Food Disorders of sneak eating have several characteristics. There is often a tie between sneak eating, problems with food, body image, and different types of eating disorders!
Some characteristics of sneak eating are:
Wow, you looked at this list and realized that you might be a sneak eater! What should you do, and is there help out there for Food Disorders and more specifically sneaking food?
Look at your habits: Fill out your food journal for a few days! Check out your food patterns! Questions to answer about yourself are: Do you have a secret place for your stash, a secret eating place, special rituals, triggers that bring on sneaking, special times, people that bring on the urge, anything at all that leads to your sneaking! Keep track of them for a week and spend time examining your patterns! Keep track of everything in your food journal!
Evaluate your eating patterns and try to make connections: Sneak eating is tied to your feelings. What are you feeling during these times? What were you thinking! Before you feel something, there is a thought. What are your thoughts? Learn to recognize your thoughts and negative thinking. To really get to the heart of any disordered eating, you will need to learn to recognize your thoughts and feelings because they happen before any action. This is difficult and might be something that you would need therapy for! It is called Cognitive behavior Therapy and is based on the premise:
I would recommend buying Judith Beck's book the Beck Diet Solution and workbook the Beck Diet Solution Weight Loss Workbook! There are lots of great helps in this book for dealing with habits and she uses the Cognitive Behavior Model!
Learn to Enjoy Food: Take small steps and learn to enjoy food again. Eat a normal amount in front of others. Commit to avoiding your secret place of eating. Strive to eat in front of others. Do not hide and eat! Work on eating to enjoy food without feeling guilt or shame. Look at the habits that you found. Begin to change as many of them as you can. These will be difficult changes, but you must make them to overcome your food disorders.
Make a list of all of the positive qualities that you have: Everyone has many wonderful qualities. Examine yours and write them down. When you are feeling down about yourself, whip out your list and review all of your great qualities. It is important for you to see how special you are inside, and to believe it. This too might seem easy but it is not. It might be something too that you need to work with a therapist on!
Begin to work on healthy eating and exercise: Learn to make some lifestyle solutions in your eating patterns and what it means to eat healthy. Work through as many of the sections in lifestyle solutions, Habits, and the Menu Planning section. Develop a healthier lifestyle and learn what that really means. Plan out a few healthy breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners and aim to keep to your plan. Make changes that you need.
These are just a few healthy diet habits to work on sneak eating! Food disorders are a difficult problem though and might not be one that you can tackle by yourself. Search for a trained social worker in your area that specializes in eating disorders, or a trained psychologist. I would recommend one that uses the Cognitive Behavior Model, because my personal belief is that until your change your thoughts; you might not be changing your food disorders. I believe that this therapy is awesome!