This post has been updated on March 2, 2020.
Do you love food? I think all of us do. However, do you prefer food to be your ONLY source of happiness? Is it a stress or emotional relief treat that you use to get away from the stresses of the world? If you do find food to be your ONLY preference for everything you go through (especially when you’re feeling low), then that’s something you need to examine. Food is a necessity at the end day, but it should not be a pleasure that we should not lean on all the time to be happy. If food is the ONLY thing that makes you happy, then that is called an addiction.
That’s not a good thing!
Food addiction has nothing to do with being greedy, as some people may wrongfully assume; but it’s rather a psychological condition that ties to food.
So in this post, I wanted to provide some ways to remove yourself from the addiction food and open your mind to the endless possibilities of other pleasures that are good, healthy, helpful, fun, and enjoyable.
However, if you’re leaning or depending on food for any sort of occasion, then you will need to seek a mental health counselor that deals with addiction. Also, I am not a specialist of any kind, though I am going to grad school for Clinical Mental Health Counseling. If you need urgent help, I urge you to seek a specialist that deals with that you’re going through so you can get the proper help you need.
Le’s gets started.
This post is going to be about breaking away from food addiction
First and foremost, before I start, one thing that I would like for you to do is to have a mindset of change. If your mindset is not going to change, then you’ll stay where you are. I don’t want you to stay where you are. But it’s your choice to make the change, not anyone else.
Another thing is if this is something serious, talk to a family member or friend that will truly understand you and help you get through this path. It’s a struggle to get out of, so getting help from those who deeply care for you is always good.
Lastly, develop self-control and self-awareness. When you have those two hand in hand, you’ll be less likely to conform to food, but most likely to lean on other pleasurable things that can actually build up your health and happiness, rather than diminish it.
Why do we rely on food for emotional support?
It’s not that we rely on food for emotional support, but it is developed habitually. When we are introduced to a food that’s tastes good and sweet, we then, of course, venture for it whenever we need to feel good for the moment due to stress or emotional distress. Food addiction doesn’t just happen all of a sudden. It sometimes occurs at a young age. Then, with age, we develop this habit of eating feel-good foods regularly.
Food that people get addicted to that causes food addiction comes from foods that are sugary and sweet, basically, foods that aren’t good for you most of the time.
Food addiction is no joke, especially if you’re not paying attention to it. It can cause all sorts of illnesses/diseases, obesity, and dependency on food. That is why it is so important to find alternatives that can help you fight these cravings and urges to eat food that isn’t good for you.
If you do want to break away from food addiction the natural way, I have a list below that I urge you to try so you can already start the process.
- Take Up A New Hobby
- Join A Group
- Go Out For A Walk
- Pray Away
- Get A Pet
- Take A Mini Trip
1. Get Up And Exercise
Exercise is so much more than just looking good. In fact, the health benefits are greater and far better, with looking good as a delightful bonus. Exercise (like Zumba or Shaun T Dance DVD) promotes chemicals that goes up to the brain, called endorphins (makes you feel good), which helps you boost productivity, and a sense of well-being. Plus, exercise is very important in treating depressive illness, and in some cases be the primary management technique to ease or decrease depression.
For best results, get in your exercise sessions at least three times per week, up to a maximum of 5 times weekly (20-30 minutes per exercise session). You will be surprised how good you feel after 6 short weeks of starting a new exercise plan.
2. Take Up A New Hobby/Interest
If you have not acquired yourself a hobby, it’s not too late to take up one. There are countless hobbies out there that you can try out such as knitting/crocheting (my favorite), singing, mountain climbing, going to the museum, and even DIY crafting. Understanding what you like and don’t like are the first steps to knowing what your hobbies or interest are. Overall, the more you take up a hobby, the more you’ll be interested in doing it much more.
Here’s a list that contains multiple hobbies/interests you can take up and see if they resonate with your lifestyle.
