Causes & Risk Factors Of Food Addiction
Food addiction is not a diagnosis youll find in the fifth edition of theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , and research is still in the relatively early stages.
There are a variety of genetic and environmental factors that likely contribute to food addiction, however. Some of these include:
- Genetic: Hormonal imbalances, abnormalities in brain structure, side effects from specific medications, family history of eating disorders or other mental health concerns
- Environmental: Low self-esteem, history of abuse or trauma, social isolation, family conflict
Quizzes And Self Diagnosis
Quizzes and self-diagnostic tools are a helpful means of initially determining whether one may have a problem and if assistance is warranted. There are many websites and organizations offering these for free along with additional information on the condition. When not conducted according to rigorous standards, however, the diagnosis may prove faulty. Accordingly, diagnosing should always be done by a professional. Should you decide to partake in a self-assessment yourself and the results indicate that a problem is likely, you are encouraged to take pause, seek a treatment provider, schedule an appointment, and get assessed for a formal diagnosis.
Common Types Of Therapies
As with other addictive disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy is often recommended.10 CBT entails an exploration and adaptation of maladaptive beliefs and thoughts that ultimately lead toward ones behavior. For instance, someone with food addiction may have the maladaptive belief that one is unlovable. The corresponding thought, then, may be, Whether I eat to excess or not, I will still be unlovable. So, I might as well enjoy myself and continue eating. From there the behavior is to continue eating. As these beliefs and thoughts are uncovered, processed, and adapted the next step is to engage in behavioral modification. This may include no longer eating at restaurants with triggering foods, only keeping healthy foods in the house, scheduling times to eat, and so on.
Regardless of the type of therapy used to address mental health, it is important to engage in a comprehensive level of care.8 This may include consistent check-ups with a physician to check on vitals, appointments with a nutritionist to learn about healthy eating and monitor consumption, training with a physical trainer to get into a healthy workout regimen, and attending support groups with others who are struggling with food addiction.
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Choosing The Right Food Addiction Treatment
As with any addiction, a food addiction can leave you stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of despair and hopelessness. Instead of enjoying life, youve likely withdrawn from the activities that gave you great joy only to fall into a pattern of compulsive eating that you cant control.
Making the decision to get help is an enormous step, but its critical to choose the right treatment center with programming that addresses your specific needs instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center believes each woman or girl who comes to us for food addiction treatment is unique. We develop individualized treatment plans that take into account your needs, strengths, and goals, and recognize that your experiences warrant specific interventions that will lead to the best outcomes.
Depending on where you are in your journey of recovery from food addiction, youll be part of either residential treatment or our partial hospitalization program .
Residential treatment lets women and girls step away from the distractions of everyday life so that they can focus exclusively on their health and well-being while staying in one of the inviting lodges on our campus. PHP consists of daylong food addiction treatment in a structured setting, but allows women who participate the freedom to return home in the evenings and on weekends.
Recovery From Addiction To Food
Living with any addiction is difficult and potentially life-threatening. Its effects on a persons health, career, family, and future are tremendous and often severe. Also, addiction is rarely resolved on its own. Binge eating and fast food addiction is no exception. Thats why early intervention and treatment is imperative.
Here at AddictionResource.com, well help one find the perfect treatment designed to help re-establish a healthy relationship with edibles. Through the best possible food addiction help and treatment, an addict will be able to return to a healthy and nourishing life.
Hope Without Commitment
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I Know The Despair That Comes From Being Unhappy With Your Body And The Way You Eat
From the age of 13, my life was a series of diets. I was either on one or off one. I was obsessed with being thinner, but the reality was that I hated my body no matter its size. I spent so many years feeling miserable and out of control. And not a moment went by when I wasnt beating myself up for my lack of willpower. Every night Id go to bed promising that tomorrow would be different. Id wake up full of hope. Id believe that this was the day the day that everything would change… Only to find myself in a full-blown binge by the afternoon. How could it be so difficult to eat less and move more?
Food Addiction Manifests Differently Depending On The Person Learn The Common Signs And Symptoms Of Food Addiction
Food is not just a necessity for life, but it is also a means of social engagement and a source of pleasure. Humans use food beyond its nutrient value as a source of comfort, to celebrate special events, and to reward loved ones. For some, however, the desire and need to consume food can become uncontrollable and compulsive.
Food addiction has been a somewhat controversial topic in scientific circles, but the disorder has gained legitimacy thanks to several studies. It has now been shown that both sugar and fat produce opiates in the body. While a physician still will not give a food addiction diagnosis, the overeating and resulting harm associated with these activities are very real.
Fortunately, now there are also food addiction recovery services available for those who suffer from this type of eating disorder. Here are just five things you should know about food addiction, including a pathway to recovery.
