How can I avoid abusing food?

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Anyone who can answer that question probably has a book published, a diet program marketed, etc. Or maybe not!!  As humans we often develop habits unconsciously. We don't realize we are performing a particular behavior until someone points it out or we catch ourselves doing it. By then it is already a habit. Eating inappropriately is one of those habits you don't notice until the scale tells you. So avoiding food abuse might not be possible.

However, when the scale rats you out to yourself and you decide to do something about the weight, the first thing you should do is write down honestly every day what goes into your mouth. That's when you may identify patterns of eating that demonstrate addiction to or abuse of food. When you try to cut those foods or times of eating out of your daily life, you are so anxious or angry that you fail. The eating or food is so satisfying that you cannot go through the pain of giving it up.

There are several books you can browse in your local library or bookstore that speak to the psychological motives for eating rather than the biological ones. In fact enough that I cannot recommend one over the other so it would be best to consult the librarian or a dietician or your health care provider to get their direction. There is also a group called Overeater's Anonymous. It is available in many countries around the world. It functions on the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous. Don't be put off by that. An addiction is an addiction; smoking, food, OTC drugs, etc. You can Google the name and their website will direct you to the closest meeting place and describe the program. If nothing else has helped, this group might be able to.

Karen R Koenig
Psychology

Nice girls seem to swing in one of two directions. Either you’re always making plans, living in the future, and missing out on today, or you’re floating through life on automatic pilot doing what you’re told, following what you learned in childhood, and spending your life trying to live up to unrealistic ideals and expectations - that half the time aren’t even yours! Why bother getting up every day and busting your butt if you have no idea why you’re doing what you’re doing . . . and aren’t even enjoying it? Are you a robot? If not, then you need to find your own purpose, passion, and meaning in life.

You may drift toward food because it’s the most fun thing in your day. Do you get psyched about dining out because it’s the most interesting and exciting part of your week? Adventures in food land do not a happy life make. Living purposely means setting realistic goals and then making conscious choices that move you toward them. And not living exclusively in or for the future. It’s a tricky business staying in the moment while keeping aware of what lies ahead. When you’re engaged in the moment and caught up in the positive momentum of life (called flow), you’re too busy and happy to eat.

Generally, it’s not the thinking about life that gets you, it’s the emotions that knock you senseless. You agonize about what you should be doing, if you need to do better, if you ought to be doing something else. You worry and feel guilty and conflicted and don’t get to enjoy every precious second. The truth is that staying connected to your feelings is exactly what helps you live a purposeful life because it tells you what makes you happy and what doesn’t. If you tend toward anxiety and living in the future, you need to work on gently pushing it away and developing faith in your gut reactions. If you incline toward impulsivity and drifting mindlessly toward unforeseen consequences and vague life goals, you’ll have to sit down and engage in a little heart-to-heart with yourself about the meaning of life in general and the meaning of yours in particular.
Nice Girls Finish Fat: Put Yourself First and Change Your Eating Forever

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Nice Girls Finish Fat: Put Yourself First and Change Your Eating Forever

From a therapist and expert in emotional eating, the first book to explore the link between weight gain and women who do too much, complete with proven techniques for dropping pounds. Many women put...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.