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.
Nutrition And Addiction: 8 Foods To Help Your Body Heal
If you have been addicted to toxic substances such as alcohol or drugs, that lifestyle can end up drastically damaging both your short-term and long-term health. Many addicts do not eat nutritious food, and the vitamins and minerals from any food they do eat are often not properly absorbed.
Once youve started detoxifying from substances, consuming certain foods can help your body and mind to heal in the best way possible. Particular foods are able to repair physical damage, lift your mood, and ease cravings.
Nutrition For Recovery From Addiction
Nutritionists in addiction treatment often begin treatment for those in recovery by addressing macronutrients. These are the major categories of food groups needed to feel good and build a healthy immune system. Examples of macronutrients include:4
Carbohydrates include bread, fruits, rice, and any other food the body converts to glucose. When the body doesnt get enough carbohydrates, blood sugar drops. Low blood sugar can worsen cravings for those struggling with substance abuse. Not only that, but low blood sugar also leads to anxiety and frustration.1 Weve all dealt with that hangry feeling, or suddenly feeling better after eating this is low blood sugar. Also, carbohydrates contribute to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for boosting mood.
Proteins contain amino acids, which are the building blocks for neurotransmitters in the brain. If the body doesnt get enough protein, it can lead to low levels of dopamine, which is a chemical that helps produce feel-good chemicals in the brain.
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Foods That Help Addiction Recovery
Your diet should consist of foods rich in nutrients that help balance the production of hormones in your brain. That will not only help you improve your overall health and wellbeing, but you will also be in a better mood and feel more energized. Here are a few foods that will definitely help you recover faster.
Consult An Expert On Dietary Planning And Nutritional Counselling
Nutrition is an essential component in a comprehensive food addiction treatment program. Since binge eating involves frequent ingestion of sugary, fatty and salty foods that have little nutritive value, people with this disorder are usually obese with unhealthy diets.
The food plan for eating disorders begins at the start of the treatment, from the acute phase to withdrawal to a long term goal of eating healthily. Diets are individualised to meet the unique needs of each person. Meals are scheduled and measured.
Education on proper nutrition and dietary planning are part of the program. Nutrition therapy aims to:
- Resolve nutritional deficiencies brought about by unhealthy eating patterns
- Help diminish the cravings for junk food
- Prepare a balanced meal plan at the recommended caloric intake
- Establish a regular pattern and schedule of meals and snacks
- Manage diet to consider co-morbid conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems
- Develop healthy habits in cooking, preparing and buying foods
Diet and nutrition counselling as an adjunct to primary food addiction programs helps in the long lasting maintenance of healthy eating habits.
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First Steps In Overcoming Food Addiction
A few things can help prepare for giving up junk foods and make the transition easier:
- Trigger foods. Write down a list of the foods that cause cravings and/or binges. These are the trigger foods to avoid completely.
- Fast food places. Make a list of fast food places that serve healthy foods and note their healthy options. This may prevent a relapse when hungry and not in the mood to cook.
- What to eat. Think about what foods to eat preferably healthy foods that are liked and already eaten regularly.
- Pros and cons. Consider making several copies of the pro-and-con list. Keep a copy in the kitchen, glove compartment, and purse or wallet.
Additionally, dont go on a diet. Put weight loss on hold for at least 13 months.
Overcoming food addiction is difficult enough. Adding hunger and restrictions to the mix is likely to make things harder.
After taking these preparatory steps, set a date in the near future like the coming weekend from which point onward the addictive trigger foods wont be touched again.
To overcome food addiction, its important to plan. Make a list of trigger foods and know what is going to be eaten instead.
Help For Food Addiction
Science is still working to understand and find treatments for food addiction.
Some argue that recovery from food addiction may be more complicated than recovery from other kinds of addictions. Alcoholics, for example, can ultimately abstain from drinking alcohol. But people who are addicted to food still need to eat.
A nutritionist, psychologist, or doctor who is educated about food addiction may be able to help you break the cycle of compulsive overeating.
There are also a growing number of programs that help people who are addicted to food. Some, like Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, are based on the 12-step program that has helped many people addicted to alcohol, drugs, or gambling.
Others, like Food Addicts Anonymous, use the principles of the 12-step program along with strict diets that advise people to abstain from problem ingredients, like sugar, refined flour, and wheat.Ã
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At Gateway Foundation Were With You For Life
At Gateway Foundation, we understand the importance of nutrition for recovering addicts, and we incorporate it into our many recovery programs and services. Every individual has different nutritional needs that can impact their experience in treatment, which is why we work hard to provide customized treatment plans that address nutrition.
