THIS IS AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL
For many years, I was unable to deal with sugar, salt or fats. I was not totally in control. The more I ate of popcorn, salted nuts or ice cream, the more I seemed to want to continue to eat. There seemed to be no point of satiety.
Don’t most people stop eating when they have satisfied their hunger? Not me, at least not for years. The lady below may be hungry, but take a look at her food choices. She may even be a food addict, but I can’t imagine that she is overweight. She is loading her refrigerator with healthy foods.
As for me, since I was always playing sports or working out – or both – I didn’t become obese by most standards.
Or so I told myself.
I was certainly above a healthy weight and preparing to enter my senior years, when I could expect to experience the fallout of careless eating.
Fortunately for me, I found a way to reverse my food addiction. This is the story of how this happened.
UNDERSTANDING FOOD ADDICTION
Healthline gives us 8 symptoms of food addiction, some of which I have experienced:
- Having cravings despite being full
- Eating more than we intend to eat
- Eating until we feel stuffed
- Feeling guilty but repeating the same behavior
- Seeking excuses – “My partner wanted to go to that buffet restaurant”
- Inability to set rules
- Hiding your eating from others
- Inability to stop despite physical issues – obesity, diabetes, etc.
The top 3 symptoms applied to me, not the others. I was not able to always resist sugar, salts or fats. I could at times, but not consistently. I was a food addict, as others may be cigarette addicts or the like. What gave me comfort was not what was best for me. My food addiction was not constant, but frequent enough to be a problem.
Amazon has great books on all subjects. As an Amazon associate, I may earn from qualified purchases made from my links. Here are a couple of relevant books to consider:
Processed Food Addict. Is This Me?
HOW I GAINED CONTROL
First of all, “control” is a relative term and there are no lifetime guarantees. Alcoholics are never exempt from future temptations, nor are food addicts. We need protective barriers at all times.
What worked for me may not be applicable to everyone else, but it may be of assistance. Here it is:
- Using a journal – to record calories consumed and exercise done
- Eating more slowly
- Hydrating – drinking the amount of ounces of water to equal one half of my bodyweight in pounds
- Doing intermittent fasting
- Working out daily
Accountability by record keeping can be done in various ways. A journal from Amazon is shown below. This is an excellent diary and others are shown as well.
I needed a means to establish and maintain accountability to myself. The numbers I posted were permanent and I wanted favorable numbers!
Eating slowly was a huge step in the right direction. It took practice. The result was that I enjoyed food more and ate less. Anybody can do this.
Drinking more water curbed my hunger and was healthy for these reasons also:
- Better balance of body fluids
- Energizing of muscles
- Better kidney function
- Improved bowel function
Drinking 8 full glasses of water is good advice, but I prefer the goal above. Now, at 183 pounds, I need to consume at least 92 ounces of water per day.
I have been doing intermittent fasting for several years and this was the step that solidified my weight loss. Instead of repeating it here in full, let me make reference to my prior post, My Experience with Intermittent Fasting This gives us a metabolic boost that insures a healthy solution to weight loss.
MY DAILY EXERCISE
My morning routines are now influenced by my injury status, which include bone on bone knees and nerve pain in my back and upper right leg. I am not doing cardio now, but I hope to resume with treatment of the nerve pain and use of knee braces.
Currently, I do physical therapy (for my back pain) one day, upper body resistance workouts the next. I trust physical therapists and even promote the American Council on Exercise (ACE) with a permanent link at the side of my website.
On alternate days, I work my chest, arms, shoulders and back. The movements are simple and I do high reps with lower levels of resistance. The routine takes about 20 minutes.
I use resistance bands, such as these (from Amazon)
I also like the Bullworker workout tools, which can be seen here. I use the Steel Bow and Bow Classic. Bullworker tools give us the capability of both isotonic and isometric modes. Martial artist Bruce Lee trained with Bullworkers when he was young.
My fitness career may be different from most. When I was playing or practicing tennis almost daily in tournaments around North Carolina, I was overweight. Now that I am much more sedentary, I am at a healthy weight.
Maybe I am trying harder now or, most likely, not being so dependent upon burning calories by my activity.
I have found that lowering my calorie consumption is habit-forming. My cravings for sugar, salt or fats are not as urgent now.
I enjoy my fitness lifestyle and don’t find it difficult to maintain. I recommend workouts and calorie control to everyone!