Overcoming Food Addictions, Bad Habits, & Compulsive Eating

TO OVERCOME FOOD ADDICTIONS, BAD HABITS, AND COMPULSIVE EATING

 

ONE REALLY GOOD STRATEGY WE RECOMMEND: Eating 100 calories-per-hour of simple, whole, healthy food throughout the day. If a person starts at 7:00 A.M. and eats approximately 100 calories-per-hour and stops eating at 6:00 P.M., she/he will have eaten about 1200 calories that day. This is a good amount of calories for most women to start with. If they eat a variety of mostly whole vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, they will get enough nutrition to thrive. To lose weight, some women can eat a few more, and some a little less. Men can usually eat a few more than this, though most men can get adequate nutrition on 1200 calories.

These recommendations are only a starting place. Everyone is different. Early in the process, it’s a good idea to find your break even point. Your break-even point will be a combination of your weight, age, percent body fat, the amount of exercise you get, and other factors that makeup your metabolism. A rule of thumb is that your break even calories will be around ten times your weight. An average person who weighs 200 pounds can eat around 2000 calories-per-day and stay even. If he is very sedentary or has relatively little muscle mass, it will be less. If she is active and has a lot of muscle, it will be more. You can increase your metabolism and the number of calories you can eat by doing regular exercise and building muscle mass.

Calories in, calories out---one way to lower your metabolism is to eat too few calories causing your body to conserve energy and fight against your efforts to lose weight. The secret to long term success is to find a good place where your body can get adequate nutrition and still shed pounds. Find an amount where you lose weight fast enough to stay motivated, but not so fast you have to keep lowering the calories you eat. Our body will change in the process and you will need to make adjustments.

NOTE: If you have years of bad habits and are used to eating thousands of unhealthy calories every day, it’s not reasonable to think that you will be able to change without being hungry or uncomfortable for a while. Withdrawal will be the toughest part as you work on these physical and psychological cravings. Most people who persist find that after the first period, which can last for a few days or weeks, the intense cravings diminish. For as long as you continue eating healthy, your tastes will continue to evolve. You will come to enjoy healthy food more and more and lose your desire to eat the unhealthy stuff. This period of withdrawal is one important reason why most people can’t do it alone. This gets us to the second important tool you will likely need:

ACCOUNTABILITY. Here are some tips that will help. Alcoholics are instructed to tell a trusted friend of their resolve. This is good advice for anyone trying to lose weight, too and provides a starting point for accountability.

Most of us need more than just this minimal support. Gathering a group of others trying to make similar changes can provide that support. Our social media sites and website are intended for this purpose, but your changes will come easier if you can get your spouse, kids, friends, relatives, and others close to you on board. The more, the merrier (easier). Many succeed all alone, but it’s much more fun and easier if we have some company.

Food addictions and habits can be tough, and so can the fact that we live in a culture so hostile to healthy life styles and eating. It is perplexing and a little ironic that we show caring, consideration, and love by preparing and giving food that will make our loved ones fat and sick. We guarantee those we cook for, even our children, a future of obesity and degenerative diseases by giving meals and snacks that will cause obesity, arthritis, heart disease, immune issues, and a host of other degenerative health problems. Reality is that we live in such a culture, and these cultural patterns can make it a real challenge to live healthy. The good news is that we can do it. And we can succeed gracefully and enjoy the changes if we want to. Daily, we will give you ample support including tools and information to enable you to succeed.

Most can give themselves the best chance of success by hiring a personal trainer. We can usually recommend some qualified trainers, who will make a real difference and who can adapt a program to your goals and lifestyle.

For some of us, unhealthy patterns are so entrenched, or we have other health problems such as diabetes, or deep seeded emotional eating issues that sabotage their success. Don’t be afraid to seek additional help from professional counsellors, which may be the key to getting over the hump. And of course, everyone should have his or her personal physician in the loop.

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