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Proven Ways To Cure Food Addiction
Looking for cures for food addiction is doubly challenging when noted scientists cant even agree on the proper nomenclature for this condition. Eating addiction, eating disorder – a rose by any other name…
Whats clear though is, the disorder does exist and experts in the field are just beginning to study the phenomenon to learn more about it. It is of special concern given that in developed countries like the UK and US, obesity is prevalent among adults and food addiction may be a contributing factor to it.
Help From A Nutritionist And Dietician
A nutritionist or dietician can provide food addiction help to a patient by guiding and counseling about all the healthy and unhealthy options. They can help patients develop a healthy approach to choose edibles and help them plan meals. By following the meal plan devised by them, an addict can try to overcome his addiction and gradually move towards normal and healthy eating habits.
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How To Overcome Food Addiction
The effects of certain foods on the brain make it hard for some people to avoid them.
Food addiction operates similarly to other addictions, which explains why some people cant control themselves around certain foods no matter how hard they try.
Despite not wanting to, they may repeatedly find themselves eating large amounts of unhealthy foods knowing that doing so may cause harm.
This article examines food addiction and provides tips to overcome it.
Food addiction is an addiction to junk food and comparable to drug addiction.
Its a relatively new and controversial term, and high quality statistics on its prevalence are lacking .
Food addiction is similar to several other disorders, including binge eating disorder, bulimia, compulsive overeating, and other feeding and eating disorders.
Food addiction is a highly controversial concept, though most studies suggest it exists. It works similarly to drug addiction.
Processed junk foods have a powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain. These effects are caused by brain neurotransmitters like dopamine .
The most problematic foods include typical junk foods like candy, sugary soda, and high fat fried foods.
Food addiction is not caused by a lack of willpower but believed to be caused by a dopamine signal that affects the biochemistry of the brain .
Food addiction is thought to involve the same neurotransmitters and areas of the brain as drug addiction.
How To Overcome Food Addiction: The Best Solutions
We all know how delicious junk foods, ice cream, or processed foods are. They are called comfort foods for a reason, and you can easily get addicted to them. But did you know that these comfort food have certain effects on the brain that make it hard for other people to avoid them?
The scary part is that food addiction is similar to substance abuse disorders or drug addiction. It is real, and its a hard habit to break, no matter how hard some people try. This article is all about food addiction and how to overcome it.
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Why Seek Food Addiction Treatment
Food addiction can have a lot of negative ramifications if left untreated. It can affect you physically and emotionally, damage relationships with loved ones, make it difficult to maintain a job or perform in school, and generally wreak havoc until you decide to find a food addiction treatment program that can properly address the symptoms youve been struggling with.
Some of the effects you might experience without proper food addiction treatment include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Emotional detachment
How To Prevent Or Overcome Food Addiction
Food addiction is difficult to prevent because its impossible to avoid food. However, one of the best strategies is to avoid overexposure to palatable foods by eating a healthy, balanced diet thats rich in natural, unprocessed foods. Eating a balanced diet and understanding the warning signs of food addiction will help you to act quickly if you suspect a problem.
Overcoming food addiction typically involves following the same model thats used to treat other types of addictionsand youll need a solid plan and plenty of support.
- First, youll need to detoxify your body by avoiding trigger foods, such as fast food or foods with processed sugar. During this time, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe.
- After you detoxify your body, youll need to work on changing your eating behaviors. You may need to avoid certain people, places , situations and foods that intensify cravings or make you more likely to consume the problem food. You also may need to break associations between food and routines or events, such as eating ice cream before bed or having buttery popcorn at the movie theater.
- Other strategies that can help include tracking your food consumption, preplanning your meals and eating mindfully.
If you need professional support to help you lose weight, talk to your primary care physician to see what options may be right for you.
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Avoid Alcoholic Drinks And Caffeine
As much as you can, avoid alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages . Evidence shows that drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages triggers poor eating choices.
Coffee can cause the body to crave sugary drinks or sweet foods. In addition, too much caffeine can cause anxiety, and an anxious person may end up resorting to binge-eating comfort foods to feel better.
Drinking alcohol may also cause you to become hungry. After a night of drinking or bar-hopping with friends, eating whatever you see on the fridge, even junk food, seems like a good idea. Alcohol causes poor judgment in many people, so this can destroy your recovery.
Also, avoid soda because it has addictive substances and high sugar content. Dont make it a part of your everyday life to consume sugar because this can trigger addiction in your brain.
How Does Food Addiction Begin
Just like other substance use disorders, an addiction to food starts with a bite. The food is palatable and the brains reward system recognises this by releasing dopamine. A feeling of pleasure follows.