To learn more about how Gateway Foundation can help you or someone you care about, call us at 877.505.4673 or send us a message through our contact form.
A Solution To Food Addiction And Obsession
Most people are familiar with the concept of alcoholism and drug addiction, and the idea that certain foods and quantities of foods can be addictive is gaining acceptance.
Food addicts are powerless over where, when, and how much they eat, although many have tremendous willpower in other areas of their lives. Food addiction tends to remain unrecognized because of the focus on the symptoms rather than their underlying cause addiction.
Symptoms of food addiction include
- Compulsive exercise and dieting
- Obsession with food or weight
- Depression, shame, isolation, and hopelessness related to food, weight, or body image.
FA is a program for those who want to stop eating addictively. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, FA treats food addiction as a threefold illness: physical, mental, and spiritual.
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Its A Serious Problem
Though the term addiction is often thrown around lightly, having a true addiction is a serious condition that typically requires treatment to overcome.
The symptoms and thought processes associated with food addiction are similar to those of drug abuse. Its just a different substance, and the social consequences may be less severe.
Food addiction can cause physical harm and lead to chronic health conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes .
In addition, it may negatively impact a persons self-esteem and self-image, making them unhappy with their body.
As with other addictions, food addiction may take an emotional toll and increase a persons risk of premature death.
Food addiction increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Excessive weight may also affect a persons self-esteem.
Completely avoiding junk foods may seem impossible. Theyre everywhere and a major part of modern culture.
However, in some cases, entirely abstaining from certain trigger foods can become necessary.
Once the firm decision to never eat these foods again is made, avoiding them may become easier, as the need to justify eating or not eating them is eliminated. Cravings may also disappear or decrease significantly.
Consider writing a list of pros and cons to think through the decision.
Write everything down no matter how peculiar or vain it may seem. Then compare the two lists and ask if its worth it.
If the answer is a resounding yes, be assured that its the right decision.
How Substance Abuse Disrupts Nutrition
Each substance has its own set of specific effects on health, but many of them have similar impacts on a persons ability to get all the nutrients necessary for health in recovery. Those who abuse any drug are likely to experience one or more of these broad symptoms:
- Loss of appetite: Many substances suppress appetite or cause the user to forget about eating altogether.
- Poor eating choices: People under the influence are more likely to make poor decisions, like living on a diet of fast food or sweets.
- Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar can be caused by a lack of sustenance or proper diet.
- Organ damage: Most drugs cause direct damage to the organs responsible for nutrient breakdown and processing.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Alcohol and other drugs contribute to chronic issues in the gastrointestinal tract that prevent it from effectively taking up nutrients in food.
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Symptoms Of Food Addiction
There are no blood tests or laboratory exams that can diagnose the existence of food addiction. Like other addiction disorders, the diagnosis of food addiction is based on the persons behaviors. Here are the symptoms of food addiction:
Can you relate to at least four signs above? You should start to worry about having a food addiction. But if you have six signs or above, go seek professional help because its most likely food addiction.
Nutritional Side Effects Of Unassisted Withdrawal
The first step in treating addiction to any substance is to remove all traces of the substance from the body. Unfortunately, many people attempt to quit drugs or alcohol on their own, which almost never works. No matter what the substance or the persons history of abusing it, the withdrawal phase is where most people fail when trying to fight addiction alone.
Attempting to go through withdrawal without medical supervision results in a long list of unpleasant symptoms, some of which have dire consequences for nutritional balance. The nutritional side effects of unassisted withdrawal for most substances include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting: It is common not to be able to keep food down during withdrawal, which means people miss out on key nutrients before they can be absorbed by the body.
- Lack of appetite: Many people cant or dont want to eat at all, quickly leading to general weakness and malnutrition.
- Dehydration: Many people go into unassisted withdrawal already dehydrated from chronic drug and alcohol use, and the condition only worsens if there is no medical supervision.
The goal of withdrawal management programs is to provide clients with medical care and sometimes medication in order to maintain the healthiest state possible while the body is eliminating drugs or alcohol. This may include things like an IV drip for hydration or vitamins to keep levels of both stable throughout withdrawal, leading to a smoother transition to treatment.
