I’m motivated to write this piece since I enjoy physical activity. However, I am no exception to the rule that human nature tends to be lazy. Even though I just wrote about how much I enjoy working out, I often find it difficult to motivate myself to begin my workout at the allotted time. Like the rest of society, I like indulging in all manner of delicious but unhealthy pleasure foods, especially when doing so helps me unwind or makes me feel like some void in my life has been temporarily filled.
Not getting my point. Okay, let me explain in another way. When a specific food craving starts coming to your mind, it usually doesn’t go away until you let your mouth eat it. And when you are stopping yourself continuously from eating that crap, a gap appears in your mind.
Now, this kind of GAP can only be stuffed with your desired unhealthy food that will harm your body. It will lead you to become obese. Diseases will be introduced to your body. Your repeating lousy habit will start destroying your life by losing financial strength for treatment, medicine and expenses for regularly buying these fast foods.
Your comfort lifestyle will disappear because your clothes won’t fit you in a regular size. Instead, more expenses will come to you in the form of expensive tailored clothing for your misshaped physique.
And suppose, unfortunately, you are intolerably obese. In that case, your dependency on your family for every other daily chore will hamper their lives, disrupt your relations with them and demotivate you so much that your guilt will poke you to commit suicide.
I know I have pushed it too far, but it is as authentic as a stone in some people’s lives.
How to Overcome Overeating
The scientific community is divided over which foods genuinely have addictive properties. Hence there is no universally accepted definition of food (or sugar) addiction.
For my part, I don’t think it makes a difference whether or not actual food addiction exists or its definition. We now consider food an integral part of our existence rather than merely a necessity for survival. We use it to celebrate the highs and lows of life and pass the time when we’re bored or uninspired.
Ice cream, salty chips and crackers, cheese, and wine are some of my favourite flavours. Every one of my all-time favourite meals has been cut because of how delicious they taste, and chocolate is the pinnacle of all sensory experiences.
The fact that sugar activates the same brain “reward” circuit as hard drugs as cocaine and heroin put it on the list of addictive substances. Our true enjoyment of food comes from the reward it gives us.
In the early stages of my nutrition work, I used the term “treat food” to refer to items hefty in sugar, salt, or fat. This indicated that they might be enjoyed occasionally as a pleasure but should be avoided daily. A daily (or more often) treat is an excellent vacation from our dull, depressing existence. Still, I’ve found this problematic because we live in a busy, hectic, and frequently miserable environment.
I realize now that it may be counterproductive to refer to ‘junk’ foods as ‘treat’ foods; I apologize if I sound morbid. Maybe it’s just me, but I enjoy the excellent feeling of eating tasty goodies whenever I get the chance.
What if nutritious fare were reclassified as ‘treat’ fare? What if, instead of feeling remorse and self-loathing five minutes after eating, we treated ourselves every day to nutritious cuisine that did the opposite? There’s no reason to refer to junk food as a reward. This is something you should only eat seldom. Furthermore, we should reward ourselves every day, but in a way that improves our health.
How can we deal with the hopelessness that results? Those who are experiencing cravings may be wondering what may be done. When you have a raging appetite, how do you handle it? So, what would you propose we do if it happens?
Dopamine, the brain’s “feel good” hormone, is released in response to eating appealing and delicious food, as has been demonstrated by several studies. Now you know that the simple pleasure of eating specific meals can improve your mood. When we eat something that enhances our mood, we often seek it out again in the hopes of replicating that feeling because humans prefer an excellent mood to a bad one. Is it that addictive? Perhaps not, but it could be tough to break the habit of eating food to soothe yourself after 20 years.
Having a meal as a reward
In my opinion, knowing what you stand to gain by giving up sugar or other addictive foods is crucial.
Enjoyment and want are the three components that make up a reward. So if you’re craving anything, it’s because you want to relive the moment’s pleasure. Wanting, as far as we can tell from the research, triggers the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. In addition, it is released before the reward is given, making the “rush” occur before the prize is received.
