(NaturalNews) In spite of increased awareness of the role of food and lifestyle in chronic, degenerative disease, Americans continue to eat junk like there is no tomorrow. For some, chronic food indulgence can rightly be called an addiction. What do we do when we can't stop eating food that will kill us in the end? Please consider the following.
1. Be clear on what you want. To stop food addiction, you need to want something positive, ultimately, that will make sacrificing food worthwhile. Many experts on motivation and personal discipline, however, claim that you have to want your end goal so badly that you vow to allow nothing to get in your way. I don't agree. With this vow tactic, we tend to pump ourselves up, psyche ourselves out and set ourselves up for self-sabotage. Let's get real. Don't run rough shod all over yourself. It isn't necessary and leads to failure nearly every time.
Relax and think about what's important to you. Why do you want to give up harmful (or harmful amounts) of food? Better health? More energy? A more attractive physique? Allow yourself to feel this desire. Imagine getting what you want and acknowledge how wonderful it will be to accomplish it. That will do for now. It is OK if you aren't 100% convinced that you can do it. We deal with doubts and self-sabotage in step two.
2. Respect your cravings. This is why pumping yourself up doesn't work. It sets in motion an opposing set of reactions that will get you in the end. Your cravings for bad food are real. If you've been giving in for years, your body has probably developed a chemical dependency. You may use food for stress reduction and not have effective alternatives. More importantly, you may have a part of you that simply doesn't care about your health. And this is the kicker.
At the risk of being perceived as a pessimist, I will say the following: Life-long smokers, heavy drinkers and drug addicts commonly admit in counseling that they just "don't care" if their habits end up killing them. Their lack of caring about their life makes them nearly impossible to help. Many believe that addicts need to hit "rock bottom" before they decide to take control of themselves. Often, however, rock bottom is their final resting place.
Why the extreme example? Because we need to learn to respect the power of our darker cravings if we are to heal them (Respect. Not indulge.) On the psychological side of the health equation, cravings represent deep, unmet needs that have long been ignored. This is powerful stuff. Most of us live in such a distracted, stressed out state that our deeper needs for love, acceptance and other forms of psychological nourishment are scarcely recognizable. If you think I am being an extremist here, just consider how many people willfully throw away decades of their lives for a daily pack of cigarettes. Would they do that if they were otherwise completely fulfilled?
Acknowledge that your persistence in eating foods that harm you may involve a deeper lack of caring on your part. Respect it. Consider why this may be the case and honor this powerful part of you. When you feel your food cravings escalate, take a mental step back and notice your internal dialogue. Do you say, "Oh, who cares? It doesn't really matter if I eat this." Healing this tendency requires patience. You can't force this part of you to change any more than you can force anyone to change. If, however, you accept and respect this part of you, without attempting to coerce yourself, you will find yourself in a more cooperative state more of the time. Progress is sure to follow!
3. Do what naturally slender people do. NLP trainers have studied naturally slender people and discovered a common pattern in their eating habits. Naturally slender people enjoy food, even junk food. What sets them apart is their ease in ending a meal or snack before they over do it. How? Rather than eating for taste alone, natural slender people eat for how it makes them feel. They vividly imagine how each bite of food will make them feel minutes and even hours after they swallow.
Try it during your next meal. Before taking each bite, imagine chewing, swallowing and digesting the food over the next several hours. How will it make you feel? Do you imagine feeling light and energetic? Or will that next bite of food push you over the edge toward a bloated, energy-drained next several hours? When you get beyond the taste of the next bite and onto the feeling he food will give you, your motivation is much easier to shift away from food indulgence and toward feeling good!
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