How To Prevent Or Overcome Food Addiction
Food addiction is difficult to prevent because its impossible to avoid food. However, one of the best strategies is to avoid overexposure to palatable foods by eating a healthy, balanced diet thats rich in natural, unprocessed foods. Eating a balanced diet and understanding the warning signs of food addiction will help you to act quickly if you suspect a problem.
Overcoming food addiction typically involves following the same model thats used to treat other types of addictionsand youll need a solid plan and plenty of support.
- First, youll need to detoxify your body by avoiding trigger foods, such as fast food or foods with processed sugar. During this time, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe.
- After you detoxify your body, youll need to work on changing your eating behaviors. You may need to avoid certain people, places , situations and foods that intensify cravings or make you more likely to consume the problem food. You also may need to break associations between food and routines or events, such as eating ice cream before bed or having buttery popcorn at the movie theater.
- Other strategies that can help include tracking your food consumption, preplanning your meals and eating mindfully.
If you need professional support to help you lose weight, talk to your primary care physician to see what options may be right for you.
From : Forming New Habits
1. Carry healthy snacks with you,
Remember that you only need to suppress the hunger. Do not let your snack become a complete meal. If this is a problem for you, take a limited amount of money with you that will be enough to spend only for a light snack.
Keep nuts in your car to have a snack.
Purchase a small refrigerator, or a special package to store refrigerated products. Its a great way to avoid stopping at fast food restaurants. Keep there yogurt, fresh fruit or carrots, all of which will help you control hunger till you return home.
2.;You can cheat every once in a while.
If you really crave a certain product that will be harmful to your body, you can take a small portion of it. You should not buy the whole box, but rather only one package of that favorite food product.
If you cannot buy only one small package, eat only a small portion. The rest should be definitely thrown away to avoid temptation.
3.;Reject any proposal to take food.
Many people cannot resist overeating. Also, many believe in the need to eat every last crumb, since theyve spent money on it. You probably want to try small pieces of everything from the cafeteria. It always leads to the fact that you eat more than needed.
4.;Stick to your plan and do not give up, even when it is so difficult.
If youve accidentally cheated, it is not the reason to blame yourself. It is necessary to start all over again, with new motivation and great zeal. Over time, it becomes easier. Trust me, been there, done that !
In This Post We Address The Issue Of Food Addiction
Many of us overeat from time to time, but some will go on to develop an addiction to food.
The very idea of a food addiction was laughable all but a few short years ago.
And many people still erroneously believe that addiction is solely about drugs and alcohol.
But things have changed.
The official term for food addiction is compulsive overeating.
Many people refer to the disorder as binge eating.
The condition is principally characterised by the sufferer consuming vast quantities of food while feeling powerless to stop.
Like other addictions, the person is not in control of their behaviour. This means the food addict is feels very;guilty and depressed following an episode of binge eating.
Sufferers even report feeling a sense of self-disgust;.
But just what is food addiction? And how can you identify if you suffer from it?
Well, the answer is simple. But before I give you the answer, I want to tell you about .
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These Are A Few Ways For Beating Food Addiction:
1. As soon as you become aware that youre going to have a problem with something, stop! This is similar to the warning on cigarettes, Smoking causes lung cancer. They put it on there to inform people so that they can make an informed decision about what they do or dont want to do.
2. You need to be as clear-minded and as strong-willed as possible before you need to make a decision. For example, if youre about to eat junk food or something thats bad for you, then dont do it! You need the mindset that Im not going to do this because of X reason. You should also keep things like chips/candy in a place where you have to put in extra effort to get it.
3. Find an activity thats as rewarding as the thing youre trying to stop doing. If you want some Oreos after dinner but dont want to eat them, then work out instead! Youll have a great endorphin rush without feeling too guilty since exercise is good for your health anyway!
4. Try to make things as convenient for yourself. Make your body want the good thing more than the bad thing. For example, people had covered their table in fruit or had raw desserts on hand so theyd be able to eat something healthy first when they were about to do something bad.
6. Learn to recognize when your body is asking for something other than food. If you really describe what youre craving or what emotions are driving you to do something, then you might realize that its not hunger, for example, Stress eating.
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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First Step: Make An Appointment With Your Health Advisor
Addiction, including food addiction, is a very individual diagnosis. Some people with other eating disorders like bulimia, orthorexia, or compulsive overeating, can think that they have a food addiction, as some symptoms of these conditions do look alike. However, psychological advice for patients with various eating disorders will be absolutely different. For example, people with orthorexia should not, at any cost, divide foods into permitted and prohibited.;
Tests Performed By Professionals
Tests performed by professionals are first and foremost recommended, as they are devised through a process of strict research protocol and evidence-basis. Further, these tests are conducted by professionals who were trained in their administration.
The Yale Food Addiction Scale is an evidence-based clinical screening tool that explores ones eating habits over the past year.4 The YFAS is a 25-question survey that asks respondents to consider certain foods specific to those most problematic to health, including sweets, starches, salty snacks, fatty foods, and sugary drinks.4 Scoring for the assessment is sensitive to varied criteria and must be conducted by a trained professional.
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Cut Down Sugar And Flour
Many might not understand this but consuming sugar and flour is nothing short of like that of drugs and cocaine. Your brain functions around thinking it to be something correlated to cocaine which further ends up making you get addicted more.
We unknowingly end up consuming thousands of calories in between sugar and flour which is something that is not at all good for our health.
