Food obsession is the number one challenge we all face when it comes to losing weight. Because it seems that as soon as you commit to following a diet, drop those extra kilos, lose the love handles and fit back into your favourite pair of jeans- your brain decides that it’s time to start fighting back. And boy, does it fight back. It’s really not very fair, is it?
You’re already throwing your heart and soul into your weight loss journey. You’re really making an effort to develop new healthy eating habits. You’re pushing yourself to get off your butt and get moving, to eat less junk and trying hard not to give in to temptation.
But suddenly, tantalizing thoughts of sugar-and-fat loaded snacks seep into your brain. And try as you might, you simply can’t shake them off.
All you can think about is glorious food.
For as long as you feel this obsessed, you’ll be fighting a constant battle with yourself and there will only be one winner. (Clue: it won’t be you).
Here’s my tried-and-tested method to help you get through these tough times and shed weight without becoming obsessed by food:
Stop Rewarding Yourself With Food
You might think there’s nothing wrong with ‘treating’ yourself by heading for a blow-out meal at your local pizza joint, or finding solace in the bottom of a family-sized pack of cookies, but you’d be completely and utterly wrong.
Because even if you believe that you’re being lovingly kind to yourself, and think those little ‘treats’ are what make life worth living, you’re making the biggest mistake of your weight-loss journey. In truth, you’re actually helping to reinforce your obsession with food.
When you eat something, your brain produces a nice shot of dopamine- the pleasure hormone which rewards you for eating, and conditions you to want to keep doing it. This trick helped you to survive in the days when food was scarce. But food isn’t scarce anymore, but the addiction-reinforcing cycle remains the same.
This is why it can be so easy to turn to food when you’re in need of a lift- it’s your dopamine, not your willpower. Break the cycle and you’ll gain your power back.
Cut The CRAP From Your Kitchen
Let’s be honest here- it’s highly unlikely that you’ll develop the willpower of an ox overnight and ignore that tempting pack of corn chips or extra-large slab of chocolate lurking right there within arm’s reach. So why make it so hard for yourself?
Cut the crap from your kitchen cupboards and you won’t struggle to resist your cravings or find yourself sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to break your diet. Instead, fill them up with nutritious, filling and delicious healthy snacks like hummus, carrot sticks, nuts and seeds that you’ll feel good about eating when hunger strikes.
Shift Your Attitude Towards Food
Want to know the difference between those effortlessly skinny people and the yo-yo dieters of the world? It’s simply attitude. Shift your own attitude and you will drop that weight almost effortlessly.
Because the skinny people of the world don’t believe that food is a friend to turn to when they’ve had the week from hell. They don’t see food as the enemy that stands between themselves and their perfect body. They don’t see bundles of calories, and fat and carbs. And they most definitely don’t buy into the idea that there is such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food. And neither should you.
Instead they see food as a vital (and delicious) part of being human. They love the way it nourishes their bodies, provides energy to do all of the things they love, and also helps them to feel amazing.
Switch Out Of The Diet Mindset
Healthy and sustainable weight-loss comes from making a bunch of awesome lifestyle changes that help you feel at your slimmest, happiest and most energetic for the years to come.
It’s not about some quick fix diet that leaves you twenty pound heavier than before you even started. It’s not about depriving yourself of everything you love and living on a diet of cabbage soup for the next month.
So scrap the diet mindset and instead become more mindful of the food choices you are making; how these foods nourish your body and how these foods affect the way you feel. If you feel like eating a chocolate éclair every once in a while, that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t mean you’ve broken your diet or that you’ve failed. It simply means that you’re human!
Remember the old saying about the white elephant? Tell yourself not to think about a white elephant and that’ll be the only thing in your mind. It’s exactly the same when you’re obsessively thinking about food; the more you try to hold back, the more tempting that yummy salted caramel muffin sounds. The answer is simple- turn your attention to something else instead!
Find something you feel really passionate about or something really gripping and just get involved. Better still if it involves moving away from the kitchen and out into the fresh air! Why not try a brand new hobby, dive into a gripping novel or take your dog for a long walk?
Exercise isn’t just about burning calories so you can shift that excess body fat- it’s a great form of therapy too. If you’re in need of distraction, feeling blue, looking for an energy boost or even looking for some creative inspiration, getting active is an excellent way to do it.
For best results, find something you love with your heart and soul, whether that is kick-boxing, running, swimming, acroyoga or even just heading to the gym for an hour or so. You’ll soon forget about your desire to eat and get those feel-good endorphins flowing instead. Get out there and do it!
Self-love and acceptance can have an incredible effect upon your weight. Because when you stop loathing the way your love handles hang over your jeans, or wishing that you could fit into that tiny swimsuit your best friend wears, you set yourself free. You begin to recognise your true value as a whole person, learn the real meaning of the word beauty and stop heal your relationship with food for once and for all.
Shedding your excess kilos and achieving the body of your dreams doesn’t mean becoming completely obsessed with food your every waking moment. Practice the tricks I’ve shared with you today and you will free yourself from food obsession for good.
And don’t forget- food is there to nourish our bodies. Food is there to be enjoyed.
Have you seen The 8 Week Clean Eating Challenge?
Our 8 week program take you through building and creating your very own tailored food plan. What does this mean for you?. Well you get to pick and choose what you like and what you don’t like. Say you don’t like fish or eggs or mushrooms. You can simply exclude them and still be confident your meal plan will be balanced, nutritious and help you acheive your weight loss goals. Find out more about the next 8 week challenge below.