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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
How Your Diet Affects Your Ability To Beat Addiction
The dopamine fix is hard to overcome. Its that little chemical reaction in your brain that allows you to feel happy and pleasured in response to certain stimuli.
It may happen when we drink a cold glass of chardonnay or our favorite beer, gamble, have sex, and yes, it also helps us stay addicted to whatever vice we have. It can become harder and harder to satisfy it as time passes. So, what does dopamine have to do with how your diet affects your ability to beat addiction? Lets find out.
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Learn About Foods That Help With Addiction At The Willows
Recovering from substance abuse requires physical, emotional and mental support. Without a program that addresses each of these components, it can be challenging to maintain sobriety. Our substance abuse programs at The Willows focus on nutritional therapy in North Carolina, relationship building, experiential therapy, and trauma therapy.
At The Willows, our goal is to redefine the clinical experience for our clients. We provide you with a peaceful environment that is comfortable and supportive. The site of our center is an old horse farm. Our clients can enjoy a variety of recreational activities. These include gardening, horseback riding, hiking, and rope courses. Our programs focus on eating disorders, mental health, and trauma.
Substance abuse is challenging. With the help of our substance abuse treatment team, you can overcome it. If you or a loved one needs help, we are available. To discuss your options, call The Willows at for details about nutritional therapy and our other programs.
How Does Nutrition Indirectly Impact Recovery
Nutrition isnt the only therapy recommended when recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. Its important to also talk to a therapist and participate in support groups. These approaches can teach how to break the mental connection with substance abuse as well as learn from others who have struggled with substance abuse and found balance in recovery.
Good nutritional therapy can provide the physical strength to participate in recovery efforts. This is an indirect benefit of recovery.
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Making Sure You Drink Enough Water
The most basic and essential food that can speed up your recovery is actually water. Your body has suffered from a lack of hydration for a long time. Although water is a neutral element it provides no nutrients but also doesnt harm your body in any way it is the most basic sustenance you can intake during detox. Hydrate as much as you can in the first few days and keep drinking water throughout rehab. The oxygen in water heals your body and gives you a ton of energy.
Preparing Your Own Meals
Below is an example of an ideal early recovery meal plan that includes, breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as several nutritious snacks. Keep in mind that dietary needs vary on a person-to-person basis, and that it is important for you to sit down with a licensed nutritionist in order to determine which combination of nutrients will best suit your unique requirements.
Breakfast: Begin the day with two pieces of whole grain bread, toasted and topped with smashed avocado, roasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. While avocado toast is an extremely trendy breakfast option, it is also full of energy-producing whole grains and healthy fats, which work together to give you a burst of lasting energy first thing in the morning.
Lunch: For lunch, try a big salad loaded with fresh vegetables and topped with tuna salad. Not only are vegetables packed with essential vitamins and minerals, but tuna is high in protein and Omega 3 fatty acids, and will keep you full and energized until dinner time. For a dressing, try combining equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar simple and healthy.
Dinner: End the day with oven-roasted chicken breast, broccoli sauteed in olive oil and a side of brown rice. This balanced meal contains a lean protein, a healthy vegetable and a whole grain. If you are craving something sweet for dessert, try a bowl of greek yogurt topped with raw honey and chopped strawberries.
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Know When Its Time To Get Professional Help
Its not usually a good idea to tackle addiction alone, but if you are detoxing on your own, have at least one close friend or family member present to help you prepare food and monitor your symptoms. Some substances, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can lead to hallucinations and seizures.
If you have been using a substance for a long time, consider a medical detox program. In an accredited rehab facility, doctors will be able to help alleviate some of your withdrawal symptoms, prepare nutritious meals for you, and keep you safe.
Healthy Foods For Your Liver
Addictions such as alcohol, inhalants, or any drug that is injected can have serious effects on the liver. The liver is responsible for detoxifying harmful chemicals and free radicals that a person ingests. A poorly functioning liver can cause headaches, bad breath, allergies, skin problems, tiredness, and weight gain. Although an addiction can cause irreversible damage to the liver, oftentimes much of the damage can be reversed through remaining sober and eating foods that can repair the damage. Foods high in sulfur can help to detoxify the liver while foods high in antioxidants can help to heal it. Garlic, onions, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot, and lemon are all detoxifiers and help to eliminate any buildup that the addiction caused. Prunes, raisons, berries, plums, oranges, pink grapefruit, cantaloupe, apples and pears are all high in antioxidants.
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