The medicine Steve Howard  

Simple tips on how to stop abusing food and alcohol

Simple tips on how to stop abusing food and alcohol

To take control of your diet, you don’t have to give up delicious food and nice drinks. Ask yourself a few simple questions, and you can eat and drink as much as you really need.

Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all done it. We’ve eaten too much and then regretted it terribly. We promised ourselves not to do it again, but we never kept that promise. Just a little piece of chocolate cake, just a little piece… And half the cake was gone. And then guilt and regret. Night snacks? Well, you can’t do without them. Another glass of wine and a Bloody Mary in the morning. Then, to avoid bloating like a bubble, we go on a diet or punish ourselves with extra exercise.

It’s very frustrating to feel like you can’t take control of your cravings. Especially when you started eating right, but one breakdown undermined all your achievements. However, there is a way out of this endless cycle of excess and self-limitation.

Does this mean that we have to give up something that brings us so much joy? We all want to savor our favorite foods and drinks without feeling inferior. After all, if the cook tried to make the food taste good, why should we be embarrassed about enjoying it?

We can learn to eat delicious food that won’t make our physical form suffer. And for eating which we won’t feel ashamed. We simply have to change the angle of our perception of the food we eat. This may sound too vague and unattainable, but it actually involves very concrete steps. Follow two simple strategies.

1. Eat foods your body will thank you for
Choose foods that make you feel equally good at the time you eat and a few hours afterwards. And it has nothing to do with self-indulgence. Healthy foods that nourish your body can (and should) taste good. And food that is not good for your body can be relatively harmless. This means that it won’t make your stomach burn or lead to joint pain. Before consuming a certain food (or drink), ask yourself the following questions:

Will it benefit my body? If yes, go ahead and eat.
If not, will I regret eating it? If your answer is no, go ahead and eat with gusto!

Even if this food won’t do me any good, is it worth it to at least try it? If not, give up this food.
The idea makes sense, doesn’t it? The point is to control yourself and hit the stop button in time before you fall down the endless rabbit hole of overeating (or over-drinking). Using this strategy, you’ll be able to make smart food choices without being too restrictive, instead of mindlessly devouring everything in sight.

2.Use the first-bite rule.
It’s that first sip of great wine, taken on a summer patio in good company, that leaves you with no choice but to sigh in pleasure. It’s that first bite of brownie that makes you let out a satisfied “m-m-m”. Food is meant to be enjoyed. But shouldn’t we savor each bite just as much as the first? However, in order to do that, you have to keep track of how you feel after each new bite (or sip).

After a few bites, do I still find the dish so delicious?
Am I really enjoying it or am I eating it just because I started?
Answering these questions requires a conscious attitude toward the process of eating. If you are striving to stop overeating without really restricting yourself, this awareness is your ultimate goal.

By pausing to make sure that eating still gives you the same pleasure, you will be able to stop yourself in time and never eat more than you really want. Soon you’ll realize that you don’t have to leave your plate without a single crumb or finish the bottle to the bottom. Asking yourself these questions is the most natural and effective way to avoid regrets after overeating.


You don’t have to be a genius to follow these principles. But mastering them requires constant practice. After all, our goal is to live a vibrant and fulfilling life with no room for food and drink abuse and subsequent self-injury. Are you still overeating or suffering from hangovers? Stop putting up with it. Just a few questions to ask yourself, and you’re free from bitter regrets.

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