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Learning to Control the Food Choices in Your Life

By Natalie Suttmoeller, RN BSN CCRN CBN

From a young age, we gain a simple understanding that nutrition is important for our survival. It’s not fully understood why some of us develop addiction-like qualities with our eating and others do not. But, if you wake up in the morning asking yourself, "What can I eat today?", perhaps food has once again taken a bigger role in your life than it should. When you are vulnerable physically or emotionally with your eating patterns, appropriate choices are often hard to maintain. If your food choices are starting to overwhelm your senses again, take charge. Take a minute to really evaluate your relationship with food. Are you controlling it or is it controlling you? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Limit your choices. If your home or car is full of unhealthy foods, it may tempt you to make poor food choices. Perhaps you can start by doing a little spring cleaning of your cabinets.
  • Plan and prepare your meals for the week ahead of time. Stick to the plan. If all you need to do is grab a container from your refrigerator on your way to work, you are a lot less likely to find yourself eating out (which opens the door to poor choices).
  • Eating the same good food every day is still eating good food. If variety is your saboteur, take away the choices until your personal control is more optimal.
  • Choose foods that may not be your favorites but ones that offer you the most satiety and satisfaction after eating. If you walk away from the table feeling satisfied, and have your future meals prepped and ready, your chances of staying on the path to success will be improved.
  • Keep an eye on the company you keep! If your social circle only revolves around food, perhaps you should rethink who you keep in it.
  • Talk about it. No matter how hard we try, some things are just not intuitive. If it were easy, you probably would have already figured it out. Having someone from the outside looking in can sometimes be helpful. Schedule an appointment with a therapist.  While they will not have all of the answers, a few good tips may help keep your weight in check.