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Quit Cold Turkey

Author:Dijana Radetić

Do you also belong to those who eat due to their need for love and sense of security? A famous American writer, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, came to the conclusion “… that our three basic needs, for food and security and love are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others…”. However, in order not give up immediately, we need to know that humans are constantly evolving and would not be able to survive if they were not capable of overcoming their weaknesses, flaws, imperfections.

When we are born, our little being is woven with basic threads or to put it simply, with the basic needs for air, water, food, sleep and safety. During the physical and mental growth and development, the threads are transformed into different patterns and they represent the adult, so the need for belonging, respect and self-affirmation develops. Humans learn as long as they live, whether consciously or unconsciously, and so these patterns become more and more complicated.

At what point an “error” occurs in the creation of “patterns” will vary from person to person. With some people a fault in the pattern appears in their childhood while with others later in their adulthood.

“Human need is a condition that occurs when one is denied some basic gratification.” But what about when this gets mixed up ……


Today’s man is short-breathed, drinks little water, sleeps little, eats to satisfy the need for security and love, and at the same time punishes himself with that same food. This is not surprising, however, because life is often a struggle for everyday life.

When the bell sounds the alarm that something is wrong with us, we often look for the cause in the wrong place, but the process of change must start from somewhere.

The cause of the problem is like an original hidden under several layers of different images. However, in order to get to the original, we need to remove a layer by layer.

Awakening often occurs when we cannot wear what we feel comfortable in or when we are labelled with a diagnosis. If there is no organic cause of the problem then this is all due to improperly acquired life habits or needs.

If you recognize yourself in all of this, start changing by doing the following:

  • Baby steps – first of all, satisfy your basic physiological needs
    • Give yourself eight hours of sleep each night. Know that fatigue leads to overeating.
    • Eat breakfast. Inputting energy at the right time will reduce the uncontrollable need to eat when we are feeling weak, unloved or rejected (it will at least reduce the amount of food consumed).
    • Eat smaller meals at about the same time every three or four hours.
    • Have joint meals with your partner or family more frequently.
    • Learn to eat when you are really hungry and stop at the first signs of satiety.
    • Drink water instead of carbonated and non-carbonated juices, thirst is best satisfied with water. If you do not drink enough water, the signals for thirst and hunger get “confused”, so you eat when you are actually thirsty.

  • Be aware of the problem – A nutrition diary helps with awareness and accelerates change, write down what you eat and how it affects your feelings.
  • Make a plan because a good organization is half the job done – when you become aware of the problem, apply tricks that will prevent the uncontrolled consequence of “devouring” everything in front of you. Take out the foods from your kitchen and secret compartments that do not comply with your new approach to eating. Always have healthy snacks at hand, such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, dry fruits, and nuts. Prepare your breakfast and takeaway meal the day before, thus reducing the need for inadequate foods during stressful situations at work, at school and in contact with other people.
  • Be realistic – don’t have untimely expectations. It takes at least a month to make the first real change. In this race, light pace, gradual change and persistence win.
  • Learn to control stress – Physical activity, relaxation, meditation and a hobby will help in preventing you from returning to bad habits or seeking escape and compensation in an inordinate meal. Find a gym or a fitness center near work or home. Let the environment constantly encourage you to maintain your new habits.

Changing your bad eating habits will bring about a positive change in other fields as well. If even then you have outbursts, know that persistence and working on yourself always pays off.


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