Having a healthy relationship with food is easier said than done. There are many people that struggle with food on a daily basis. When it comes to addictions and compulsive behavior, things like drugs, alcohol and gambling can be eliminated from one’s immediate life forever, but, as we need food to survive, it is one of the hardest relationships to make peace with, come to terms with and manage.
The time factor
Living and managing issues surrounding food is a journey that many of us will be on for an entire lifetime, because multiple times every day we are forced to face our fears. But what many people don’t realize is that losing weight goes much further than just making the numbers drop on the scale. It is a battle with the mind, the psyche, the soul and the emotions – and that on its own is the most powerful battle of all.
Will power and brain power
But do know that if your brain, fuelled by emotions and other contributing factors can drive you to put on the weight, it is powerful enough to do the opposite if you train your brain to do so. It is not an easy journey by any means, and there will still be days where you feel as if you are losing the battle, and that things are slipping away. But we would not be human if every day was perfect and we didn’t slip up now and again.
Here are some tips on how to control hunger to get you through the hard times:
1. Keep a Food Diary
Don’t just record what you ate; record how you felt when you ate it; are you feeling tired, depressed, anxious or irritable?; did something happen to make you crave the food item of choice; how did you feel afterward and what time of day it was. Yes, it is a bit time-consuming in the beginning, but you will start to pick out the patterns, and it may be a huge reality check to see what you eat and why.
2. Set Manageable Goals
If it took you 10 years to put the weight on, don’t throw the towel in after 3 months because you are not seeing the changes you want to make. The slower you lose the weight, the more chance you have of keeping it off. Set small margins and gather small victories – remember this is so much more than weight loss; it is an entire lifestyle change, it takes time.
3. Embrace Therapy or Counseling
Seeking the help of a therapist or a support group does not in any way indicate that you are weak – in fact, it shows an enormous amount of strength. When you know you can ask for the help you need, you empower yourself, and your friends and family who are on this journey with you.
And what many people don’t realize is the huge emotional turmoil you actually go through as the weight comes off. There will be huge amounts of ups and downs as you step right out of your comfort zone, and you are going to need all the love and support possible.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
So you fell off the eating plan wagon into comfort food city. Don’t beat yourself up about it - it’s okay. You may have lost one battle, but make no mistake you are fighting a war. Write it off, make a note of why it happened and try to avoid the pitfall next time. Pick yourself up and carry on.
Exercise is one of the most powerful mind-altering activities on the planet. It releases a surge of endorphins, it increases your metabolism, it manages your blood sugar spikes, keeps you feeling and looking great and will help you reduce the inches promoting health and happiness. When you find an activity that you enjoy, you will never give it up. Just get moving. Walking is a great start. Go around the block for the first day. Set yourself a goal and after 6 weeks you will be amazed at just how much you have improved.