Toolkit to Stop Over Eating JUNK Food

  1. Notice your chewing. It’s easier to overeat when food is easy to chew. Processed food will take 10 chews versus whole food, that take 25-30.
  2. Evaluate your kitchen. Use the traffic light system. Red food means avoid, yellow means maybe some times and green should be your majority of food. Create your own red, yellow, and green light food lists. Once you have your list, stock your kitchen with as many green light foods as possible. Choose the yellow foods you allow in your house wisely. And red foods are to be limited or eliminated entirely. At the very least, consider reducing the variety of red light or treat foods. Take some pressure off your willpower and surround yourself with foods that support your goals.
  3. Put quality above quantity. It’s tempting to buy that jumbo bag of chips because it’s such a good deal. But remember: Real value isn’t about price or quantity so much as it is about quality. Quality foods are nutrient-dense and minimally-processed. They are foods that you like, and make sense for your schedule and budget. Quality foods may take a little more preparation and be a little more expensive up-front, but in the long run, they’re the real deal, and have a lower “health tax” to pay later in life.
  4. Focus on whole foods.Whole foods will make it easier to regulate food intake and will also improve nutrition.We can almost feel “high” when we eat processed foods. Whole foods, on the other hand, are more subtle in flavor and require a bit more effort to chew and digest. Instead of feeling high, whole foods just make us feel nourished and content.
  5. Find feel-good habits that support your goals. Make a list of activities that you feel good doing. You might find that you like certain activities more than others depending on your feelings, the time of day, or your environment. When you feel triggered to eat when you’re not physically hungry, choose an activity from your list. This could be some gentle physical activity, fresh air, social interaction, playing a game, or a self-care ritual like painting your nails or getting a scalp oil massage.
  6. Slow down. If nothing else works, and the idea of taking away treat foods totally freaks you out, just do this: Slow down. Allow yourself to eat whatever you want, just eat slowly and mindfully.
  7. If you feel like you’re in over your head, ask for help. Sometimes we need support. If overeating is frequent or extreme, or if you have health problems related to overeating that you don’t know how to manage, seek the help of a coach, nutritionist, dietician, or counselor who specializes in disordered eating behaviors.

February 13, 2022

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