Friday, April 23, 2010

How to break the junk food habit?

Have you ever felt like you were addicted to certain foods? You know the feeling. You pop a candy in your mouth and you’re off and running on a binge. You can’t have just one chip or a serving of ice cream. One taste and you eat a mountain of it. Or, you’re doing really well on your healthier lifestyle journey and then one day you decide to stray a bit. Perhaps you’re stressed out or maybe you thought “Hey, I’ve been doing really well and I feel like taking a ‘vacation day’ from my program and eat whatever I like.” And then you have that piece of cake or cookie and even after gulping down everything in sight, it’s still not enough.
Here’s the good news. You’re not crazy. You could be addicted. You may actually be a junk food junkie!
You’ll probably also notice that it’s never tuna on a bed of greens or oatmeal that gets you going. Instead, it is as the science has shown, refined sugars, high fats as well as processed foods that will set you off into an addictive compulsive eating craze. Here are some tips to help you navigate the treacherous waters of addictive eating:
1. Make a list of any foods that lead to overeating and/or binging. You know what they are. Some of you are sweet eaters, others like starches, and still others have problems with both. Sit down and write them out. Be aware and keep these foods out of your house and stay away from them at restaurants and social gatherings.

2. Do not fall for the “just one little bite” lie. It’s like an alcoholic saying “just one little drink” or a drug addict’s “just one hit” rationalizing. Don’t try it. You’ll lose every time. If it’s an addictive food, you’re having even a small amount may awaken the beast and set you off into a regrettable binge.

3. Get the right attitude. You’re not being deprived of a tasty delight. You’re saving yourself from a shame and guilt-filled binge, and all those extra pounds of body fat.

4. Summon a support team. If you’re really having issues with these foods, then put together your own A-Team. You can draw upon people who show compassion and want to support your efforts to withdraw from these foods. Family, friends, expert counselors, medical and fitness professionals, dietitians and groups like Overeaters Anonymous, may be good resources.

5. Be patient and persistent. You need to give your body enough time to adapt and adjust to healthier foods. Even the rats needed 2 weeks to get over their food strike! Keep plenty of fresh produce and lean protein around and plan your meals and snacks so you’re not left in the lurch with only the addictive stuff to choose. You can do this!

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