Do you feel emotionally compelled to eat, even when you aren’t hungry? Do you find comfort in food more than friends or family members? If so, you may have a food addiction. The effects of this may not be noticeable at first, but it can lead to health problems, excessive weight gain, and untreated depression. With proper eating disorder treatment, you can bypass these side effects and find healthy ways to cope with your emotions.
Here are some simple habits you can change to fight food addiction.
Only Eat When You’re Hungry
Don’t feel obligated to eat just because it’s a certain time of day. This is a sign that eating has become an addiction or at least a habit. Only eat when you feel hungry. If that happens in between meals, eat a small snack to hold you over. If you listen to your stomach instead of your natural instincts to eat, you may find yourself going in the fridge far less often.
Drink Water Before You Eat and between Bites
Drinking water before you eat will fill your stomach, causing you to feel full faster. We also recommend drinking water between bites to help your food digest and fill your stomach as you eat. If you do not naturally drink when you eat, this is a great way to retrain your body. Bite, chew, sip, sit. Then repeat until you are no longer hungry.
Put Your Utensils down as You Chew
Do you fill up your fork before you’re finished chewing the previous bite? This is a habit many of us fall victim to, but it’s not ideal for food addiction. If you have that bite ready, you’re more likely to shovel food in your mouth. This may cause you to eat more than you were realistically hungry for. Set your utensils down between bites, and you’ll see a drastic change in your eating times.
Talk to Someone While You Eat
Having a conversation while you eat will naturally make the meal take longer. This only works if you’re participating in the conversation though. If you tend to be quiet in conversations, you might still eat at the same pace. If you’re a talker, you will find yourself so caught up in the conversation that you won’t eat bite after bite.
Avoid Watching Intense Shows When You Eat
You can watch TV while you eat, but be careful about what you choose to watch. If you’re viewing an intense show that captures your attention, you may throw food in your mouth from muscle memory. Ten minutes later, the whole plate is gone and you don’t remember eating any of it. Watch a show that only requires some of your attention, and then you can focus on your meal as well.
A food addiction counselor can help you find techniques to fight the specific symptoms you face. If you’re interested in eating disorder treatment in Troy, MI, contact Perspectives Counseling Centers to schedule an appointment.