>> Suggested Reading: Simple Ways To Have Some Me Time During The Holidays
3. Go Out For A Walk/ Re-acquaint Yourself With Nature
When was the last time you took yourself out for a walk? Like really? To be honest, more than 80% of us spend more time indoors than outdoors. Now, I am not saying that you should get yourself lost in the forest or whatever, but just merely taking a brisk walk in nature to give you a deeper understanding of the beauty that beholds right in front of you.
Additionally, why not take up gardening? That is a great hobby to take. Your focus and attention are tending the plant so it can grow and fruitfully provide fruits or flowers. Knowing that you grew something you took care of can definitely help break the cycle of addiction to food.
4. Pray Away
When you’re such a state that food is the answer to all of your problems, prayer is present when you need it. With prayer, if you believe, it will give you strength and hold your hands as you go through this breakthrough. If you’re a Christian, it’s downright important to pray so you can remove yourself from this spiritual addiction. Reading your bible too, specifically meditating on God’s promises will help you through this. I have this particular book that has a special note every day that helps me focus on God so I won’t lose focus. Even if I do, I can always get back and continue to focus on Him.
James 5:15b “And the prayer offered in faith will the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”
5. Go Out With Friends/ Join A Group
We know, sometimes you end up sacrificing friends for food, the selfish master that leads you down a spiral of depression. However, there is always time. Reconnect with friends you haven’t spoken to in week, months or even years.
You will be amazed how time flies when you’re out with your friends, and you won’t be held captive by food. In addition, you are likely to burn a few more calories than you would if you were just at home, and the memories you form from your adventures will give you pleasure for a long time to come.
Join a group like Meetup where you can join multiple groups who have multiple interests. Or you can also volunteer and join a cause you believe in. By doing one of these things will store memories for a lifetime, leaving you refreshed and renewed, rather than staying home.
You can even join a group that deals with food addiction. This way, you and the group can both grow and support each other when dealing this issue.
6. Get A Pet
A pet can deliver tons of happiness in your life, motivating you to break free from using food as your motivation. Having someone (yes, your pet) that loves you infinitely is a compelling motivator of happiness, and works in most cases. This will definitely help you get active and divert your focus to something that actually is important and loving to you. Adopt a puppy or kitten, and you will have tons of fun and happiness for years to come.
7. Take A Mini Trip
This may seem a bit far fetch but taking mini trips also a great way to divert your focus from food. Getting out for a bit can help refresh your mind and help you gain a new perspective of things. Whether your mini trip is on the weekend, the weekday, 5 hours from home, or even an hour from home, seeing new environments has a compelling way to renew your mind and gives you many great things to be thankful for.
Whatever you’re going through, using a journal to monitor your progress is essential. What if you fail one day (which is normal)? How can you uncover the reason behind it? Writing your thoughts down in a journal that focuses on your wellness can help you understand yourself but also underline how to break free from what you’re going through by giving you alternatives, like this post.
I urge you to buy yourself a journal that not only helps you write out your thoughts but also helps you get through your journey, which in turn will help you live your best life.
9. Start Eating Healthy
This seems a bit hard but starting little by little is a step toward eating healthy. Start replacing something sugary with a fruit or vegetable. Boil your food instead of frying them. Make your own lunch instead of going to Starbucks or Chik Fil A. Start small, then go from there. Breaking away from addiction isn’t easy, therefore, it requires work. As said before, join a group, talk to a family member, and if you’re a Christian, ask God to guide you on how you can break away from this. You shouldn’t be a slave to food addiction. I dare you to conquer it!
Food needs to continue its true function- being used for fuel and subtle pleasure. It was not meant to become a source of happiness, and this may have been negligently promoted due to the marketing of sugary junk.
Get out there, live your best life, and find your true happiness.
I urge you to check out the books I’ve made mentioned above in the post. Learn about this issue, admit it, and start dealing with it.
Until Next Time,