Thursday, May 30, 2024

How To Get Over Eating Addiction

Know Your Trigger Foods

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Pinpointing which foods can trigger overeating and avoiding them can help decrease the chances of overeating.

For example, if ice cream is likely to trigger a binge or episode of overeating, its a good idea to stop storing it in the freezer. The harder it is to access something, the less likely you might be to overeat that food.

Preparing healthy options like a sliced apple with peanut butter, hummus and veggies, or homemade trail mix can encourage better choices when snacking.

Another helpful tip is to keep unhealthy snack foods like chips, candy, and cookies out of sight so theres no temptation to grab a handful when walking past them.

Summary Identify the unhealthy foods that trigger overeating. Keep them out of the home or far out of sight, and make healthy options easily accessible instead.

Case Study Mary 35 Years Old

Mary is overweight and considered clinically obese.

At an early age, Mary turned to food tobury her sorrows and to blank these insults out of her mind.

As a result, she put on more weight. This made Mary feel even worse.

Shes now dangerously overweight, and still binge eating to make her feel better.

She eats all the wrong foods to make her feel better.

Foods such as pizza, fries, ice-cream, fried chicken and milkshakes.

When Mary finishes work, she stops off at a fast food drive-through.

And when Mary returns home, she eats all the food in his fridge until she vomits.

Following episodes of binge eating, Mary feels very depressed and a strong sense of self-disgust.

What is going on?

The Importance Of Deciding Not To Diet

After a binge, its only natural to feel the need to diet to compensate for overeating and to get back on track with your health. But dieting usually backfires. The deprivation and hunger that comes with strict dieting triggers food cravings and the urge to overeat.

Instead of dieting, focus on eating in moderation. Find nutritious foods that you enjoy and eat only until you feel content, not uncomfortably stuffed. Avoid banning or restricting certain foods, as this can make you crave them even more. Instead of saying I can never eat ice cream, say I will eat ice cream as an occasional treat.

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Getting Treatment For An Eating Disorder

While there are a variety of different treatment options available for those struggling with eating disorders, it is important to find the treatment, or combination of treatments, that works best for you.

Effective treatment should address more than just your symptoms and destructive eating habits. It should also address the root causes of the problemthe emotional triggers that lead to disordered eating and your difficulty coping with stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, or other uncomfortable emotions.

I Spent Hours Looking For Food Nothing Worked Until Fa Overcome Food Addiction: How to Overcome Binge Eating ...

I used to spend hours looking for food I thought would soothe me. I walked the aisles of grocery stores, farmers markets, big box stores, and warehouses, searching for the perfect treats, wondering, What is going to hit the spot? I bought foods that I remembered loving in the past, but for some reason they stopped working. I tried new foods, funky concoctions, and greater quantities of foods I loved. But nothing worked. My depression became greater. I was a blob of a mess. I was desperate.

Through a friend, I found FA. In a matter of weeks, my food fog lifted and I felt amazing. I had a freedom from the obsession with food that I had never experienced before.

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Overcome Chocolate Cravings In 8 Minutes And Beat Chocolate Addiction Fast & Easy

If you are afraid your taste for chocolate will make you gain weight or cause bad side-effects, like damaging your teeth or adding way too much sugar to your diet, use these quick and easy steps to stop chocolate addiction for life now. They will work for chocolate cravings during pregnancy, menstruation, PMS or any stressful event, regardless of how many times youve succumbed to your chocolate munchies in the past.

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Identify Eating Disorder Triggers

A trigger is something that can cause someone to engage in problematic behaviors, including eating disorder behaviors. Feeling triggered while in recovery is normal, though the response to the trigger makes a big difference in a persons recovery. The person must first develop an awareness of their triggers, both emotional and environmental.

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S To Take Control Of Food Addiction

Addiction does not always have to involve an addictive substance or drug. It can involve excessive behavior such as compulsive eating too. While scientific studies in the area of food addiction is still in the beginning stages, many experts believe that addiction to food really isnt about the food.

To elaborate further, foods do not have addictive properties that make someone depend on them, unlike chemical substances. Food addiction has more to do with how a person behaves around food, what they think about food, and the way habits are formed with food. The habits are the real source of the addiction.

