you up for success.  Here are some proven suggestions:

  • Have plenty of fiber-rich foods on hand (carrots, cabbage, air-popped popcorn), etc.
  • Get rid of the highly processed foods from your cupboards
  • Make a new habit of drinking lots of water throughout the day
  • Discover fun food ‘substitutes’ for your old substance of addiction

Each of these tips will help you on your way.  Foods high in fiber are fantastic — not only because they tend to be very nutritious, but the ‘bigness’ of the foods will fill your belly and send messages to your brain that you are full.  This is wonderful to fill up on ‘big’ and fiber-rich foods.  On the reverse side, the highly processed foods are very low in fiber.  So, typically, you end up eating a lot more of that kind of food before you feel full.  Even if it isn’t a food you are addicted to, getting rid of the highly processed foods will take you closer to your goal of healthy eating.  You definitely want water to be your friend.  Lots of water not only flushes the system, keeping your bowels working well, but it also can help fill you up.  The benefits of healthier skin is a bonus!

Finding healthy food substitutes is a strategy that can work wonders to overcome your addiction.  Ideally, if you can choose foods that are not animal-based, that is even a better strategy.  Soy milk over blueberries, for example, is a delicious, sweet-tasting delight to treat yourself to every now and then.

Hopefully this discussion, and these suggestions, have opened your eyes to the process of overcoming food addictions.  There is much, much more I could add — but this should be enough to get you started.

Here’s to a healthier you!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

radiology technician September 13, 2010 at 12:43 am

nice post. thanks.

admin September 14, 2010 at 11:46 am

You’re very welcome! There’s lots more to come … If you have a specific topic or question for me, please feel free to share. That’s what this blog is all about. Active dialogue will make it all the more rewarding for everyone.

Cheers!

Janet Bruno MD

Janet Bruno MD September 15, 2010 at 7:34 am

You’re very welcome! There’s lots more to come … If you have a specific topic or question for me, please feel free to share. That’s what this blog is all about. Active dialogue will make it all the more rewarding for everyone.

Cheers!

Janet Bruno MD

Judi September 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

This is a topic dear to my heart so I appreciated reading your input. I believe total abstinence is necessary from those foods we find ourselves craving, mine is sugar and flour and wheat products. I think it is a biochemical disease, just like my alcoholism. I can’t drink in moderation and I can’t eat certain foods in moderation. Check out FoodAddictsAnonymous.org

Janet Bruno MD September 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Hi Judi,

Thanks for your input. Recognizing the foods you are addicted to is definitely the first step toward recovery! I am glad to read that you have taken this step and are actively working on the addiction. Kudos to you! Thanks for the recommended resource. Indeed, as the resource recommends, recovering from a food addiction is very similar to the 12-step process of recovering from any other addiction.

Please keep your eyes open for a new video I am soon releasing on this very subject. I am all about providing solutions, tips, and strategies, so hopefully you will find this useful. Expect the video to be published in the next day or so at:

http://YouTube.com/user/JanetBrunoMD

Cheers!

Mel September 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Just wanted to say thank you for the excellent advice, insight and tips. You are truly an inspiration and have shed light on so many new aspects of this topic. Thank you Dr. Bruno, you are amazing!

Woody S. Wurster October 1, 2010 at 1:07 am

What would you recomend for someone on a very high protein diet, relying on keeping ketosis in check for weight control. I have eaten eggs everyday for seven years. I am afraid of the carbs but would like to go more vegetarian. Do you recomend any special books or movies as I am ready for something new. Are you speaking anywhere?

Woody S. Wurster October 1, 2010 at 1:12 am

I just watched your you tube video’s. Thank you they are a huge help and a great start!

Janet Bruno MD October 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Hi Woody!

Glad to hear you are enjoying my videos and this blog. Getting comments like yours is exactly why I am doing this … 🙂

I am very glad to hear that you are ready for something new. Changing your nutrition can be one of the most powerful and effective new habits that you can adopt.

Regarding your question about your very high protein diet …. Actually, there’s a lot I can comment on here. I know that the high protein/low carb diets have been popular for years. However, there is more and more evidence demonstrating that this may not be the healthiest route for you to take. I briefly addressed this in one of my blog posts that you can click on here: http://janetbrunomd.com/is-there-harm-in-eating-too-much-protein/ (You can simply put the word ‘protein’ in the search bar on my blog and find the articles where I address protein).

Since this is a big topic, I can direct you to one of my colleagues Dr. John McDougall, who has written a book entitled “The McDougall Plan”. In this book, he has a chapter entitled ‘Protein and a Health Supporting Diet’. This goes into even more detail. Another book that provides lots and lots of info is “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. If you want to dig deep into lots of data, this book is for you.

I am working on my own book — but it’s not ready yet! I do have some speaking engagements lined up for early next year, which are not yet confirmed. Stay tuned on my blog and I will be certain to give lots of advance notice for you and others who may choose to come.

Again, I commend your interest and commitment to your nutrition. May it lead you to ever greater health.

Cheers!

Janet Bruno MD

Janet Bruno MD October 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Mel,

Glad to hear you are enjoying my blog posts and videos. My goal is truly to help guide and inspire you and others to ever greater health!

If you know of others who may be interested in my blog or videos, please direct them this way. The more individuals who read and interact on this blog, the more valuable it will be for everyone.

Here’s to your ever-increasing health!

Janet Bruno MD

Alessandra Wolle November 17, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Janet Bruno MD November 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hi Alessandra,

Welcome to my site! Glad you’re finding it useful and informative. That’s what I’m here for! 🙂

I post a couple of times a week, so your Google Reader should keep you updated. Let me know if there’s any question or topic you’d like me to explore further.

Here’s to your improving health!

Dr. Janet Bruno

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