Maybe that’s why it feels so lovely to sit in a cafe and look longingly at the cakes in the window before giving in to the impulse to “reward” yourself, only to feel let down by the experience of eating them. To be sure, I’ve experienced feelings similar to that. But, on the other hand, consuming food is like indulging in short-term pleasure. You want it while you see it, and you don’t feel cheated if you don’t get it.
Guess what else besides pleasure can trigger your brain’s reward centres. Things that make me happy are music, humour, winning, hoping to win a prize, attractive or smiling faces, a mother recognizing her child, and (my favourite) being “in love.” This fact shows that food isn’t addictive in the same sense as drugs but instead stimulates a natural response that occurs in many joyful events in life.
Is there a way to overcome this?
A miraculous solution or quick fix cannot eliminate your cravings for food, sweets, or anything else. What you put in your mouth regularly becomes ingrained in your palate. Therefore, taking a vacation is the only option to reduce your cravings. If you always have dessert after dinner, you’ll always be craving sweets later in the day—a simple case of improper behaviour on your part. Refraining from particular meals may increase demands initially, but research suggests that this impact quickly wears off, much like abstaining from drugs reduces drug cravings.
Changing one’s lifestyle requires a lot of work. Strategy development must now begin. Here are some strategies for controlling your sugar intake and winning the battle.
Decide to alter your behaviour
True transformation necessitates sacrificing some ingrained habits or ways of being in favour of a more desirable alternative. In the end, you’ll have to prioritize weight loss or new eating habits over the meals that can wait.
Identify the precise causes of your cravings
You can prevent food cravings if you know the triggers. For example, rather than reaching for a chocolate bar when you’re nervous, go for a walk. When I’m depressed and inclined to overeat, taking a shower and shampooing my hair helps.
Create a schedule for your meals
An advanced plan for your day’s meal could help you stay away from the unhealthy eating habit. Most of the time, when we have intense situations or hard-working days, we burge ourselves into overeating to relax our minds. However, if we had responded to that day’s hunger according to the planned healthy diet, it would have also met our food need perfectly. But unfortunately, we are habituated to naturally responding to the sense of comfort and desire. Though everyone knows about the harmful effects of overeating, they still overeat to cheer themselves out of a day’s hardship. So a pre-planned diet would help.
Do something to divert your attention
You’re doing this in place of your unhealthy eating routine. Unfortunately, it is difficult to break one habit without picking up another. For example, try a flavoured herbal tea instead of dessert or chocolate if you’re craving something sweet after dinner. Instead of buying a blueberry muffin or participating in a work-related bake sale when you’re bored, spend that time arranging your meals and workouts for the upcoming week. I think you would benefit from taking up a new interest. If you want to learn more about mindless eating, see my article.
Put your aspirations on paper and read them frequently
It’s helpful to be reminded of our ultimate goals every once in a while. Put your weight reduction objectives where you see them daily, like the fridge, pantry, or bathroom mirror.
Avoid having any tempting foods on the house
That’s an easy one to answer. Nothing can be eaten if it is not readily available.
Engage your loved ones and encourage them to join you
Staying on track requires the support of those closest to you. When attempting significant life changes, we need someone to hold us accountable. As you choose these people, make sure they are upbeat and supportive, and steer clear of those encouraging you to indulge in junk food.
Use a food journal to track your eating habits
A lot of our eating behaviour is subconscious. Unfortunately, mindless eating has become an epidemic in our fast-paced, multitasking culture. It’s easy to overeat or eat when you’re not hungry if you eat while doing anything else. A food journal might help you become more conscious of your eating habits by drawing attention to the specifics of what you consume.
Try to find other motivators besides eating
Everyone enjoys feeling good every once in a while, as I’ve already mentioned. The next time you want to treat yourself, maybe you may think of something other than food. There is a seemingly unlimited supply of items that can make you joyful without contributing to your weight gain, such as a new wardrobe, a nice book, a new hairstyle, a massage, etc.
Aim for nutritional balance in your daily eating
The likelihood of binge eating and weight gain at the next meal increases with dietary fads, severe calorie restriction, and skipping meals. Don’t even try. Try to eat lean protein, complex carbs (such as whole grains), good fats, and fresh, unprocessed produce (especially fruits and vegetables).