Why It’s Easy to Start a Diet but Hard to Break a Food Addiction
Dreams of a chiseled physique dance through your head at the outset of breaking a food addiction. After all, dieting is the most effective way to lose weight. Working out is simply for maintenance. And you feel good biting into that spinach salad on day one. That quickly falls apart a few days later when you’re staring at the guy eating a burger across the restaurant like a creep. But you can activate your metabolism and achieve your dream body by dealing with the following food addiction triggers before they sabotage your efforts:
There are three macronutrients that the body craves: protein, carbs, and fats. You need to be eating a healthy mixture of these macronutrients to avoid cravings. Make sure you get lean protein from fish or chicken to fuel your muscles, natural carbohydrates like sweet potatoes to power your brain, and satisfying fats from sources like avocado to stave off greasy cravings.
You’ve fallen into a comfortable routine with food. Your body is so accustomed to an unhealthy eating schedule that it floods your system with a hormone called ghrelin when it’s time to eat. This is the “hangry” hormone that makes hits you with brain fog, weakness, and irritability. But don’t mistake ghrelin for actual hunger. You can go more than a month without food. Actual hunger feels very different than the mood-altering ghrelin hormone.
Have you ever walked into a grocery store on an empty stomach only to overbuy foods you don’t need? Well, you were triggered. Just like any other kind of addiction, a food addiction has triggers that you need to escape. For example, the smell of your favorite decadent food is a trigger. Your body will bombard you with cravings when triggered, so to fully beat addiction you need to recognize your triggers. You need to avoid places where people eat burgers, fries, tacos or any other food that makes you salivate.
In fact, you can fight through the onset of ghrelin to come out feeling wonderful. We’ve all done it. We’ve worked through a lunch break to come out on the other side with no hunger, brain fog or irritability at all. Fight the hormonal cycle enough and you’ll break it. Your body won’t bother you with the hormone any longer.
Like any other addiction, triggers may make it nearly impossible to quit. Make sure to remove yourself from triggers, make sure to be getting healthy sources of all three macronutrients, and know that you’re not fighting hunger. You’re simply fighting a cyclical hormone that tells you that it’s time to eat. With this knowledge, you can have the body of your dreams.