My last article was part one of the weight loss advice series on food addictions. I covered the physical and psychological aspects of food addiction. But there are some dark forces that affect food addictions and if you want to learn the best weight loss advice to survive them this is the place to be.
There are three dark forces you need to pay attention to:
• Food and Social Pressure,
• Bad eating habits and
• Confusing being hungry versus feeling like eating
Food and Social Pressure
Social pressure is the main dark force behind psychological addiction. Society teaches us to constantly seek rewards: “I want it and I want it now!” We seek success and reward for everything we do: jobs and careers (be successful, earn more money); friendships (be accepted); relationships (be loved); school (get good grades); sports (be an achiever); and physical image (be slim). At the same time, our society is becoming more demanding, more competitive, and more exacting. It is more difficult to feel successful than ever before; to be rewarded for our efforts and sacrifices is increasingly rare. While this ever-increasing pressure has developed, the food industry has found the exact recipe to fill that void. We can now feel rewarded when we eat certain foods because they’ve been scientifically developed for enhanced taste and palatability.
Food marketers continuously bombard us with messages like, “Eat this and you will feel great, empowered, energized,” and “You deserve it for all your efforts, your tensions, your pressure! You deserve your reward.” Not that long ago, food was simply a way to get nourished and energized. Later we learned how food could provide us with pleasure. Today we have learned how to use food as a reward to the point of obsession about some foods and even psychological addiction. We need to learn that food can be more or less tasteful or pleasurable, but it can never substitute for anything or fill voids in your life. Fight for the real thing—career, friends, success, or real love—and leave food just to celebrate what you have accomplished!
Bad Eating Habits
As if social pressure wasn’t bad enough, now you have another major dark force: your own bad habits, like skipping breakfast, the “fridge attack” as soon as you get home, a bag of chips and a Coke while watching TV, the super-mega-buttered popcorn and a huge box of candy at the movie theater, nachos with mega-fatty cheese dip when having a beer with friends, chocolate cookies while having an afternoon coffee … the list can get really long. The worst part is that you eat all of these terribly unhealthy foods without even experiencing a tiny little sense of hunger. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you are eating! These foods are just adding calories. Worse, they are adding inches to your waist.
Another bad habit is eating until you’re stuffed. Think about how slow and heavy you feel when you eat that way, and think about how long it takes you to get back to “normal” functioning. Adopt the new habit of leaving the table when you are just satisfied.
Make a list of your bad habits and stick it on the door of your refrigerator. Put additional copies of the list on your office desk, on your sofa, and any other place you spend time, and liberate yourself from those terrifying bad habits!
Confusing being hungry with feeling like eating
The last dark force I want to talk about is one of the most common bad habits many of us have: eating when we aren’t really hungry. Physical hunger, actual hunger, comes gradually. It starts with a growling stomach that grows until you start to feel physically ill. A headache and tiredness start if you don’t eat something. When you are hungry, you become flexible about your food options, and you can’t wait to be fed. Once you are full, you feel better and you stop eating. Finally, you are free of guilt.
On the other hand, “I feel like eating something” comes suddenly as an unstoppable desire to eat something specific, often one of the addictive foods: something sweet, salty, and fatty. You can’t wait. You have to eat it right now, and you keep eating and eating until you are really full. You feel guilty soon after.
See the difference? Learn to anticipate which feeling you are experiencing and how to proceed depending on the available options: the right snack or a smart delay in your immediate desire for satisfaction.
My best weight loss advice to fight those dark forces is to focus in what are you doing. Before going ahead, stop and think if you are really paying attention to what you are about to eat, if you are really hungry, if there are some emotions involved that you are trying to cover with food, and finally, if you have the remote though that food is your reward for anything you deserve.
Over to You!
Which is your dark force?
I'd love to hear from you!