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How Mindful Eating Can Help You Overcome Food Addiction!

Mindful | Food | Addiction | 12th October 2021 | Virtual Wire

 

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Food addiction is a psychological condition that is characterized by compulsive eating of high-calorie foods. The food addict will continue eating even when they are not hungry or have already eaten far more than they need to maintain their healthy weight.


When describing food addiction, the associated behaviours can be characterized by:

  • Cravings for foods high in sugar, fat, and salt

  • Feeling one can’t be without their favourite food(s)

  • Preoccupation with planning, buying or eating food- even after having eaten

  • Continued overheating despite adverse medical, emotional, or spiritual consequences.


In recent years, food addiction has been recognized as a real, fundamental problem among individuals, and there is a growing body of research on the concept. In order to understand how to battle this issue, we must understand the science behind it.



What Is The Science Behind Food Addictions?

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Even though Food addiction is a concept that has been around for many years, information on its science is still limited. Due to the compulsive behaviour associated with food addiction, many may be concerned that food addiction increases their risk of developing other eating disorders or addiction. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) data, women struggling with either an eating or substance use disorder are four times more likely to develop another condition and often struggle with co-occurring addiction and disordered eating.


In fact, many people who struggle with disordered eating turn to substance use to regulate the emotional or physical trauma behind their food addiction. Likewise, studies have shown that the adverse effects of addictions could lead to other co-morbid conditions such as weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.



Understanding The Health Consequences Of Food Addiction

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Eating disorders are widely known to directly impact physical and mental health in ways that can have a lasting effect on your health. In the long run, eating disorders can affect your health in many different ways. They can cause a wide range of adverse effects on your body and brain. These consequences may include:


  • Feeling the inability to stop eating.

  • Guilt or shame following eating.

  • Needing to isolate from others while eating.

  • Feeling as though you should lie to others about eating.

  • Stealing food from others.

  • Withdrawal symptoms after reducing eating food.

  • Distress and Anxiety related to eating behaviours.


Tips to Overcome Your Food Addiction

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There are many ways to overcome food addiction. The most important thing is to talk to someone who can provide you with the support you need. One of the most effective ways to overcome food addiction is to develop a meal plan for overeaters. This plan should contain three meals per day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also needs to have healthy snacks in between these meals. It must offer enough proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains every day because these nutrients are essential for weight loss. Your meal plan must have a healthy ratio of protein-to-carbohydrates-to-fats that allows you to feel satiated and maintain a steady blood sugar level all day long.



Mindful Eating Can Help You Achieve Your Weight Goals

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Mindful eating is a type of eating that is very similar to mindful meditation. Mindfulness is gaining popularity in the weight loss industry. It helps those struggling with weight and food better understand the relationship with food and how it can affect you physically and mentally. Professionals see the clinical benefit of mindfulness as increasing self-control, which has increased success rates in weight loss goals. Mindfulness helps people be more mindful of their behaviour and actions.


This awareness allows those with a food addiction to make more intelligent choices regarding food. Furthermore, mindfulness helps people increase success rates in their weight loss goals by increasing self-control. The best way to practice mindful eating is by taking small, non-judgmental bites of foods before you eat more. Avoiding mindless snacking will also help decrease your cravings for unhealthy foods. Unfortunately, this awareness is not as simple as your mind telling your mouth to put down that extra slice of cake. Beginning to practise mindful eating involves changes in behaviour that occur over time.



How Can I Start Eating Mindfully?

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If you are looking for tips on starting to eat more mindfully, then the following list of mindful eating tips is an excellent place to start. However, you must tailor your meal plan to your own needs and lifestyle.



Find Your Triggers

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First, find out what makes you binge eat or overeat. If it's because of stress or anxiety, then try to find ways of managing that instead of trying to avoid it. If it's boredom, try engaging in a hobby or a new social activity that will help reduce the urge for food.



Common Triggers For Food Addiction Are:


  • Seeing Food In Media.

  • Eating Certain Foods.

  • Feelings Of Anxiety, Depression, or Anger.

  • Feelings of Happiness.

  • Being Bored.

  • Experiencing Pain.

  • Going To Social Gatherings Where Others Are Eating.


Therapeutic Fasting

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As a food addict, I can tell you the thought of not eating is enough to make me lose my mind or grab a candy bar. However, psychologists have food great success with therapeutic fasting and overcoming food addictions with patients. By undergoing a medically supervised water-only fast for a period, the brain can “reset” itself. Similarly, abstaining from foods you crave for three weeks allows your tastebuds to readjust and break the craving.



Make Better Food Choices

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Seeing those bad foods are often the catalyst for your unhealthy food cravings, removing foods that can trigger cravings can help you overcome your food addiction.


Stay away from foods high in:


  • Salts.

  • Sweets.

  • Chocolate.

  • Dairy.

  • Red Meat.


Learn To Manage Stress

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Aside from being harmful to your overall mental health, stress and anxiety are significant triggers for overeating.


Ways I manage my stress are:


  • Positive Self Talk.

  • Taking Slow Deep Breaths.

  • Walking Away From Negative Situation.

  • Playing Relaxing Music or Listening to An Inspirational Video or Podcast.

  • Having A Good Laugh or Cry.

  • Meditation.


Keep Active

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Exercise may be a given method of treating food addiction. Physical activity is a great way to combat feelings of stress, anxiety, and boredom that may trigger food addiction. Also, physical activity is vital for living a healthy lifestyle. Exercising allows your body to:


  • Sleep better

  • Speed Up Metabolism.

  • Regulate Blood Sugar Levels (spikes in blood sugar can lead you to eat more).


Direct Intervention Can Help Overcome Your Food Addiction's with Mindfulness and Meditation. "Direct Intervention” is an innovative approach to help people overcome their food addiction. It's based on mindfulness and meditation, which can assist you in controlling your emotions, thoughts, and physical behaviours. With the proper intervention, you can break free from this addiction without years of therapy or willpower.



Mindfulness Apps That Can Help Combat Food Addiction

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Many apps help you control your food addiction with mindfulness and meditation. These apps are also helpful in getting rid of weight gain or difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight. Mindful Eating App: With this app, you will be guided through the process of mindful eating by experts at UCLA Mindful Eating Program. The app offers a 12-week program that helps you go through different aspects of mindful eating with the help of audio, video, and written content.


Mindful Meditation App: Ocean house Media offers this app on iOS and Google Play Store. For $9.99, you will be able to receive 20 guided meditations from the world-renowned Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant, host of “Iyanla Fix My Life.” Mindfulness Meditation App from Mindfulness.com is an app that provides meditations for those of us with little time to spare. You can access some of the most renowned mindfulness teachers on this app, and meditations take only ten minutes!


What Should You Do if You Have a Relapse?

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You should not be ashamed of having a relapse. It may be the best thing that ever happened to you. It is just a sign that you have been working hard and should pat yourself on the back. In order to get over it, just go back to the basics, try these tips:


  • Exercise regularly.

  • Meditate regularly.

  • Be aware of triggers and avoid them when possible.

  • Try not to think about the relapse too much and stay focused on what is good in your life.


Conclusion

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Mindfulness in your diet can help lower stress levels, increase productivity, and improve overall health. The mindful-eating approach includes not thinking about tasting or smelling food while eating or feeling full before you stop. It also means not worrying about what other people think about how you eat and focusing on the present experience of your meal rather than what it will do for your future health or weight.


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