Dont Ban All Favorite Foods

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Restrictive eating patterns that eliminate many of your favorite foods may cause you to feel deprived, potentially leading you to binge on forbidden treats.

Diets that concentrate on whole, unprocessed foods are always best, but making room for an occasional treat is perfectly healthy.

Swearing to never have a scoop of ice cream, slice of pizza, or piece of chocolate again is not realistic for most people.

That said, in the case of food addiction, a person may need to permanently abstain from trigger foods. In this case, its a good idea to find healthy substitutes that are satisfying.

Focus on providing your body with mostly healthy, nutritious food while giving yourself the freedom to truly enjoy a treat here and there.

Summary Eating patterns that are too restrictive may drive binges. The key to a sustainable, healthy diet is to concentrate on eating whole, unprocessed foods most of the time while allowing for a treat here and there.

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Behavioral Symptoms Of Binge Eating And Compulsive Overeating

  • Inability to stop eating or control what youre eating.
  • Rapidly eating large amounts of food.
  • Eating even when youre full.
  • Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret.
  • Eating normally around others, but gorging when youre alone.
  • Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes.

The Harmful Effects Of Food Addiction

For years, people have said that eating too many sweets and bad foods was a lack of willpower, but this is not the cause.

Food addiction to these types of foods is believed to be caused by dopamine, which can affect the brains biochemistry.

Although it might not be viewed as bad as drug addiction, food addiction is still a serious problem.

Not only can it cause you physical harm, but it can be a leading factor in different chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Not to mention, it can be mentally harmful as well because it can impact your self-image and damage your self-esteem by becoming unhappy with your body.

This can sometimes be more harmful to you than even the physical aspects of food addiction because it will reflect on how you feel about yourself.

This being said, avoiding junk food entirely might seem like an impossible task because it is such a major part of modern culture.

However, it can be necessary for your health, and you should take precautions to ensure you are taking care of yourself not only for yourself but for your loved ones, as well.

After making the decision to not eat your trigger foods, it can become easier if you avoid places where you might be tempted by them.

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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 of persons with a substance abuse disorder are the same neurotransmitters that affect 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.

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All of this has been processed such that you can wolf it down fast . . . chopped up and made ultra-palatable . . . Very appealing looking, very high pleasure in the food, very high caloric density. Rules out all that stuff you have to chew. When youre eating these things, youve had 500, 600, 800, 900 calories before you know it. Literally, before you know it.

-A food consultant, when asked whats the deal with food found in most restaurant chains

When we see food we like, or see something that reminds us of food we like, the brain immediately releases dopamine which starts that craving process. And once we get that food in our mouth, it again releases even more dopamine.

Ordinarily, after we eat the same food over and over, habituation sets in, dopamine levels decline, and the food loses some of its capacity to get us high again. But, interestingly enough, cocaine dont cause the brain to curb its dopamine response at all.

Cocaine will not result in habituation so a person who uses it will continue to release dopamine, almost at the same amount as the initial level.

Interestingly, after feeding rats a high-sugar, high-fat chocolate drink for a period of time, the dopamine response did not diminish. There was no habituation.


There are a few main ways that smart food marketers are having you eat a lot more than you think:

Processing is one of the ways that the food industry sneakily makes you eat more.

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Food Addiction Treatment Programs

Food addiction is a serious medical condition. Similar to drug addiction, the symptoms of food addiction can include difficulty controlling behavior, cravings, tolerance, dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and relapse.

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from food addiction may hesitate to get help because the condition is often accompanied by feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem.

This article answers the following questions about food addiction treatment:

Tip : Take Back Control Of Cravings

Sometimes it feels like the urge to binge hits without warning. But even when youre in the grip of a seemingly overpowering and uncontrollable urge, there are things you can do to help yourself stay in control.

Accept the urge and ride it out, instead of trying to fight it. This is known as urge surfing. Think of the urge to binge as an ocean wave that will soon crest, break, and dissipate. When you ride out the urge, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, youll see that it passes more quickly than youd think.

Distract yourself. Anything that engages your attention will work: taking a walk, calling a friend, watching something funny online, etc. Once you get interested in something else, the urge to binge may go away.

