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.
Treat The Underlying Condition
Sometimes, food addiction is caused by another condition.
For example, you might suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder. Such conditions might cause your negative thoughts, which in turn encourage your binge eating.
Hypnosis can empower you and provide the mental strength you need to combat these conditions. Instead of allowing your depression or anxiety to control your thoughts, you can take control and change the script.
Treating the underlying condition can help you put an end to your binge eating habits.
Myth : Intuitive Eating Is Unhealthy
This comes mainly from the fact that intuitive eating allows you all kinds of food, even the ones you may consider unhealthy.
Fact: Yes, when you eat intuitively, you can all the foods, because part of the intuitive eating process is to give yourself unconditional permission to eat. This means if you start intuitively, you will likely eat the food that youre currently restraining. Perhaps thats carbs if youre doing keto or animal products if youre vegan.
Now, one interesting fact to understand is that the World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
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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.
How Keto Helps Manage Mikes Food Addiction
Today, Mike weighs about 205 pounds , so hes down 335 pounds from his highest weight.
To go along with his improved quality of life, hes also experienced a renewed sense of confidence, as well as heightened energy levels. Thanks to his new approach to life, Mike even received a promotion at work and is now a marketing coordinator.
His results with keto are truly remarkable!
Even still, whenever Mike posts anything related to his keto journey on Twitter, some people respond that he could have gotten the same results with calorie counting.
To this, Mikes response is that these naysayers dont fully understand what his life was like before keto nor do they get what its like to be in the grips of full-blown food addiction.
Its the difference between fighting cravings 90% of the day, or 10% of the day, Mike said.
Still, recovery is a bumpy road. In the summer of 2017, Mike decided to go off-plan too soon. He ate carb-rich foods and ended up falling off the wagon for a month.
But, for the first time in his life, Mike managed to get back on track after that detour of a month whereas, in the past, one mistake would have triggered years of unhealthy eating.
Over the three years that Mikes been eating keto, hes improved his physical health and worked on his relationship with food. And so, when he turned 46 in 2019, he was able to enjoy a sugary treat without triggering a relapse. Instead, he simply went back to keto the next day.
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Eat One Raisin Mindfully
Leslie Korn, PhD, an expert in mental-health nutrition and author of the cookbook The Good Mood Kitchen swears by this 5-minute or less trick: eating one raisin! First, pick up the raisin, examine its texture and shape, and sniff it. Then place the raisin on your tongue, move it around in your mouth and start to chew it slowly. As you swallow it, remain still as you imaging the raisin moving throughout your body. When youve finished eating the raisin ask yourself What does my body really need?
Mindful eating helps boost your parasympathetic dominance, a chemical reaction that slows down your heart rate and breathing, notes Korn. Practicing mindfulness in general helps increase your levels of the anti-anxiety neurotransmitter GABA, according to an article in Ancient Science. And GABA stabilizes your appetite and improves digestion.
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Myth : Intuitive Eating Doesnt Solve My Emotional Eating Problem
Fact: There is only one truth around that. Intuitive eating does prevent emotional eating. Now, heres the thing. I didnt say solved it. I said to prevent it.
If you find yourself saying that eating intuitively wont solve your emotional eating problem, again, its your diet brain speaking. You have been programmed to seek an external solution to an internal problem. You internally developed the behavior of using food as a soothing or regulate your emotions. This behavior is what we commonly refer to as emotional eating.
And now, you want a quick fix, a formula to come along and tell you how to prevent that. Thats the model of dieting. Its all external. Its just about food.
Intuitive eating will not solve the problem of emotional eating but you will. Its really up to you. Through the process of intuitive eating, you will figure out why youre using food to cope with your emotions. Heres another scoop for you: emotional eating is normal. Emotional eating is a gift when understood properly.
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What Causes Food Addiction And What Are The Signs
People with food addiction struggle every day with a loss of control or inability to stop eating foods that are high in carbohydrates, fat, salt, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. They also suffer from painful feelings of shame and embarrassment when it comes to their food behaviors.
Food addiction is a relatively new topic. But, its a complex condition that has similarities to other types of addiction, such as drugs, alcohol, shopping, or gambling. However, help is available.Understanding the causes and signs of food addiction can help you lower your risk and change potentially problematic behaviors.
Breaking The Food Addiction
If food addictions are real, how difficult is it to break them? Clinical psychologist Douglas Lisle, PhD, says that at the TrueNorth Health Center in Rohnert Park, Calif., where he is director of research, patients have had the most success through “therapeutic fasting” — in essence, rebooting the “hard drive” in their brain through a period of water-only fasting in a medically supervised setting, followed by the introduction of a diet emphasizing fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. .
But if your stomach is already growling at the mere thought of a total fast, try making a complete break just from the foods you crave — a process that Barnard says works much better than trying to eat them in moderation. He argues that staying completely away from a food item for three weeks often resolves the problem. “At the end of three weeks, your tastes will have changed,” he says. “You won’t want the food as much anymore.”
When you get rid of the sugar or chocolate from your diet “cold turkey,” don’t expect any of the withdrawal symptoms that are often associated with other addictions. “Occasionally, a person does say to me, ‘When I stop consuming sugar, I feel lethargic and depressed,'” says Barnard, an adjunct associate professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine. “But withdrawal symptoms are not essential to the definition of a food addiction.”