When the pleasurable effects subside, or when the individual is obligated to abstain from eating these foods, withdrawal symptoms appear. As with drug or alcohol detox, withdrawal is a basic component of any addiction.
In susceptible people, an altered dopamine pathway in the brain reward induces cravings for these foods .
Studies have shown that foods high in refined sugar, carbohydrates, fats and possibly salt are considered as potentially addictive . These are the ones that usually belong to the junk food category.
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Causes Of Binge Eating Disorder
According to research, when the brains of addicts were compared with those of people addicted to cocaine and other drugs, the scans showed remarkable similarities. There are several factors that can contribute to the cause of binge eating.
Some of Them Include:
- Certain biological factors, such as the genes with which people are born, can also become the cause of addictions.
- The gender and ethnicity of a person also increase the odds of causing a binge eating disorder.
- If there is a history of mental disorders in the family, the risk of having binge eating and other eating disorders increases.
- Certain environmental factors such as peer pressure, sexual abuse, stress, exposure, and easy availability to high-sugar foods, and poor parental control can also cause this disorder.
- Early exposure children to sugar can also lead to dependence later in life.
Seek Professional Treatment Programmes
Professional treatment facilities for alcohol or drug rehab also manage individuals with food addiction. Options for treatment are inpatient and outpatient programs.
As with other forms of substance abuse, the inpatient treatment has better recovery rates for the person. The outpatient program is suited for milder addictions and people who have to continue with their routines in daily life, like going to work.
The advantages of doing substance rehab in a professional rehabilitation and recovery centre are manifold. They include:
- Focused and round the clock supervision and monitoring
- Scheduled and measured healthy meals to reduce the need for binge eating
- Medical specialists and trained counsellors for one on one and group sessions
- Medically assisted management of withdrawal symptoms
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Types Of Food Addiction Treatment
There are varied levels of treatment for those who suffer from food addiction. The most common types of food addiction treatment include:
- Inpatient food addiction treatment which takes place in a residential setting where there is no risk of the addict eating the foods that he or she is addicted to because meals are prepared and severed in a residential setting.
- Outpatient food addiction treatment which takes place in an outpatient setting where the individual will receive counseling and therapy on a daily or semi-weekly basis while abstaining from trigger foods on their own at home.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy which focuses on the thoughts that a food addict has surrounding certain foods and the misconceptions or beliefs that the individual has about the foods they crave and then works to chance these thoughts and the subsequent behaviors that come with such thoughts into positive outcomes.
- Support groups for food addicts provide peer guidance and support in recovery which is vital to the successful healing from food addiction.
How To Get Help For A Loved One
Remember that an addiction disorder has exceeded ones ability to manage it. Simply telling one to stop eating or attempting to restrict household foods may backfire. Rather, it is important to become informed about food addiction and treatment options while being as supportive to your loved one as possible. Further, this may require you to make lifestyle changes as well. For instance, if you also engage in problematic eating, you may support your loved one by eating healthier and setting a positive example.
Participating in treatment is also recommended so long as your loved one and therapist agree that it is a good idea. Also, do not forget that the process takes time. When your loved one struggles, even more support is needed. The more into this you are together, the greater likelihood of recovery.
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I Used To Believe That Restricting Foods And Dieting Was The Only Answer
I consulted numerous experts from doctors administering dangerous pills and injections, to celebrities with the latest eating plans and food rules. The list of futile attempts was endless. Slimming clubs, diets, to psychics and hypnotherapists. On and on this went for over 30 years. I’d obtained 3 degrees, learned to speak 5 languages and even started my own business, so why couldnt I figure out this eating thing?
Its Not Whats Eating You But Its What Youre Eating
There is a debate going on between experts and scientists in the field of eating disorders. Some scientists and experts believe there is a separate category that is referred to as FOOD ADDICTION, and that it does not fit into any other disordered eating category. These experts are doing scientific studies to prove that what youre eating is affecting your brain, and for food addicts, the food itself IS the problem. Some people are more sensitive or susceptible than others.
Experiments in animals and humans have shown that the same reward and pleasure centers are triggered when certain foods are introduced, much the same way as when drugs enter the system. This results in uncontrollable cravings for the sugar, flour, salt or carbohydrate rich food. Once the food addict gets their fix, or experiences the high, they quickly feel the need to eat more to regain that feeling. This leads to the desire to eat more, even when already full. Soon tolerance begins to build, just as it does with the alcoholic or drug addict.
Food addicts are frequently in denial, and the stages of food addiction become more severe over time. Toddlers, preschoolers and young children may already be experiencing the early stages of food addiction, as they cry, scream, throw tantrums and hide or sneak their favorite sugary, junk and processed foods. They will also say they are hungry just a few minutes after eating an appropriately portioned meal. They may already be obsessed or preoccupied with food.
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