Your Body On Fast Food
A steady diet of fast food not only leads to a bulging waistline and more vulnerability to a range of serious health problems, but experts say it can also cause the following:
- Constipation. The standard fast-food fare is low in fiber and tends to bog down your digestive process.
- Flatulence. In addition to the gassy effect of the aforementioned challenge, food intolerances to many of the ingredients in fast food gluten, dairy and corn, for example can also lead to unwelcome emissions.
- Buildup of pesticides, heavy metals and other chemical/environmental toxins. Toxic chemicals picked up through nonorganic feedlot meats and heavily processed grains can impede weight loss by disrupting the endocrine system, depressing metabolism, and increasing inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Body odor. When the body has a hard time eliminating wastes through the bowel, it tries to rid itself of some of the toxins from junk food through your sweat glands and breath.
- Acne. The surge of insulin that follows a meal high in refined carbs and sugar leads to an increase of sebum on the skin, which can cause acne. Delayed food allergies can also contribute to skin inflammation and acne.
- Brain fog and fatigue. You might feel initially hyped up after munching a sugary, fat-laden fast-food breakfast, but when your blood sugar crashes several hours later, both your brain and your body will have trouble working properly.
Thoughts to share?
Why Break Junk Food Addiction At All
We eat junk food because we want to feel good right now.
For instance, were bored and want to feel variety.
But this is fake happiness.
It gives you instant gratification but just for five minutes.
Plus, you often end up wanting even more variety, i.e., food.
Your monkey mind goes, I liked it. Whats next? When is the next ice cream coming?
A life coach Sara Bown explains that junk food provides an immediate rush like drugs after eating it:
The issue is, to keep that feeling you need to keep eating it and the TRUTH is how the junk makes our body feel! We crash, have low energy, upset gut, trouble concentrating, short fuses, compromised immune systems, fatigue, immense inflammation the list goes on and on.
Doesnt sound like a sustainable method for changing your state, right?
Do you know what is?
Changing your core beliefs about health.
One powerful method is to reframe.
The Science Behind Food Addiction
Food addiction, as mentioned earlier, is thought to be similar to drug addiction. What is the science behind this? It was found that the neurotransmitters in the brain affected in persons with a substance abuse disorder are the same neurotransmitters affected in people with food addiction.
Processed foods have negative effects on the reward centers of the brain. These effects are the responsibility of the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Food addiction is a combination of lacking the willpower to control oneself to eat junk foods and the dopamine process in the brain.
Also Check: What Makes You An Addict
Stop Drinking Alcohol And Caffeine
Both these beverages reduce inhibitions and cause poor dieting choices. With coffee and other drinks that are high in caffeine, the body begins to crave sugary coffee cakes or doughnuts. Plus, too much caffeine can create anxiety and for too many people junk food and emotional eating have become the most effective tools to treat anxiety.
Alcohol definitely lowers inhibitions more than coffee or other drinks with other caffeine content. Theres also a high likelihood that the bar or restaurant will have addictive foods like chicken wings and french fries and drinking lots of alcohol will only make it more likely that a relapse will occur. If youre alcohol dependent, you might want to handle that first. One addiction at a time.
How To Break Junk Food Addiction
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
Don’t Miss: How To Cure An Addictive Personality
Red Flags To Watch Out For
If theyre not addressed, food-addictive behaviors can contribute to health problems associated with an unhealthy diet, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
But not everyone who struggles with it is overweight. People who are a healthy weight can also fall into addictive eating behaviors. Sometimes, these behaviors can trigger other unhealthy patterns, such as crash dieting or over-exercising to burn off the extra calories consumed.
It also really affects peoples quality of life because they feel so guilty or ashamed, Dr. Albers says.
Watch for these troubling patterns of behavior:
- Eating consistently past the point of being full.
- Sneaking or hiding eating behaviors.
- Feeling out of control around certain foods.
- Thinking or stressing about food every day.
- Finding other once-pleasurable activities less enjoyable.
- Going out of your way to get certain foods when they arent readily available.
- Avoiding social or professional situations because of food.
- Continuing these behaviors despite their negative consequences.
How To Detox From Sugar
Overcoming sugar addiction is part physical and part psychological. Id say the psychological element is the most difficult, and in order to move beyond it you must change your subconscious feelings about food. Lets take a look at how you can take care of your body and mind during your sugar detox.
Read Also: What Am I Addicted To
Ways To Break Free From Junk Food Addiction
Eating less junk food is one of the hardest things to do especially around the holidays when everywhere you look you see a bowl of candy, a plate of cookies or some cheesy, carb-filled appetizer. Even if you promise to stay strong, more often than not, you give in to temptation.
But giving up junk food isnt difficult because you lack willpower. Its difficult because
Once you start eating junk food daily, youre hooked. In fact, your body reacts to junk food the same way it does to addictive substances like alcohol, cocaine and tobacco. It goes through a cycle of binging, craving and withdrawal. But breaking the cycle is so important and not just to maintain a healthy weight either
It may sound crazy, but even if you dont have diabetes, junk food causes wastes and fluids to accumulate in your blood, tricking your kidneys into behaving as if you had full-fledged diabetes. And eventually, that can make you quite sick.
So how do you break the cycle?
It wont be easy, but certain techniques can help you break free from junk food addiction. Once you succeed, youll no longer be a slave to your food cravings. And youll feel and look better too. Here are six tips that can help you:
Food Addiction: Is It Real
Lets start at the beginning: Can you really be addicted to food? That question doesnt have a simple answer. In fact, its kind of controversial.