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We Dont Know Whats Going To Happen With Your Body When You Start Becoming An Intuitive Eater No One Knows Except Your Own Body
But we know that, when you start eating in accordance to your bodys natural hunger and satiety cues, this eating behavior will send information to your hypothalamus, that gland in your brain that regulates the hormone production around appetite and weight regulation.
Your hypothalamus establishes your set point, which is the weight range which your body believes to be healthy for you. Intuitive eating will take you to that weight range.
Now, that weight range may not be what you want. It may not be the ideal BMI for you. But your bodys innate wisdom knows its best for you.
Intuitive eating will not either make you lose weight or gain weight. It will only support doing your body what is best for you.
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What Is Intuitive Eating
Intuitive eating is an evidence-based approach to eating that allows you to be the expert of your own body. And this self-care eating framework enables you to develop a healthy relationship with food and your body.
Moreover, it teaches you to trust your ability to meet your own needs, distinguish between physical and emotional hunger, and ultimately develop body wisdom.
Most importantly, eating intuitively is wellresearched and proven health framework supported by more than100 intuitive eating studiesas of 2020.
Ways To Ease A Food Addiction
How to break free from the power food has over you
Don’t let the word addiction scare you: Experts agree that food addiction is not nearly as strong as alcohol and drug addictions. While it might not feel like it at times, you have the power to control what you eat.
Here are six ways you can loosen the stranglehold a food addiction may have on you.
Smaller plates = smaller portions.
People with food addiction often overeat because the signals that traditionally tell the body to stop eating don’t sound off. But according to Mark Gold, MD, chief of addiction medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine, you can actually retrain your brain to feel full on less food. Begin by using smaller plates and bowls, which will force you to dish out smaller portions.
Over time , your brain will begin to get used to the reduced portion sizes and you’ll feel less compelled to keep eating. Once you’ve mastered that, try reducing your portions even further by leaving a little space on your plate again, your brain will slowly but surely adapt.
Lower the “sweet” volume.
If sugar is your weakness, start by removing it from areas of your diet where you’re less likely to notice. Target sauces, dressings, breads, crackers, and other “nonsweet” foods that contain hidden sweeteners . After a while, your taste buds will become more sensitive to sugar, making the foods you really want to avoidcookies, cakes, candya little less appealing.
Keep your hunger in check.
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Hypnosis For Overeating: How It Helps
So does hypnosis for overeating really work?
Yes! According to this study, patients receiving hypnotherapy for overeating showed greater improvement than at least 70% of clients receiving nonhypnotic treatment.
Hypnotherapy can help you overcome your food addiction. Here are a few ways hypnotherapy helps to stop us from overeating.
Myth : Intuitive Eating Doesnt Lead To Weight Loss
Another version of that is Intuitive eating can work for weight loss.
Fact: Intuitive eating is not a weight loss program. The purpose and the goal of intuitive eating have nothing to do with weight management.
Now, because intuitive eating is becoming more and more popular, diet culture has latched onto this trend. It sells intuitive eating as a way to lose weight.
But Im going to tell you this: if you see intuitive eating being marketed as a weight management program, then it is NOT really intuitive eating.
but I need to lose weight the root causes of the desire to lose weight is what needs to be addressed for most women.
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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?
A Six Step Process For Overcoming Addictions
Overcoming an addiction is never an easy or straightforward process. It requires conscious work, effort and time. There are however six steps you can follow that can help you overcome just about any addiction you may face.
Working through these six steps, however, doesnt replace the value you will gain from seeking professional help. Therefore, if in doubt, always seek guidance from a counselor or therapist.
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Risks For Food Addiction
Because everyone must eat to survive, anyone can develop food addiction. Overexposure to highly palatable foods can increase your risk of developing a food addictionand people who are overexposed at a young age are at an even higher risk. People who use food to cope with stress or change their mood are also at a higher risk.
Studies also show that there are genes that put people at a higher-than-average risk of developing any type of addiction. The more addictive genes a person has, the more likely they are to struggle with addiction to food, another substance or a behavior.
The Slippery Slope Of Food Addiction
Someone doesnt just that she wants to feel out of control with food. Instead, its often a slippery slope that leads a person into an addiction with a particular food. Below are some of the warning signs and common traits among people suffering from a food addiction:
- Changes in mood
- Labeling food as good and bad
- Restrictive dieting
- Thinking about food all the time
- Feeling unsatisfied even after meal times
- Weight fluctuations and/or difficulty managing weight
- Body dissatisfaction
- Feeling disgusted, guilty or upset after eating
- Feeling stressed or tension that is only relieved by eating
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The Psychology Of Food Addiction
Your psychological relationship with food is based on how you think about and behave around food. When you have a food addiction, you lose control over the types and amounts of food you eat. You become dependent on the feel-good effect that certain foods have on you, even though the good feelings dont last.
Heres what it doesnt mean to be a food addict: It doesnt mean you have an eating disorder. Food addiction has never been classified as a true eating disorder, like anorexia or bulimia. But while food addicts may not have a diagnosed eating disorder, they certainly show signs of having an unhealthy relationship with food.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Additionally, dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations in a pathological state in which an individual pursues reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. The terms food addiction and food addict were coined because the behavior of a food addict resembles that of an alcoholic, drug abuser, or gambler, all recognized addictions.