(Health Secrets) Do you believe you engage in helpless overeating and your diet attempts are doomed? If so, you may have already taken the first step to success in curing your eating disorder. Now it is just a matter of coming up with a game plan to conquer feelings of helplessness and gain control. Here is a plan to help you realize the success you dream of, with an added tool at the end that may finally help you get over the hump.
Conquering the emotional side
Find a friend or group of friends who want to help. Call them whenever you are on the verge of a binge or even in the middle of one.
Go buy a copy of Og Mandingo’s The Greatest Miracle in the World. It is a great little inspirational book that millions have taken to heart and it comes highly recommended. Chances are good that you can buy it for a song at a used book store.
Practice EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), meditation and/or yoga for better health and relief from negative feelings and depression. Make sure that you engage in at least some physical activity each day. Exercise is not only helpful in taking off and maintaining weight; it also releases endorphins that enhance your mood and recharge your energy.
Find activities and hobbies that fill in the blank spaces instead of food. Often eating is used to take the place of emotional fulfillment and things we may be missing out on in other areas of life. Involving yourself in activities that help others can be tremendously rewarding emotionally.
When you do eat
First of all, get rid of all the junk and replace it with healthy fruits and vegetables. The old saying rings true – if you hang around the barbershop long enough, one day you will end up getting a hair cut. If the food is not there, you can’t eat it.
Instead of eating two or three substantial meals, try three smaller ones with some light and healthy snacking in between.
Drink a tall glass of water between meals and snacks. This will help you maintain a feeling of satiety. For a healthy boost, substitute one or two of the glasses of water with anti-oxidant rich fruit juice (pomegranate and dark grape are great, as is blueberry) and black or green tea (or a mix of the two).
Make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, by supplementing with a superfoods powder, such as Absolute Greens. The body often keeps telling us to eat more no matter how much we eat because we are still not getting the vitamins and minerals it craves. Superfoods powder provides the important plant sourced trace minerals so absent from today’s food supply.
Chew slowly and much more thoroughly. Health experts say that the optimum number of chews for each bite of food is 50. That may be a lot for you to do, but the more you chew, the better your food will be broken down and utilized without stomach or digestive distress. And the more you chew, the longer the time it will take to finish a meal. Studies have shown that when you wolf down food, there is typically a significant lapse in the time it takes for the body to signal that it is full.
Once each week, pick out a day for modified fasting. Choose from watermelon, dark grapes with seeds, water and/or juiced fruits and vegetables. Eat only what you have picked from this list. Go ahead and binge! Yep, eat all you want. And be sure to include the seeds with the grapes (not the watermelons though). The health benefits of regular fasting are immense. It helps keep your stomach shrunken so you are filled with less food the rest of the week so long as you avoid huge meals.
When you crave sweets the rest of the week, reach for modest portions of healthy fruits or a glass of fresh squeezed juice instead. Remember that organics are always better when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
Avoid all artificial sweeteners. Use only Stevia or perhaps the harder to find and more expensive (but better tasting) Lo Huan. All artificial sweeteners are dangerous and have been linked to multiple health disorders, including cancer. In many instances, they actually make you crave more food. None are more dangerous than aspartame.
Avoid MSG. It leads to food cravings, obesity and multiple health problems. Read food labels and learn the many different names and guises used to mask the presence of MSG. Likewise, avoid trans fats (but not all fats). Soy is another no-no, as is canola oil. Always use pure butter instead of margarine or other butter substitutes. Use extra virgin olive oil.
Since you are not only battling weight, but also mood and depression, it is important to realize that diets that are too low in fat can cause or increase depression. Omega three fats in particular are important for mood and mental health, and taking two capsules of Omega 3 Plus every day will help you keep your spirits up. While it is a good idea to eat a lot of healthy raw vegetables and fruits, you should also eat portions of other foods that enhance mood, such as :
Almonds: These nuts help increase dopamine levels. Six raw almonds a day is healthy for everyone.
Avocados (eat in moderation): Avocados increase the levels of dopamine and with healthy vegetable fats, they increase endorphin (feel good chemical) levels.
Turkey: Turkey also increases endorphins and helps you achieve a relaxed mood.
Complex Carbohydrates: These foods raise the levels of serotonin in the brain, giving you a calm and relaxed feeling. Look for whole grains, brown rice, fruit, potatoes and sunflower seeds. Just remember that moderation is the key.
Make sure that success is “in the cards” for you
Here is an added tool that has helped many people overcome addictions and obsessive behavior:
Get a notepad and pen. On one page, write down all of the positive things you can think of about losing weight and eating a healthy diet – such as better self image, being healthier, longer life, more attractive, more active lifestyle, etc. Try to come up with the top ten reasons to lose weight. On another page, write down all of the negative things about over eating you can think of – such as poor self image, poor health, depression, shorter lifespan, less attractive, less active, etc.
Now, get yourself a few index cards, or even make some up. On the front of each card write the negative things about overeating and poor diet. On the back, write the positive things. Put one card in your purse, one on the fridge and another on your pantry/cupboard. And promise yourself that each time you have an urge to eat too much, or eat something unhealthy, you will take the time to read both sides of the card.
Then drink a big glass of water, call that friend, go take a walk, get in the car and go find an activity to take your mind off eating. Do anything to avoid giving in and the craving will pass and soon be forgotten. As you develop new activity patterns, cravings will lessen and eventually be gone.
Try this plan, rejoice in the positive steps you take and do not despair during the times you slip a bit, but never give yourself an excuse or plan to slip. Most people who have an eating disorder or other obsessive/compulsive behaviors can plan their slip-ups well in advance and already have an excuse waiting to be pulled out to justify them. Instead of dwelling on eating and constantly thinking about it (and perhaps planning your next downfall), develop a lifestyle that revolves around activities and interests other than eating.
You may very well find that, while there may be some ups and downs as there are in many things in life, you will slowly but surely be on the path for successfully overcoming helpless overeating.