How to Break a Food Addiction

ID-100282315It takes about two months to be able to substitute one good food for a harmful one. The nice part is that down the road you will enjoy the new, healthy food the way you enjoyed the old, damaging one. The day will come when you could not care less about eating a bite of a harmful food that is so dear to you today. In fact, you will look back and believe that food was not all that good to begin with.

Smoking is the worst addiction to overcome. We can learn by looking at the worst. I know there are advertisements about patches and pills that make you “cut down” on the desire to smoke. I have operated on numerous patients who were addicted to smoking. I have had some patients beat the addiction and many who could not. True knowledge comes from learning how the ones who quit did so. But I have never had a patient who cut down on the desire to smoke and then was able to quit permanently.

Moderation won’t beat desire. Moderation can get you killed. You have to gain control over a desire, or you will never beat an addiction. And to beat the desire, don’t taper. Abstain.

If you acknowledge your addiction to foods like cookies and ice cream and donuts and candy, cheese, red meats, and multiple fried foods, you can overcome that addiction. It won’t be by slowing down, day by day, in hopes that on a certain day in the future you won’t have any desire for that particular food.

Abstain completely from it for a two-month period, ten minutes at a time. Not just eating less and less of it for two months, believing the desire won’t be there three days later. You abstain completely while developing new habit foods to build your new eating lifestyle.

Let me point out the key to beating the addiction of certain lethal foods you like: get rid of the bad stuff in your home. Do you think it would be smart for someone who is addicted to alcohol to keep a fifth of Jack Daniels in his cupboard? Should he have it just in case his willpower broke one day? I don’t think so. Why have something that is going to be a constant temptation nearby?

It’s the same thing with harmful foods. Let’s say you get ready for bed, walk through the kitchen, and all of a sudden you have the desire for a piece of chocolate. You know exactly where you keep some. Odds are you will go to your hiding place and pull out a piece and eat it. After all, you deserve it because you ran three miles that day, didn’t eat a single piece of bread at the restaurant where you had dinner, and haven’t eaten any dessert in over a week. However, if there is no chocolate in the house, this time you’ll simply go on back to your bedroom.

Beating the addiction to foods begins at home. Commit to not having any of your addictive foods in your household. Get rid of the foods containing the “bad threes”: saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Get rid of the bad cooking oil. Switch out your butter for a substitute that has zero saturated fat, zero trans fat, and zero cholesterol. Have skim milk rather than either 2 percent or whole milk in your refrigerator. Get rid of your high saturated fat cookies and cakes and processed foods. Throw out the cheese. Toss out any chips that aren’t zero, zero, zero.

Breaking down any unhealthy eating addictions you may have and laying the foundation for good eating habits take daily sacrifices, but add up to a lifetime of benefit.








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