Hey, I’m Allie. Does anyone have advice to break food addiction?

I’m getting treatment for my Asperger’s and depression. I use food a lot as a friend because I don’t have any and I am single with no children.

But relying on food has made me the size I am. I want to be 150 so I need to lose 30 pounds but I don’t know how to break the addiction.


  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,601 Member
    if you have an addictive behavior - you need treatment for it
  • iowalinda
    iowalinda Posts: 354 Member
    It is an addiction. I’m going to call it what it is.

    While ‘stop’ seems easy, it’s not. I know to ‘stop’ to do things. I’m looking more for ways to keep me occupied.

    Do you have certain foods that trigger overeating? As an example, if it's sweets or salty junk food, my suggestion is to stop bringing those items in your house. You can't eat them if they are not there :) Wishing you all the best :)
  • Ming777
    Ming777 Posts: 21 Member
    My dad used to say that food is love. I know it’s not true but it sure feels that way. In my experience with addiction, the void has to be filled with something. Maybe food isn’t the worst thing, especially if you can find food that has life and nutritional value to it. We’re all addicted to life, thank goodness.
    Can you find a way to move more? That goes a long way to filling the void for me. Whatever you do now will make it easier on you as you get older. Good luck, and I hope you find the support you need 💗
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,234 Member
    OA has 12 steps
    The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous
    We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
    Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
    Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
    Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
    Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
    Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
    Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
    Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    otherwise, if you just need advice and misuse food and not an addict, i've read these here and they have stuck with me
    food is fuel. not love, not good, not bad, just fuel
    if the problem is not hunger, food is not the answer
  • Swordsman75
    Swordsman75 Posts: 1 Member
    For me willpower is like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets.
  • flatcoatedR
    flatcoatedR Posts: 173 Member
  • DoctahJenn
    DoctahJenn Posts: 616 Member
    I medicated my depression with food as well. For me, the key was to keep busy. And I don't mean read a book - I mean to completely leave my house for the hours I was most likely to binge. I won't eat at someone else's home without them offering, so I asked my friends not to offer me snacks and hung out with them.

    A lot.

    Or I went somewhere outdoors, like a park where there was no food nearby.

    I walked.

    A lot.

    Pokemon Go was big at the time, so that made it more enjoyable. Just all around my neighborhood, generally right after a reasonable lunch, because I knew that eating ANYTHING made me want to eat EVERYTHING. It's proven that the more you move the less hungry you feel, and it's helped me. I kept it up for about a month, until the desire to eat all the time broke. Now when I feel the cravings, I hop on the treadmill instead and watch Netflix on my ipad as I walk. It keeps both my body and my mind busy, and the cravings go away after about 20-30 minutes.

    I still walk after lunch, and drink tons of water. And I plan every meal I intend to eat, as well as every snack, first thing in the morning so that I have a schedule to follow. Not having to decide what to eat or when to eat keeps me in check. Also, I cut out as much sugar as I could. Sugar is ADDICTING. I have some in my morning coffee, and that's usually it for really sweet foods for me unless it's a holiday.
  • Junebug2022
    Junebug2022 Posts: 78 Member
    It is an addiction. I’m going to call it what it is.

    While ‘stop’ seems easy, it’s not. I know to ‘stop’ to do things. I’m looking more for ways to keep me occupied.

    Work is really the only thing that saves me from myself these days. Chase money.👌💯👍
  • bigbeautylala
    bigbeautylala Posts: 2 Member
    Girl it’s hard! I struggle with it daily. I have a cheat day on Sundays. We always go out to eat after church. So when I’m in my “I gotta eat it” mood, I count down the days till Sunday lol lame right! I know but it’s been helping me so far.
  • TheMrWobbly
    TheMrWobbly Posts: 2,382 Member
    Okay, so not an expert though I do know saying 'Stop' is no use so lets not go there. Most people have some form of crutch to help them through life be that a person, religion, alcohol, social media or food. Food is a very common "addiction". I put it in quotes as it more a social conditioning than a physical addiction and it has been drummed into generations for decades and decades.

    Somebody picks on you at school "Let's go and get ice cream", you do well at something "Let's go out and celebrate with pizza / steak / whatever". We have been conditioned to go to food for emotional highs and lows. The question you need to ask is can you replace that food urge with some other kind or reward or comfort? Maybe it is binge watching that terrible TV series that you won't tell anyone you like, maybe it is shopping for something (budget depending) that is not food like clothing accessories or just window shopping for shoes, whatever you can see as a reward. One key part is to get away from the food so can you take your laptop to a free wi-fi zone to watch TV (public library?).

    Some people I know can't or won't give up certain things. Personally I refuse to give up my latte (though I am down from 3 a day to 1) primarily because it is free and also it helps the fatigue you feel when you reduce calorie intake - though if I want one I walk to the shop to get one, and if my wife wants take away - we walk. There is no point denying her something or she craves it even more so have the thing you feel you need at that point and make a trade off that you will exercise on your way to having it. We worked on this and now instead of getting the take away I'll say "Sure, but in a few days" and then a few more, and then a few more...

    The is no 'cure' other than time to reprogramme how your brain reacts to situations.

    MFP is good place to start and if you find groups with like minded interest it can give you confidence to find local groups with similar interests, more time out is less time eating.

