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?
Tip : Support Yourself With Healthy Lifestyle Habits
When youre physically strong, relaxed, and well rested, youre better able to handle the curveballs that life inevitably throws your way. But when youre already exhausted and overwhelmed, any little hiccup has the potential to send you off the rails and straight toward the refrigerator. Exercise, sleep, and other healthy lifestyle habits will help you get through difficult times without binge eating.
Make time for regular exercise. Physical activity does wonders for your mood and your energy levels, and its also a powerful stress reducer. The natural mood-boosting effects of exercise can help put a stop to emotional eating.
Get enough sleep every night. When you dont get the sleep you need, your body craves sugary foods that will give you a quick energy boost. Sleep deprivation may even trigger food addiction. Getting plenty of rest will help with appetite control and reduce food cravings, and support your mood.
Connect with others. Dont underestimate the importance of close relationships and social activities. Youre more likely to succumb to binge eating triggers if you lack a solid support network. Talking helps, even if its not with a professional.
Manage stress. One of the most important aspects of controlling binge eating is to find alternate ways to handle stress and other overwhelming feelings without using food. These may include meditating, using sensory relaxation strategies, and practicing simple breathing exercises.
Repeated Use Despite Negative Consequences
It has been noted that due to its increase in prevalence and associated comorbidities, obesity now appears to be a greater threat to the burden of disease than smoking . The physical and psychological effects of overweight and obesity are well documented and include, but are not limited to, depression, an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and some cancers . With pervasive warnings regarding the consequences of overeating, from the media, government, and the medical profession, it seems fair to assume that most overweight and obese individuals are aware of the negative outcomes associated with their dietary behaviour . Critically, even those who have undergone weight loss treatment often fail to lose weight or gain weight following intervention . Continued overeating also occurs in those who have received bariatric surgery with patients showing continued snacking and poor food choices . There is, therefore, considerable evidence to support continued overeating despite negative consequences.
Don’t Miss: Why Is Tobacco So Addictive
Yes Food Addiction Is A Real Thing Here’s How To Treat It
- Eating releases the feel-good hormone dopamine, just as drugs and alcohol do.
- Some people have more active pleasure centers than others which can lead to overeating and binge eating.
- Sugar, sodium, and processed fats are the most addicting foods.
- If you feel you could have this problem, replace your unhealthy food choices with healthy options.
Addiction is a health issue that can take many forms. We’re familiar with alcoholism or drug addiction, but can people really be addicted to food? After all, food is a basic need of human beings, so how is that even possible? For those who experience it, it’s a very real issue. Here’s why.
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.
Also Check: Can You Get Addicted To Vyvanse
The Irony Of Diet Culture
Despite some progress through movements like body positivity and Health at Every Size, modern culture still prizes thinness.
In order to achieve that thinness, many people diet incessantly.
Heres how that backfires:
When you think you cant have access to something , you end up wanting more of it.
This is called the limited access paradigm, and it explains why very restrictive diets not only often fail, but may even make people more likely to overeat and binge eat.32
Thats why recovery from compulsive overeating and food addiction often focuses on body awareness, mindful eating, and developing a positive relationship with foodnot dieting.
Interested in checking your bias towards thinness as a coach? Read: Are you body-shaming clients? How well-meaning coaches can be guilty of size-bias.
How To Deal With Food Addiction
Oct 21, 2014 byTatianna
Beautiful Day to you my Lovies,
Im wishing you the most amazing beginning of the week! Today I have a video for you guys, that I think is a very important subject to talk about, Food Dependance and Addiction. I was asked a question about this subject on my Russian social network site and I wanted to address it in a video, cause In my opinion food addiction is kind of an epidemic.This is something that also I struggled with many for years ago, but I was able to overcome it for the most part. I also believe things that we struggle with in general, dont ever just go away without a trace, they usually rare their head from time to time in our life, so we can see how much of its presence weve cleared out, and that is more of a psychological part. So, in this video I will share how I was able to deal with it and what I think is the best way to overcome addiction to food.
