How To Stop Thinking About Food

obsessive food thoughts

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Ryann Nicole

Can’t Stop Thinking About Food? Try this!

If you can’t stop thinking about food, it’s not shameful, and you’re not alone. It’s okay to have food thoughts during the day, such as, “Wow, that homecooked meal smells good,” or “I think I am getting hungry; I wonder what’s for lunch?” These thoughts are completely normal.

But if your thoughts sound more like this…

  • “What am I going to eat next?”
  • “When am I going to eat next?”
  • “How much can I have of that?”
  • “Am I allowed to eat that?”
  • “Will I gain weight if I eat that?”

Those constant, obsessive thoughts can be distressing! If you can’t seem to quiet the constant chatter, try these four steps to free your mind from food obsession.

Step one to stop thinking about food: Become aware

It’s hard to change something we aren’t conscious of, right? Start by paying attention next time you find yourself ruminating over what you just ate or fixating on what you’re going to eat next.

Say: “I notice I am obsessing over food right now.” Or “I notice I am unable to stop thinking about food.”

Step two: Interrupt the thoughts

You may not have control over those automatic thoughts, but you do control whether you engage with them. Once you become aware of your thoughts (from step one), go further and shut. them. down.

Say: “No brain, thanks for sharing, but I am choosing not to think about that today.”

Step three to stop thinking about food: Get curious

To stop thinking about food, you must understand what they’re all about. Allow yourself to consider what is beneath the surface. Do some self-reflection!

Say: “I wonder why I can’t stop thinking about food? What’s that really about?” or “What would happen if I let go of food thoughts today?”

Step four: Challenge the thoughts

So far, you’ve noticed the thought, stopped it in its tracks, and considered its source. Now, it’s time to take action! Challenge the thought. Change the narrative.

Instead of “Will I gain weight if I eat that?” try “Is that true?”

Instead of “When will I eat next?” try “What else do I get to do today?”

To Summarize: 

All behavior changes start with a mindset change. If you want to stop BEING out of control around food, you have to start FEELING in control around food.

My challenge to you is this:

Instead of allowing the food thoughts to spiral… acknowledge them, interrupt them, break them down, flip them on their head, and get ready to watch your thoughts (and your life!) open up BIG TIME 😊

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10 Things To Add To Your Coping Box 

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An emotional coping box, also known as a self-soothe or comfort box, is a personalized collection of items that can help individuals cope with difficult emotions, stress, or challenging situations. It’s a tangible and accessible resource that provides comfort and distraction during moments of distress. Here are 10 things you can consider adding to your emotional coping box:

Comfort Objects

Include items that bring you comfort, such as a soft blanket, stuffed animal, or cozy socks. These tactile objects can provide a sense of security and grounding.

Positive Affirmations

Write down or print out affirmations and positive quotes that resonate with you. Reading these affirmations can help shift your mindset and promote self-compassion.

Sensory Items

Incorporate items that engage your senses, such as scented candles, essential oils, or stress-relief lotion. Pleasant scents can have a calming effect.

Fidget Toys or Stress Balls

Include small items like stress balls, fidget spinners, or textured toys. These can serve as a physical outlet for nervous energy and help redirect focus.

Journal and Pen

Keep a journal or notebook to write down your thoughts, feelings, and reflections. Journaling can be a therapeutic way to express and process emotions.

Photographs or Mementos

Include pictures of loved ones, happy memories, or items that hold sentimental value. Visual reminders of positive experiences can bring comfort and perspective.

Guided Relaxation or Meditation Resources

Include a small audio player or device with pre-loaded guided relaxation or meditation sessions. These can help you practice mindfulness and manage stress.

Playlist of Uplifting Music

Create a playlist of music that brings you joy or relaxation. Music has the power to influence mood, and having a go-to playlist can be a quick mood booster.

List of Coping Strategies

Write down a list of healthy coping strategies that work for you. This could include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or simple activities that bring you a sense of peace.

Remember, the contents of your emotional coping box should be tailored to your preferences and needs. Regularly review and update the items to ensure they remain effective for you over time. The goal is to have a readily available toolkit that supports your emotional well-being during challenging moments.

Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

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Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.