Stop Food Substitutions

Thirty years. That’s how long I struggled with my weight and truth be told it will be a fight forever. People never want to hear that. They want the fantasy of effortless weight loss followed by blissful lifelong maintenance. I know the fantasy well. I banked on it happening since I was twelve. Maintaining weight loss is work and a lot of that work is sitting in uncomfortable feelings that you can’t stuff down with food. 

I saw a post on an bariatric Facebook support group with this question:

Help! I’m craving chips badly! What do you use to substitute??

The thread was filled with low carb substitutions like parmesan cheese chips, popcorn, and lots of other ideas. 

My comment was to find out why you’re craving chips because if hungry isn’t the question than food isn’t the answer. 

Very unpopular answer. 

A food problem is a food problem. When you are craving chips days or weeks after a major surgery to control your eating you are staring down the barrel of a bad situation. It isn’t the chips. You need the why. 

Bad day?

Feeling emotional?

Displaced anger?

Find what it is because if you substitute chips today with lower carb (but high in fat) Parmesan chips you are still feeding the monster. A slightly better version but the monster of your emotional eating is still being fed. 

Learn to feel your feelings. Sit in an uncomfortable emotion. Go for a walk. Write in a journal. Drink a glass of water. Take up a hand activity like knitting. The wave of craving will pass. 

The feeling of discomfort is temporary but feeding into the emotional eating can become very permanent. Like 30 years permanent. Trust me. 

Unpopular, yes, but the truth. 

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