How Can Smart Recovery Help Me Stop My Eating Disorder
SMART Recovery provides its members with tools and support that they can use to help them recover from addictions be it alcohol, or other drugs or negative behaviors. SMART Recoverys 4-Point Program® is designed to help you overcome your problems:
1. Building & Maintaining Motivation Helps you identify and keep up with your reasons for positive change. Why do you want to change what will keep you focused on that goal?
2. Coping with Urges Dealing with urges and cravings is part of recovery. SMART has tools designed to help our members cope with urges and cravings.
3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors We frequently turn to using drugs to either escape from or avoid addressing problems. SMART Recovery participants learn problem-solving tools to help them manage challenges along the way.
4. Living a Balanced Life Addiction can put your life out of balance you may find yourself opting to engage in your addiction rather than go to work or school. You may find that things you once enjoyed arent fun anymore. SMART give members skills to help balance both short and long-term goals, pleasures and needs that were once out of balance.
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.
What Mike Ate Before Keto
I fell into a life of living to eat,I didnt let any craving go unsatisfied.
He ate fast food for breakfast: sandwiches, donuts, and coffee with sugar. Although he brought a home-cooked lunch to his work as an office manager, he would also go to Burger King for a second lunch.
After work, hed drive to Wendys and order four or five cheeseburgers, and when he came home, he would have foods like lasagna, pasta, roast chicken, and vegetables. Then hed eat snacks and desserts for the rest of the evening until he went to bed.
Thats a lot of food. A few years later, Mikes keto coach Jonathan Shane asked him to calculate the amount he was eating at the time. I stopped counting when it hit 25,000 calories per day, Mike said.
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Why Is There A Rush For Finding Alternative Medical Therapies
With the increased availability of processed foods, the rise in adverse health outcomes is increasing by multiple folds. People are exposed to an environment and foods that are not good on a long-term basis. Thereby, resulting in a range of eating disorders. Also, research shows that lifestyle choices play a critical part in weight-related issues. And that Americans are at a risk for comorbid issues including weight as the primary risk factor. Furthermore, these health issues can be fatal if left untreated. So, one needs to find a reliable medical therapy that can help different symptoms concerning eating disorders.
What Has Been Or Was The Most Difficult Thing About Realising You Had An Eating Disorder Was It A Difficult Or Emotional Experience Coming To That Realisation
Nothing has been difficult about having the words to describe my disorder. Its only been helpful. It always existed, and being able to talk out loud has always felt validating.
It can be hard/embarrassing to be completely honest about how food affects me, my attachment to it, how abusive Ive been. I mean, I used to eat food out of the garbage. Ive learned to embrace this, to normalize the experience of an untreated or undiagnosed eating disorder. Its really scary, and I have been afraid at times of showing truly how severe it is. However, every time Im honestI make strides, and Ive never felt like the only one. I was able to find a community.
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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.
What Is Binge Eating Disorder
All of us eat too much from time to time. But if you regularly overeat while feeling out of control and powerless to stop, you may be suffering from binge eating disorder. Binge eating disorder is a common eating disorder where you frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling powerless to stop and extremely distressed during or after eating. You may eat to the point of discomfort, then be plagued by feelings of guilt, shame, or depression afterwards, beat yourself up for your lack of self-control, or worry about what compulsive eating will do to your body.
Binge eating disorder typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. During a binge, you may eat even when youre not hungry and continue eating long after youre full. You may also binge so fast you barely register what youre eating or tasting. Unlike bulimia, however, there are no regular attempts to make up for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over-exercising.
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.
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?
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Causes Of Food Addiction
Food addiction is likely the culmination of several factors that interplay in the overall cause of this disorder. A man or woman may develop an addiction as a result of biological, psychological, or social reasons. Biological causes that may influence the progression of this eating disorder might include hormonal imbalances, abnormalities in various brain structures, side effects from the use of certain medications, or having family members with this type of addiction issues.
It also might also be the result of psychological factors. Factors included in this category might include emotional or sexual abuse, being a victim or survivor of a traumatic event, having an inability to healthily cope with negative situations, chronic low-self esteem, or experiencing grief or loss.
Psychological factors such as these can influence an individual to use food as a coping mechanism to relieve the painful emotions that may have resulted. Lastly, there are social implications that may be involved with food addiction, including factors such as disturbances in family function, pressure from peers or society, social isolation, child abuse, lack of social support, and stressful life events.
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.
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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.
A Definition Of Terms
We need to set the table for discussion on food addiction by defining two very important terms: binge eating disorder and compulsive eating. The two are very different in a number of important ways.
Binge eating disorder is a medically recognised disorder that is characterised by excessive eating over long periods of time. Perhaps the term binge is not the best choice given that we associate binge drinking with consuming too much alcohol in a short amount of time whether it occurs over weeks or months. Nonetheless, the chosen term has been officially adopted for clinical purposes.