While you might be thinking how can reducing the intake of these help with the food addiction recovery, right? Well, the lessened consumption helps in ensuring that it doesnt necessarily over stimulate the reward and pleasure centre in our brain, nucleus accumbens.
Apart from contributing to the unprecedented rates of insulin rise in the body, it is also often believed to have impacts on the release of leptin in the body which can inflict negative impacts as well.
Reduce Your Time In Stressful Environments
Some stress is good for us. Our bodies are made to handle some amount of stress, and thats an awesome part of being a human being. But too much stress can negatively affect us physically and emotionally. When you start to feel stressed, take a few deep breaths and figure out what is triggering your stressed state. If its something you have to do, then do it and take a break afterward. If you know that a specific environment is not suitable for you, try to avoid that environment, change it, or change your mind frame toward it.
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Get Your 100% Personalized Meal Plan By Completing Our 3
None of the known diets should be followed without considering your unique body needs, preferences, and goals
You may have heard phrases like Im a chocoholic! or Im addicted to cakes from people who struggle with losing weight. But are they really addicts, just like they say?;
Only a decade ago, scientists would say that food addiction is a myth. Fortunately, today we understand that food addiction is a severe eating disorder that looks and feels like substance abuse. As such, it should be treated as a typical addiction.
Find out the symptoms and reasons behind food addiction to see if its your case, and, whats more important, learn the first steps to take if your fight with addiction has just begun.
Risk Factors Of Food Addiction
Risk factors and triggers of food addiction do vary from person to person. Contributing factors include genetic predispositions, internalized beliefs and values, self-talk, social and environmental factors. The more compromised domains, the more likely one is to develop food addiction. Mental health and substance use disorders also increase the likelihood of developing said addiction.6
As more research is conducted, a better understanding of the risk factors and triggers of food addiction will emerge.
Currently, some of the more common risk factors of food addiction include the following:9
- Low self-esteem
- Side effects from specific medications
- Family history of eating disorders
- Other mental health concerns
Again, when considering food addiction, we must look well beyond the food itself but to these other risk factors as well.
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The Most Addictive Foods
The foods that people are most likely to compulsively overeat tend to have something in common: A powerful combination of carbohydrates and fat.
You wont find many examples of this irresistible combo in nature. For example, rice is high in carbohydrates but low in fat, while nuts are high in fat but have minimal carbs. But processed food companies can mix ingredients and chemically exaggerate flavors to create taste sensations so appealing that you keep wanting more.
In a study where researchers asked people what foods they were most likely to overeat, some of the most common responses were:
How To Beat It
Theres no quick fix or magic pill ;to make you stop wanting sugar or foods that you crave. Ultimately, you crave;what you regularly feed yourself. So the only way to reduce your cravings is to take a break. If you regularly have something sweet to eat after dinner, its very natural for you to always feel like eating something sweet after dinner. Youre in a bad habit, thats all. Research has shown that fasting particular foods doesnt increase the cravings like it does with true drug addiction, it actually reduces them.
Changing your habits and behaviour is hard work. So you need to get prepared. Here are are few tips to help you beat the sugar high and get in control of your eating.
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Identify Fast Food Restaurants That Are Triggers
Along with having trigger foods, many people with food addictions also have certain restaurants and in particular fast food restaurants that are triggers. Note these restaurants and try to avoid them if possible.
Create a list of healthy food options they have if youre not able to avoid them. This may help you avoid a relapse if you are in a hurry and need food.
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.;
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How Do You Become Addicted To Food
Current research and experiments looking at both animals and humans show that for some people, the same reward centers in the brain triggered by addictive drugs like heroin are also activated by food.
In particular, these brain centers may be activated by junk foods high in sugar, salt, and fat. Junk foods are described as highly palatable.
These highly palatable processed foods can trigger a flood of dopamine into the brain. Dopamine is a feel-good brain chemical. When someones reward response is triggered by the release of dopamine, the brain can then signal someone they need to continue eating those feel-good foods.
Reward signals stemming from certain foods can overpower the other signals sent by the brain, such as fullness. With food addiction, because of these factors in the brain, a person will continue eating despite no longer being hungry.
Food addiction can also be described as compulsive overeating, which is categorized as a behavioral addiction. Other behavioral addictions can including shopping and gambling.
Signs And Symptoms Of Food Addiction
Now that you more or less have an idea about what the food addiction is and how it is defined as, it is best to ensure that you know the common signs and symptoms associated with food addiction.
It is beneficial to understand the same mainly because this is what is going to help you understand the ins and outs of the problem and take precautionary steps for the food addiction treatment.
- Sudden cravings of foods and that too certain kinds even though you just finished eating a full meal just a few minutes or so back
- You often end up eating more than you should when you start eating anything that you have been craving along for a long time
- You tend to eat and stuff your face with the food that you like eating or crave till the point that you are stuffed to the core
- Your guilt of eating a few different kinds of foods often takes a backseat when you start eating that food finally
- Your head is filled with excuses for yourself when you feel like eating something unhealthy and such.
- Your attempts in leaving these eating habits behind have not just failed once but multiple times and it is possible that you have given up on trying to do the same more than once
- You try to act as if you are a healthy eater in front of others when in reality, that is far from the truth altogether
- You have an uncontrollable urge when it comes to these foods and such and it is quite hard and most importantly, impossible for you to end over the urge to eat the kind of food you like
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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.