Talk to someone. When you start to notice the urge to binge, turn to a friend or family member you trust. Sharing what youre going through can help you feel better and discharge the urge to binge.

Delay, delay, delay. Even if youre unsure if youll be able to fight the urge to binge, make an effort to delay it. Try to hold off for 1 minute. If you succeed. Try to stretch it out to 5 minutes. If you delay long enough, you may be able to avoid the binge.

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Tips To Beat Food Addiction

Are you are self confessed chocoholic? Are you addicted to sweet foods? Its a pretty common assumption that sugar is addictive, just like substance or alcohol abuse, but is this actually the case?

Ive definitely had moments when Ive craved chocolate or needed something sweet after dinner so I can relate to the notion of needing a fix.

Some Of The More Common Signs Of Binge Eating Disorder Are:

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If someone is developing binge eating disorder, often changes in behaviour are noticeable before changes to physical appearance. Signs include:

  • Buying lots of food
  • Organising life around bingeing episodes
  • Compromise of education and employment plans

Binge eating disorder is a mental illness, and you might notice changes in the way you or someone you know feels before physical symptoms become obvious. Psychological signs include:

  • Spending a lot or most of their time thinking about food
  • A sense of being out of control around food, or a loss of control over eating
  • Feeling anxious and tense, especially over eating in front of others
  • Low confidence and self-esteem
  • Feelings of shame and guilt after bingeing
  • Other mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety

There are several physical consequences associated with binge eating disorder:

  • Poor skin condition

Like any eating disorder, binge eating disorder can have long-term physical effects, some of which may be permanent. These include:

  • Damage to the oesophagus and stomach

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Ways To Help If You Think You Have A Food Addiction

When thinking about addictive substances, most people will put illicit drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes at the top of the list, without even giving a second thought to the food they consume on a daily basis. That makes sense, given that food addiction is not currently included in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , the standard classification used by mental health professionals in the United States to diagnose addiction. However, perhaps it should be, as there are more than 100 million adults considered obese in the U.S. compared with the countrys 17.6 million alcoholics and one million chronic heroin users. Is using food Americas drug of choice?

The jury is still out, so to speak, when it comes to classifying food as an addiction. On the pro side, scientific research shows us that certain palatable foods can create a reaction similar to the impact drugs have on our brain. For example, when a person repeatedly eats sugar, which is hidden in so many of the foods that we consume, it causes dopamine to be released in reward-related areas of the brain. These same areas of the brain are activated when you drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. The reward from eating sugar can lead to further eating, ultimately making it hard to cut back on intake.

If you or someone you know is struggling with food addiction, here are five topics to consider as an intervention:

The Signs And Symptoms Of Food Addiction

You might be wondering whether you show signs of food addiction.

According to the available research, there are 12 criteria that underpin a food addiction diagnosis7Gearhardt AN, Corbin WR, Brownell K. Development of the Yale Food Addiction Scale Version 2.0. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 2016 30:113..

The 12 criteria are taken from the substance-use disorder diagnostic criteria but are assessed in the context of a persons eating behaviour:

  • A substance taken in larger amounts and for longer periods than intended
  • Persistent desire or repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit
  • Much time/activity to obtain, use, recover
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced
  • Use continues despite knowledge of adverse consequences
  • Characteristic withdrawal symptoms substance taken to relieve withdrawal
  • Continued use despite social or interpersonal problems
  • Failure to fulfil major role obligation
  • Use in physically hazardous situations
  • Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use
  • Use causes clinically significant impairment or distress
  • In order to receive a diagnosis of food addiction, the person must meet at least two of the above criteria plus show signs that their eating behaviour causes them clinically significant distress and impairment.

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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.

    Find Yourself A Distraction Tactic

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    This is something that you do instead of your bad eating habit. You see, you cant stop one habit easily without replacing it with another one. For example, if you like to have something sweet to eat after dinner, try replacing dessert or chocolate with a flavoured herbal tea. If you get bored during a certain point in the day instead of reaching for an office fundraiser or buying a blueberry muffin, why not plan the next weeks worth of meals and exercise sessions. Maybe you need a hobby. For further reading, check out my article on boredom eating.

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