Food addiction is common and challenging, but it doesn't have to translate into weight gain and health problems. Become addicted to healthier foods that nourish and energize you. Replace milk chocolate, potato chips, pizza, soda and candy with nutritious, low-calorie foods. Many people reach for sugary and fatty foods when stressed or just out of habit. Consciously replacing these foods with healthier options can eventually turn into new and improved eating habits. The key is to make one change at a time. Once you have adjusted to your new healthy addiction, introduce another.
Replace Soda and Sugary Drinks with Smoothies
Drinking soda, sweetened fruit juice and other drinks that are packed with sugar can quickly increase your daily count of empty calories. Consider making a nutritious smoothie instead. Choose from low-fat milk, soy milk, almond milk or rice milk. Add in a banana and other fruits of your choice. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are delicious options for smoothies.
Become Addicted to Fruit
If you are addicted to candy, cookies or other sweets, try replacing these snacks with fruits. Take oranges and apples to work with you. Eat peaches or grapes while watching television. These fruits deliver essential nutrients and will help satisfy your sugar craving.
Eat Nuts Instead of Chips
Potato chips, tortilla chips and similar snacks are usually packed with fat and salt. Nuts sometimes have a bad reputation among dieters because of their fat content. However, nuts such as almonds and walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, folate and vitamin E. They are a more nutritious option and may satisfy your craving for fatty foods.
Replace Potatoes with Sweet Potatoes
Fries, mashed potatoes and baked potatoes are common comfort foods and popular with those dealing with food addiction. The downside to these foods is that they are usually prepared with a great deal of oil and salt. In the case of baked potatoes, the addition of butter, sour cream and salt turns a healthy vegetable into a food better avoided. When craving potatoes, try baking a sweet potato instead. Sweet potatoes are flavorful and can be grilled with just a sprinkle of olive oil.
Eat a Homemade Version of Pizza
Pizza is another easily addictive comfort food. Identify the textures and tastes that appeal to you in pizza and try to create them using low-calorie, low-fat options. You might find that simply toasting an English muffin, pouring on spaghetti sauce and adding your favorite low-fat cheese will satisfy your taste buds. Without the additional oil and salt, you will probably be less tempted to eat too much.
Replace Milk Chocolate with Dark Chocolate
Visiting a work vending machine or stopping at the corner store for your favorite milk chocolate candy bar may be a habit. To break your milk chocolate addiction, try eating more dark chocolate. Studies show that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure. Be sure to choose options that contain less sugar and more cocoa.