It would be wonderful if you guys also share your stories or advice or both regarding this subject,
Enjoy the Video
You May Like: How To Stop Being Addicted To Sugar
Tips On How To Overcome Junk Food Addiction Permanently
If you are addicted to junk food, this article will show you simple tricks you can use to overcome junk food addiction.
Food addiction is real. Studies show that our brains react to certain foods the same way addicts brains react to drugs. In fact, sugar is more addictive than cocaine, according to research.
Sugar isnt the only food you can get addicted to. Most processed foods have the perfect combination of salt, fats, sugar, and additional flavors to get you hooked. Youll be surprised to find out that manufacturers use artificial ingredients to keep you coming for more.
Overcoming junk food addiction can help you lose weight and lower the risk of diabetes and heart attack.
Unfortunately, most of the methods people use to stop junk food addiction dont work. Moderation is one of those ineffective methods. Eating candies or chocolate in moderation actually increases the chances of binge eating.
You may also fail to control junk food addiction if you rely on willpower. Unfortunately, willpower only works short-term people eventually go back to old eating habits once willpower fades away.
Frankly, I cant guarantee that your junk food cravings will disappear for good, but if you follow the tips below, you can learn to control your cravings and as a result, overcome junk food addiction.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Opiates
Get Professional Help And Support
When addictions get out of hand, they not only put you in harms way but also put the people you care about in danger.
If your addictions are getting out of control, then the best course of action is to seek professional help. Counselors and Therapists are trained to handle addictions and can become a great support mechanism on your road to recovery.
Biological Factors: How Does Your Body Work
In early human history, food scarcity happened on the regular.
To survive, humans evolved to overeat when food was abundant, especially when that food was tasty and calorie-rich.6,7,8
But now, the instinct that once helped us survive makes it hard to stop eating.9
Highly-processed foodsespecially those with a combination of sugar, fat, and saltare the most difficult to resist.
Much like drugs and alcohol, these foods trigger a range of rewarding, feel-good neurochemicals, including dopamine. Highly-processed foods have this effect even when youre not hungry.10,11,12
These days, highly-processed foods are so accessible that you have to rely on your ability to self-regulate, or control your behavior, in order to resist them.
But people who deal with compulsive overeating often have a hard time self-regulating.
People with compulsive overeating may
Struggle with impulse control, possibly because the planning, strategizing center of the brain is impaired. This might be a hallmark of all addictions, and can contribute to poor recovery outcomes.14,15
React more easily and intensely to stressors. They have a higher level of cortisol release than others.16 And because stress can trigger addictive behaviors, people who are more physically sensitive to stress may be more likely to use food as a way to cope.
Don’t Miss: Why Are Opiates So Addictive
If Youre Struggling With Food Addiction:
Youre not supposed to do really hard things by yourself. It often takes a team of support, so reach out.
Talk to a trusted loved one for moral support, and consult your family doctor or a licensed psychotherapist to get professional help.
Asking for help doesnt make you weak. It means you have your own back.
How Do Addictions Typically Arise
Addictions manifest in our lives in a multitude of ways. People, for instance, indulge in alcohol addiction, food addiction, television addiction, video game addiction, gambling addiction, sex addiction, porn addiction, work addiction, shopping addiction, social media addiction, hoarding addiction, to name just a few. All these addictions arise from specific life circumstances that trigger compulsive behaviors.
An addiction can, for instance, arise from unexpected social, emotional or environmental pressures. Sudden changes in our environment, family circumstances, or work conditions can threaten our comfort, security, and way of life. When under threat, we succumb to painful emotions that prevent us from dealing with the situation in optimal ways.
Dwindling self-confidence, low self-esteem, and a strong desire to relieve anxiety and stress, drive us toward compulsive habits and behaviors that we use as a coping mechanism to deal with the uncertainties of life. These behaviors provide us with a sense of control, while at the same time redirecting our attention away from our problems.
Sometimes, though, addictions arise because of a desire to feel important or to fit in with our surroundings. We want to win people over and be accepted as part of a community or group, and as a result, we indulge in behaviors that we feel will help us win other peoples approval.