A person who suffers from the disorder will typically demonstrate the following symptoms:
- Compulsions to eat when not physically hungry
- Routinely eating past the point of feeling full
- Routinely eating more quickly than others
- A tendency to try and keep eating habits a secret
- Feelings of guilt after eating episodes
- Persistent feelings that one is abnormal
- Persistent feelings that food is taking over ones life
- Routinely attempting to compensate for overeating through dieting or purging.
People suffering from binge eating disorder often mention not having the ability to restrain themselves from eating. They eat because their bodies and minds crave food at a level that would otherwise be deemed irrational.
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Tip #: Invest In Your Knowledge Of Healthy Eating
This is my #1 tip for losing weight and eating more healthy.
Clever tricks to cut down on the amount of food you eat is not as effective as learning about low carb, low calories and high nutrient eating.
Ive just waded through my personal collection of books on healthy eating and Ive included links below where you can purchase these books:
- Grains and Mains by Laura Wilson. This book is my absolute favourite. It includes many recipes for ancient grains such as millet, buckwheat, faro and pear barley
- 100 Best Gluten Free Foods by Love Food Editors
If youre looking for addiction recovery books, check out our guide on the best books on addiction recovery »
Where Can I Find More Help
www.something-fishy.com A website for people struggling with anorexia or bulimia
www.eatright.org The American Dietetic Association.
www.eatrightohio.org The Ohio Dietetic Association
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org The National Eating Disorders Association.
www.edreferral.com A listing of eating disorder treatment centers by state
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Ways To Beat Your Food Addiction
And nix your stress-eating for good
Its an all-too-common scenario: You wake up in the morning swearing todays the day when youll eat clean, nourish yourself with a healthy breakfast at home, and pass up the glistening bakery goodies that tempt you every day. You make it to work without incident and then stress hitsany kind of stress, from a new project deadline to a caustic remark from your boss. A little while later, you find yourself with pastries in hand, wolfing down sugary anesthetics and wanting more. When you finally pop out of your food trance, and the reality of what youve done begins to settle in, the ensuing feelings of shame and guilt stoke your stress levels more and youre already plotting your next food fix. You wonder: Why do I keep caving to these cravings? Wheres my discipline and willpower?
This is your brain addicted to food.
Thats right. Addicted. You might tell yourself, “Im not addicted to food I just love a good sweet now and then.” Well, Im here to tell you that food addiction is real it affects more people than you know, and manufacturers actually design food products so that they are as addicting as possible. Yes, that perfect combination of salty, sweet, and savory was created to make sure you keep reaching for more. Thats why I wrote The Hunger Fix, because I want to change the game that is rigged against you.
Here are six ways to beat food addiction:
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Social Causes Of Food Addiction
Scientists believe there are many social pressures that contribute to food addiction.
This includes social pressure to be thin and the social disapproval for people who are overweight.
This pressure fuels the food addicts self-disgust.
The resulting depression causes the food addict to overeat in an attempt to feel better about themselves.
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What Sort Of Help Do I Need
Like in other addictions, the eating disorder convinces you that you dont really have it or that it isnt that bad. If you are reading this, it might be that bad. You might also be using drugs and alcohol, or be having other self harm behaviors such as cutting or burning yourself. Often, depression and anxiety go hand in hand with eating disorders. Put all this together, and you have a very complicated and dangerous problem. It is not likely that you can figure out on your own how to tackle these problems.
First, talk with your doctor. Be direct and honest with him or her, and ask for help. Surprisingly, many doctors do not know how to treat eating disorders. If your doctor doesnt know what to do, consider finding another.
Second, seek therapy. An eating disorders specialist can help you identify the problem, and determine what sort of help you need. Be careful in choosing a specialist. Many therapists know very little about eating disorders, and therefore may be unhelpful.
Third, see a registered dietitian. Be sure they are registered and have training in eating disorders treatment. Eating disorders are complicated and dangerous and not just anyone can safely advise you how to eat properly.
Fourth, attend a SMART Recovery group.
How To Overcome Food Addiction: Eating For Strength
Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly L Brownridge , LPC, NCC, BCPC Counsel The Mind, LLC
Im eating my feelings. It is a phrase used often and innocently enough to describe using food as a method of coping. It is often spoken with some humility, or an entertaining edge, whether said on a TV show, or comes from the mouth of a friend. Although the idea of eating for comfort rather than nourishment is familiar to most, it rarely receives the type of scrutiny, consideration, or pause that other forms of coping such as substance abuse, say, or pursuing adrenaline spikes via extreme sports. Despite its supposedly innocuous designation, eating for comfort and eating to cope are potentially dangerous behaviors, and are often signs of food addiction.
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