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Think hobbies, not food.
Think hobbies, not food. / Andrea Gomez, Getty Images

One of the most effective ways of breaking a food addiction — especially if it's a coping mechanism — is to switch to a healthier coping tool.

"It might not always work, especially at first, but in time it will help you gradually change your thinking and reactions," says Bob Greene, author of The Life You Want!.

Here are some tips to avoid overeating:

Exercise. It's a stress reliever and mood booster that can give you the self-discipline you need to overcome your cravings while, of course, keeping you in shape.

Crafts. Hobbies can provide a creative outlet to channel negative thoughts and feelings to ultimately distract yourself from food cravings.

Music, movies. Healthy entertainment, of course, can shift your mood. Make a list of your favorites and have them on hand.

Unmet goals. These can be a powerful motivator. Make a list of everything you've wanted to do. Whenever you feel the food temptations arise, instead of eating, take time to map out how to make your goals a reality.

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