A question I get asked a lot is, “Sam, how do I stop my addiction to food?”
When we’re stuck in the diet/binge cycle, we are constantly obsessing over food. How much to eat or not eat. What to eat (or not eat) to lose weight. “Good” food vs. “bad” food. Calorie counting, healthy recipes, meal planning and prepping…
No wonder you’re addicted to food.
Today I want to go over four tips to help you STOP your food addiction once and for all.
#1: It’s An Emotional Issue
Disordered eating is NOT a food issue. It never has been. The reason you are using food as a drug is because of an emotional issue that is causing you pain. This pain can show up as anxiety, tension, stress, or overwhelm. You are so desperate to avoid this sticky feeling that you seek a way to temporarily relieve this pain. Food is the most common drug that we use to do this because it is socially acceptable and readily available. If you stop at the grocery store to buy some ice cream, you’re not raising any red flags, but if you are relying on food to feel a certain way, you are dependent on it.
Since your body can’t speak to you, it sends you sensations. You need to be able to recognize these signals and respond. The pain and anxiety that you are trying to avoid is actually an indication that there’s something that needs to be acknowledged or healed.
#2: State Change
When you use food for anything other than health or hunger, your body actually wants an instant state change to avoid a certain feeling. The high you get from eating that pint of Ben & Jerry’s only lasts a couple of hours, and it’s usually followed up by shame and guilt. And if you’re constantly using food to suppress feelings, you risk the long term effect of weight gain.
Luckily, you CAN break the cycle if you recognize the pain instead of distracting yourself from feeling it. Be with your body. Be with the pain. I know this can be scary. We live in a culture that is totally adverse to pain. But acknowledging and feeling into that pain is what will help you overcome it.
Instead of turning to food for a state change, seek another stimulant. Movement is a good one. Pain is really just energy in our body. We need to process it, and movement can help with this. Breathing is another way to change your state and feel into your pain to release it.
#3: Your Pain Is Your Power
You need to feel in order to heal. You cannot think your way out of food addiction. You cannot diet your way out of food addiction. Remember, your body is communicating to you through pain. Feel it and understand it. What is this pain trying to teach you?
I live my life by the mantra, “Everything is happening for me in perfect timing.” So if I feel pain or overwhelm, I get curious about it. I investigate until I figure out what my body is trying to tell me. So often we’re in pain because we are out of alignment in some way. When you can rectify that, you are stepping into your power and your truth.
#4: Accept Where You Are At
If you are addicted to food, then you need to admit it and own it. In order to achieve genuine transformation, you need a foundation built on honesty. Take some time to fully accept where you are at, and then you can work on changing your beliefs and behaviors.
Take a moment to observe what is true for you right now. Do you use food as a drug or as a way to avoid feelings and emotions? If so, how often do you do this? Once you accept where you’re at, then you can work on moving toward a place where you only use food for health and hunger.
I know that if you apply these tips to your everyday life, you will be well on your way to derailing your addiction to food. From there, it’s only a matter of time before you heal your relationship to food and your body, and live life as your highest, best, and most authentic self.
To watch the video version of How to Stop Food Addiction, click here. And keep your eyeballs peeled till the end, when I share with you my ninja trick that helped me stop my food addiction.
Ps – If you're ready to take the next step and finally end your battle with food, you're ready for the Society. Click here to apply.