As per my previous post, I came to the conclusion from my current intermittent fasting diet that I was, and still am addicted to food and frequently comfort eating.
A food addiction itself can stem from a variety of factors. After years of comforting eating it became easy to disguise the food addiction as a love of cuisine. I was telling myself a massive lie – which I believed!
The intermittent fasting process has been a huge wake up call and I’ve begun to understand the true relationship I was having with food.
Comfort Eating, addiction and habits
It’s okay to enjoy food but there’s a line that can be crossed in which you can enter addiction territory.
Other factors also came to my attention. I became aware of other poor eating habits such as scoffing food down and not taking my time to truly enjoy and appreciate the eating experience.
It’s been my Achilles heel for a long time and it’s something I’ve wanted to change about my lifestyle. I made a breakthrough in 2005 when I’d lost around 42 lbs after taking up badminton and changing my diet.
However, over the past few years I’ve slowly slipped back into my old eating habits.
The last 6 weeks of fasting have not been easy. It’s taken every ounce of my will power and using everything trick in the book to keep from breaking my fast prematurely or to not scoff the day after fasting despite not being hungry.
If you’re in the same boat as me and are trying to change your eating habits then there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.
Notice I used the term ‘easier’? That’s because it won’t be easy especially the latter phases of habit change. The early transition is easy for most people. They will start well but fall back into old ways after a certain amount of time has passed.
If like me, you’re going through a process of changing your eating habits to get rid of your food addiction, or putting a stop to comfort eating, then these simple tips will help you through.
1. Inadequate rest can lead to comfort snacking.
It’s natural when tired to reach for a sugary fix to pick you up. It’s a vicious cycle because eating bad food will lower your quality of rest and poor rest will encourage you grab the bad stuff.
You can help yourself by making sure you’re getting good quality sleep. When you eat well you’ll sleep better and when you sleep well you’re more likely to eat better. Make sure you place a greater importance on getting a good nights rest.
2. Choose better snacks.
Reach for the fruit and veg, seeds and nuts, or go for the healthier, lower fat options wherever possible.
There is a caveat to snacking. My personal decision recently has been to avoid snacking altogether.
I realised it was an excuse to nibble when I was bored rather than eating because I needed to. Pay close attention to yourself and snacks. Are you having them because you’re bored or genuinely hungry?
3. Constantly remind yourself of your leverage for losing weight/getting healthy.
I have many personal reasons why I want to lose weight and get healthy.
One reason is quite vein. I hate being beaten at badminton. When I’d gained weight recently I was getting beat more easily. I didn’t like that so I used that as leverage to keep me on the right track.
Another reason is vanity. I went to see Dr John DeMartini recently in London as my friend had a spare ticket.
When I arrived for the event, even though it was cold outside, when I got to the venue it was really hot inside and I couldn’t stop sweating. It just so happened I was wearing the kind of shirt where it was clearly visible.
The feeling of embarrassment has stuck with me. I use it and bring forward that memory anytime I’m tempted to eat something which I know is not good for me.
There are other more deeper reasons too. I have a wonderful girlfriend now who I adore and I want to make sure I’m healthy for her and that we have a long and active relationship.
Whatever your reasons are your reasons and are personal to you! Write them down, constantly remind yourself of why you’ve chosen the change and keep using them as leverage!
4. Form a power group.
If there is a group of you doing the same thing it makes it easier.
My brother started fasting before me and now we both fast on the same days which makes the process a lot easier. So instead of taking up the journey by yourself create a power community to do it with and fast on the same days.
It makes sense because if you go out with your friends and you’re the only one fasting or choosing to eat a certain kind of diet it can make you feel isolated. If you’re all in the same boat the process is much easier.
You can then also celebrate milestones together.
5. Grow to love a sport.
Love the sport and hobby and you’ll never ever have to motivate yourself to go. I love badminton and very rarely does anything get in the way of me going and kicking ass on court!
If I could play 7 days a week, I would!
Whatever path you take, whatever method you choose, don’t go crazy. Keep a balance. If you want to try the intermittent fasting, do some research of your own. Get a health check up and and start slowly with exercise.
When you begin any exercise program always stop at the point where you’re enjoying yourself and never continue until you’re tired. Anchor the good feeling in your body.
If you would like more in depth information on the areas of intermittent fasting and burning fat then check out these articles.
So there are my tips on comfort eating. Have you been in the same boat? What did you do to work on your cravings or to quash the comfort eating habits? Let me know in the comments below.