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Breaking Food Addictions! + free morning workout

Breaking Food Addictions

Eating healthy and losing weight seems impossible for many people.  Despite their best intentions, they continually find themselves eating large amounts of unhealthy foods, even though they know it is causing them harm.  Food addiction is simply being addicted to junk food in the same way as drug addicts are addicted to drugs.  It involves the same areas in the brain, the same neurotransmitters and many of the symptoms are identical.  Processed junk foods have a powerful effect on the “reward” centers in the brain, involving brain neurotransmitters like dopamine.   The foods that seem to be the most challenging include processed foods (your typical “junk foods” such as cookies, candies, pastries, sodas, ect)  as well as foods that contain either sugar or wheat, or both.  Food addiction is not necessarily about a lack of willpower but is about eating the wrong foods.

Here are a few signs you may have a food addiction…

*You frequently get cravings for certain foods, even if you just finished a healthy and satisfying meal.

*When you give in and start eating a food you were craving, you often find yourself eating much more than you intended to.

*When you eat a food you were craving, you sometimes eat to the point of feeling excessively full.

*You often feel guilty after eating particular foods.

*You sometimes make excuses in your head about why you should eat something that you are craving.

*You have repeatedly tried to quit eating or setting rules (includes cheat meals/days) about certain foods, but been unsuccessful.

*You often hide your eating of unhealthy foods from others.

*You feel unable to control your consumption of the “junk” foods, despite knowing that they are causing you harm (includes weight gain).

 

If you can relate to 4 or 5 of the above symptoms, you may have a food addiction.  If you feel you do, no worries! Here are a few steps to help you get back on track and break that food addiction once and for all!

*Don’t go cold turkey: such rigid thinking can make you crave the offending food even more.  Allow yourself to enjoy the food, but occasionally and in sensible amounts.

*Control your home environment: Just as someone with an alcohol problem shouldn’t buy a bunch of beer, you shouldn’t overstock your kitchen with foods you find addictive. Exercise purchase and portion control.

*Retrain your brain: In order to be satisfied with two cookies instead of an entire bag, you need to change the way your brain sees food on the plate. Switch to smaller plates and bowls to automatically reduce portion sizes

*Exercise regularly: Exercise also satisfies the pleasure centers of your brain in the same way food does.  It increases dopamine levels and raises the number of dopamine receptors in the brain.

*Learn to eat only when you’re hungry: One classic tool that weight loss experts use to teach people how to better manage their appetite is the hunger scale. The scale ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 being ravenously hungry and 10 being overstuffed. Eat when you begin to feel hungry (2 or 3 on the scale) and stop when you feel comfortably satisfied (5 or 6).

*Deal with your emotions: Try to get better at tolerating sensations of sadness, anger, or boredom, rather than rushing to soothe them with food.

 

Rise & Shine!  Try out this 6 am workout before you head to work a few mornings each week!

1 minute v-sit

20 star jumps

20 tricep dips

15 squats

25 wall push ups

10 lunges (each leg)

1 minute plank

*repeat 3 times!

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