Don’t Miss: How Do Other Countries Deal With Drug Addiction
Overcome Food Addiction With A Friend Or Family
Its nice to know that youre not alone during your treatment. So if you can reach out to family and friends to help you get through with it, then do so. If you ask your family to do this with you, you can all agree not to buy junk food in your house anymore.
It also helps if you reach out to your friends so the next time you hang out and have lunch, youd pick a healthy restaurant rather than a fast-food chain. Its also nice to have a friend watch out for what you eat. It may be annoying, but you know its for your own good.
You can also share recipes for healthy meals and cook healthy foods for one another. Going on a diet is much easier if you have a support system helping you overcome food addiction. You can even exercise together.
Whats The Link Between Food Addiction And The Brain
You must have figured out that since food addiction is related to emotions, somehow our brain is involved. When we eat food, our gut sends signals to the hindbrain about the food we are eating.
This interaction takes place via the gut-brain axis. Food addiction is thought to involve the same chemicals and areas of the brain as drug addiction.
Other Articles About Food Addiction
- Eating disorders are often co-morbid conditions, meaning they can commonly occur with other mental or behavioral conditions. For example, some individuals with eating disorders may also struggle with substance abuse, such as alcoholism or an addiction to drugs.
Last Reviewed and Updated By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on May 12, 2017
How A Food Addiction Develops
In a sense, we are all addicted to food. Think about what it feels like when you arent able to eat. You start to crave food, and become more physically and emotionally uncomfortable the longer the cravings go on for until eating becomes the most important thing for you to do. This is the constant experience of people struggling with food addiction, even if they have plenty to eat.
Food is essential to survival, and unlike other addictive behaviors, it is normal to eat repeatedly every day and to look forward to eating for pleasure. But several characteristics separate normal or occasional binge eating from food addiction.
Firstly, food addiction is maladaptive, so although people overeat to feel better, it often ends up making them feel worse and gives them more to feel bad about. Food addiction can threaten health, causing obesity, malnutrition, and other problems.
Secondly, the overeating that people with food addiction do is persistent, so a person addicted to food eats too much food too much of the time. We all overeat from time to time, but people with food addiction often overeat every day, and they eat, not because they are hungry, but as their main way of coping with stress. Then if they are unable to overeat, they experience anxiety or other painful emotions.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Nicotine Addiction Naturally
Food Addiction In Children Symptoms: How To Overcome Food Addiction
With changing times, the eating habits of children have also changed. Nowadays, parents in western world deal with children who are hooked more on Macroni, pastas, ice cream, chocolate chips, hot dog etc, instead of fruits and vegetables. Food addiction in children has become a menace not only for the parents, but also for the treating physicians.
You may be surprised to know that recent findings have suggested people have food addiction as similar to other addictions. Food addiction is not same as like or craving for the food. In a real sense the person whether he is a child or an adult becomes addicted to certain food, without which he may feel restless.
Researchers are working round the clock to find whether high sugar and high fat food, are hijacking the childs brain and making him addictive to such types of food. To an extent adults are responsible for pushing the child towards food addiction. Children get tuned on what they see. They observe the family members and adults how they are eating.
Today, most of mom and dads are working they are busy all the day. Their life is fast and for the sake of convenience they offer easy to make foods and fast foods to their child, instead of slicing an apple or a Brussels sprout.
Symptoms Of Food Addiction In Children
So let us know what the food addiction symptoms are:
- Person or the child eats more than what he normally eats.
- The child keeps on eating certain food even if he or she is not hungry.
- The child eats voraciously till the point that he becomes sick or he may vomit out what is eaten.
- The child may not worry about eating certain types of food.
- He does not make any distinction between food that is good or bad for his health.
- If certain types of food that the child is addicted are not available, he will go out of the way to an extent of making all sorts of tantrums.
- The child focuses on eating rather than other activities such as playing, spending time with friends or doing recreational activities.
- Because of food and eating the scholastic carrier of the child may get affected.
- If certain food is not available, the child becomes anxious and agitated.
- Child starts eating more food to reduce negative emotions.
- Last but not least, the child starts to put on weight and becomes obese.
You May Like: How Do People Get Addicted To Drugs