Food addiction is not an official medical diagnosis, though addictive food behaviors have been linked to medical conditions including obesity and binge eating disorder.
And whether food itself is addictive is still up for debate.
Some people believe you cant be addicted to a substance that you need to survive and that food itself is not actually addicting, Dr. Albers says. After all, food doesnt put you in an altered state of mind like addictive drugs do.
Theres also not oneingredient that can be singled out as being addictive. For some people, its greasy fast food. For others, its sweets. But even then, you wouldnt binge on a bowl of granulated sugar. It seems to be processed foods with some combination of ingredients that become problematic for people.
Yet other researchers argue that food is indeed addictive. Certain foods light up pleasure centers in your brain and trigger the release of feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, much like other addictive substances do. In people who are more predisposed to addiction, those chemicals can overpower other signals from the brain that tell them theyre full or satisfied, which can lead to a cycle of overeating.
Sometimes, researchers say, people resort to addictive eating behaviors as a way to cope with stress and emotions.
Read Also: Am I An Addict Test
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. For sure you have experienced this. 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. Because alcohol causes poor judgment in many people, so this can break your recovery.
Also, avoid soda because it has addictive substances and has high sugar contents. Dont make it a part of your every day life to consume sugar because this can trigger addiction to your brain.
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.
Also Check: Why Is Nasal Spray Addictive
Beat Food Addiction With Others
Its nice to know how to beat food addiction on your own, but dont hesitate to reach out to friends and loved ones to help you get through it. If your social group became more or less based around food addictions, it can feel impossible to break out, like youre going to have to change your whole lifestyle. Its much easier when you have someone you can talk to. There are professional group therapy organizations, which may even meet online and are frequently low- or no-cost.
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 .
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.
Read Also: Why Is Cigarettes So Addictive
The Science Of Junk Food Addiction And How To Break The Cycle
CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc. and book author
by Isaac Eliaz, MD, LAc, integrative medicine pioneer
Overindulgence usually starts small: a potato chip, a dab of ranch dip. You fill out the plate with raw carrots and cherry tomatoes, but that chip tasted so good. Pretty soon you have another, and then another. Later, you may feel anxious about it, wondering, Where’s my willpower? Why couldn’t I just walk away?
If it’s any consolation, it may not be entirely your fault. New research is illuminating how junk food works on our bodies, creating an addiction comparable to cocaine. We don’t overindulge in processed foods because we’re weak we do it because our neurological system demands it.
The Cycle of Addiction
Food addictions are nothing new. We sometimes joke about being a “chocoholic” or having a “Big Mac attack.” However, it’s only recently that science has confirmed what we already suspected: Certain foods can create a vicious cycle of dependence.
Part of the problem is the way we metabolize processed foods. These all-too-common grocery items are hardly even foods anymore they’ve been so “dumbed down” with overprocessing. Our bodies absorb their ingredients much more rapidly than, say, a whole grain. As a result, our blood sugar spikes, only to then plummet rapidly. That quick high, not dissimilar to what happens when people abuse alcohol or drugs, generates a craving for more.
No wonder we want more chips.
How to End the Cycle
What Is Junk Food
Junk food is cheap to produce, easy to preserve and addicting to eat, so much so that America through the 20th century has become whats called an obesogenic environment and a variable of the chronic disease epidemic .
Long-term weight loss and weight management can be challenging due to the interactions between our biology, behavior, and the obesogenic environment riddled with inexpensive, highly-processed foods we’ve been conditioned to crave .
Through the industrialization of our food systems and the distribution of food through a market system that prioritizes profit margins over health and wellness, Americans have come to consume ultra-processed foods for the majority of their calories.
This processed American diet has come to be called the S.A.D. diet, or standard American diet, full of excess sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated fat and trans fat.
It’s ok to be frustrated if you’ve had a hard time kicking the junk food craving the industry purposely creates foods that are easily addictive.
Occasionally eating junk food is a normal part of life remember that your health and wellness is a cumulation of all the choices you make and food you eat so practice self-compassion when you’re trying to kick a craving.
Also Check: How Can You Help Someone With Drug Addiction
Best Practices: How To Train Your Brain To Crave Healthily
Why Is Junk Food so Dangerous for Human Being?
Excessive passion for processed food and snacks belongs to the top reasons for obesity and high disease rates in different countries all over the world, but Americans are the undisputed leaders. They spend more $60 billion a year on snack foods, and this figure is very frightening. Unprocessed foods are created by nature, thats why human body easily digests them taste and consistency of such food easily satiate hunger. In contrast to that, junk food and other processed foods contain a big amount of salt, sugar, and flavour enhancers that are very addictive.
Effective Tips How to Train the Brain to Be Healthy Food Addicted
1. Take a clear look at your cravings. Our brain consumes a lot of energy, for that reason it constantly needs nutrients. On the one hand, foods rich in fats and carbs give a powerful boost of energy and activate the production of dopamine that makes us feel happy. On the other hand, they cause addiction circuits in the way described above in order to anticipate their eating by people. To prevent cravings before they begin is the best solution to break the addiction cycle. You should consume more healthy good-tasting foods rich in carbs, as their digestion takes more time and abates the link between the taste of foods and the hyperactivation of the addiction centers.
Make The Change Gradually
Not everyone can quit cold turkey. Junk food can be an addiction just like cigarettes or alcohol. Thats why you should consider tapering off a little at a time. Youll still have the same goal, you can just be a bit more realistic in your approach.
If youre wanting to build serious mass, heres a place to learn about bulking and cutting.
Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Husband Addiction