  • TheMrWobbly
    TheMrWobbly Posts: 2,382 Member
    P.S. Get friends on MFP and open up your diary - log honestly - works wonders
  • TheFutureMrsLewis
    TheFutureMrsLewis Posts: 64 Member
    I’m getting treatment for my Asperger’s and depression. I use food a lot as a friend because I don’t have any and I am single with no children.

    But relying on food has made me the size I am. I want to be 150 so I need to lose 30 pounds but I don’t know how to break the addiction.

    At my largest I was 300 lbs. I went down to 270 and gained back to 285. I gave up. Depression... sometimes crippling depression that made me wish I would not wake up.

    Food IS an addiction. Not all foods, but some foods. Mainly with what is in food these days. HOWEVER... it is not impossible. You don't have to let it control you, like I did all these years. I had a silent, almost subconscious death wish. One morning I just woke up and decided enough is enough. I still struggle. Mostly with not eating chocolate. I had a candy bar yesterday and felt like a failure (because I'm diabetic at 32), but I stopped beating myself and realized, after I took my blood sugar, that it didn't change much. It's not good for me but one candy bar isn't going to kill me. Continuing to eat the way I did and not exercising was going to kill me.

    The reason I say all this is because you will most likely not stop everything and do perfect all the time and you know that. Make one choice at a time, over the course of a week, is my suggestion. Or make a list of the things that you struggle with...put a check by the things that are the worst.

    For me... 2 diet pepsis a day, most days.. so I havent given that up yet. Shockingly, I havent craved chocolate much until the last couple days. 12 days without a candy bar is GREAT for me. I think decided what I COULD do more of. Salads. I love salads.

    I know you didn't ask for my life story, but I think that you if you look at it from that point of view it will help. Also, if you like to research, look at what certain foods do to you. We know they're bad but sometimes we have to read it. Or watch a food documentary. "What the Health" is good.

    Good luck. Add me if you'd like support. We are both addicted and most people are addicted to something. You'll do great!
  • MarvinsFitLife
    MarvinsFitLife Posts: 874 Member
    Hey you have a friend in me we can break this not going to be easy but you have all the support here on MFP
  • Go_Deskercise
    Go_Deskercise Posts: 1,630 Member
    edited July 2018
    So a little bit about myself.....

    When I use to get fast food for myself and husband, I would order two meals for myself and 1 for him. I would eat my first meal in the car on the way home and then dispose of the evidence so no one would ever know. I would then eat the other meal when I got home...

    I also live within a mile of my work, so I go home for lunch. Alone and unsupervised, I would eat and eat while watching some TV or something on my DVR. It was nothing to eat around 1500 or more calories and then head back to my desk job...

    I don't believe this ever truly goes away as the temptation comes back every now and then, but here's how I have tried to keep it managed:

    First change I made is something not everyone has the luxury of doing: I walk/run on my lunch break. Because I am so close to my home, I am able to go home and give myself a short period of time to eat. Usually I plan what I'm going to eat the night before and put it in a special container so I'm not tempted to eat more than I should. Then I change and get the dogs leashed up and go for a walk/run, come home and change back into my work clothes and head back.

    Second was purely restraint and pre-logging: I still eat all the foods I want to eat and that includes pizza, fast food, etc. but I pre-log my food so I know how many calories I am going to be eating so I know how many calories I am going to have for the rest of the day if I eat what I'm about to eat. When I go to get fast food, I do not order 2 meals anymore. I literally just stopped ordering it because I know if I order it and it's in front of me that I will eat it.

    For me, mindset is everything. Some days I give in and I binge eat, but most days I am able to control it now.

    I know it's not truly gone because I chose not to walk/run one day on my lunch break and sure enough I reverted back to old habits and I wound up eating around 1500 calories... oops! The most important thing to remember is not to beat yourself up about it. Log your bad days and your good days and learn from those bad days and try to think of what caused your binge eat.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  • makkimakki2018
    makkimakki2018 Posts: 413 Member
    I’m getting treatment for my Asperger’s and depression. I use food a lot as a friend because I don’t have any and I am single with no children.

    But relying on food has made me the size I am. I want to be 150 so I need to lose 30 pounds but I don’t know how to break the addiction.

    Get it all out of your fridge (the bad stuff) replace them with healthy choices and exercise as much as you can per week. Eventually the exhaustion should make it so you dont wanna spend the extra time to buy something and eat and when you get home there are only healthy options. It worked for me and now my diet has changed completely. Most days i eat vegetarian at home and on my cheat days i go and eat vegan food now because the oily foods i used to love make my stomach turn and its a bad feeling.
  • aquapup
    aquapup Posts: 81 Member
    Exercise, exercise, exercise, spending lots of time outside, and good music help me. I also pre-log for a month or two at a time to help me when I fall off the wagon (into a giant pizza and chocolate cycle). The first three - five days are the worst.

    Do you live in an area where there are things to do? When I do new things it gets me mentally engaged and also often some nice conversations with random strangers. Hike in a new area, go to an art gallery, do a free program at the library, find a place to volunteer. I have done all of those things and even if it doesn't turn out amazing, at least you've got one more way you have pushed yourself and filled time without eating. Keep trying until you find something that interests you then keep pushing yourself and expanding your horizons.

    Best of luck to you.