What Are The 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.
Tip : Take Back Control Of Cravings
Sometimes it feels like the urge to binge hits without warning. But even when you’re 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, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d 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 you’re going through can help you feel better and discharge the urge to binge.
Delay, delay, delay. Even if you’re unsure if you’ll 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.
Overcome Food Addiction With A Friend Or Family
Its nice to know that youre not alone in your battle against food addiction. Reach out to family and friends to help you get through with it. 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 watching 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.
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Emotional Symptoms Of Food Addiction
- feeling ashamed of your weight
- feeling depressed or sad about your weight or self-image
- feeling hopeless when it comes to losing weight
- eating when upset or depressed
- eating as a reward for a job well done
- eating when you are not hungry
- becoming anxious or irritable when eating certain foods or when not eating or if there doesnt seem to be enough food
Food addiction can have an adverse effect on our emotions that lead to mood swings and other mental health problems. Some food addicts will suffer from great depression or anxiety as a result of their inability to control their eating habits despite a desire to eat less and to improve their self-image. Others are emotional eaters who eat just because they are happy or just because they are sad but when these emotions take over their eating slips out of control.
Emotional And Spiritual Recovery
Emotional and spiritual recovery is also achieved in the context of interpersonal relations developed with the sponsor and other members by following the 12-step program and its tools . In fact, many members attribute the effectiveness of the program to emotional and spiritual aspects of recovery .
A core concept commonly pointed out as a spiritual approach to addiction is powerlessness. Thus, addicts in recovery seek to be given the will to remain abstinent by a Higher Power . The importance of spirituality was also highlighted as predictor of success in members who have been in OA an average of 5 years .
Nevertheless, there are many sources for spiritual connection for non-religious or skeptical individuals : e.g., people, nature, places and the Universe. Hyland et al. have defined spirituality as a human disposition to experience a special sense of connection with something that is either part of or not part of the natural world which: is experienced as transcending the kind of connection that normally characterizes a person’s life and depends on the person’s belief systems. We have met individuals with addictive disorders who are skeptical and have chosen the force of the group or the 12-step program as a personal construction of a Higher Power which works for them .
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What Is Food Addiction
Food addiction is defined as unhealthy habits or addiction to junk foods . Evidence shows it is similar to other eating disorders like compulsive overeating and binge eating disorder. This explains why many people with food addiction find it hard to adhere to healthier diets. They may develop obesity for this reason.
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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What Happens After Surgery
All surgeries come with post-operative concerns, and bariatric surgery is no different.
For patients with food addiction, the psychological risk of addiction transfer is a concern. Potential issues include:
Tips For Overcoming Food Addiction
Food addiction recovery will take a lot of willpower and sacrifice to overcome. It may take weeks or months, but you have to believe in yourself to overcome it. Everybody has different food cravings, and breaking a food addiction is going to be different for everyone. But here are some tips you can start with:
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Causes Of Binge Eating
The exact causes of binge eating disorder are not known, but you are more likely to have an eating disorder if:
- you or a member of your family has a history of eating disorders, depression, or alcohol or drug misuse
- you’ve been criticised for your eating habits, body shape or weight
- you’re too worried about being slim, particularly if you also feel pressure from society or your job, for example, ballet dancers, models or athletes
- you have anxiety, low self-esteem, an obsessive personality or are a perfectionist
- you’ve been sexually abused
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.
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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 you’re not hungry and continue eating long after you’re full. You may also binge so fast you barely register what you’re eating or tasting. Unlike bulimia, however, there are no regular attempts to make up for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over-exercising.
Avoiding Triggers Is Essential
To beat food addiction, I believe the most effective treatment is to remove and avoid your trigger foods and behaviors. This is the hard truth. Food addicts cannot manage moderation. Just like someone with an addiction to alcohol risks relapse if they drink, a food addict can lose control with even just a single bite of a trigger food, such as just a sliver of dessert or a piece of bread or pizza.
However, the good news is that complete abstinence from your specific food triggers can reset the brain reward pathways and give you freedom from the cravings and obsessions around food. Although the initial days of abstinence can be extremely difficult, the payoff is that, over time, the intensity of the cravings eventually diminishes or disappears completely. How long does this typically take? Alas, it is not known it is individual. Some people start feeling fewer cravings within a few days of abstinence. Others feel the cravings off and on for years, especially under stress. But you can learn techniques and develop strategies to diffuse the desire.
Removing trigger foods from your home and work environments, not going to old familiar places where you will see the food and trigger the cravings, and not eating sweet tasting foods can all help stop retriggering the food addiction cycle.
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The Science Of Sugar Addiction
Since sugar is by far the most addictive food type, it makes sense to cover the science behind sugar addiction.
The biochemical underpinning for sugar addiction can be explained in four simple steps:
- Step 1 An increase in blood sugar forces the pancreas to secrete insulin. The insulin breaks down sugar so blood sugar levels drop
- Step 2 When blood sugar levels drop, a signal is sent to the brain telling it blood sugar levels need to rise
- Step 3 The brain releases hormones that cause cravings for sugar. The person also feels weak and slightly agitated
- Step 4 The sugar addict then binges on sugary items in order to satisfy these cravings
Tips For Helping Someone With Binge Eating Disorder
Encourage your loved one to seek help. The longer an eating disorder remains undiagnosed and untreated, the more difficult it will be to overcome, so urge your loved one to get treatment.
Be supportive. Try to listen without judgment and make sure the person knows you care. If your loved one slips up on the road to recovery, remind them that it doesn’t mean they can’t quit binge eating for good.
Avoid insults, lectures, or guilt trips. Binge eaters feel bad enough about themselves and their behavior already. Lecturing, getting upset, or issuing ultimatums to a binge eater will only increase stress and make the situation worse. Instead, make it clear that you care about the person’s health and happiness and you’ll continue to be there.
Set a good example by eating healthily, exercising, and managing stress without food. Don’t make negative comments about your own body or anyone else’s.
Get more help
Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms, causes, and treatment options for binge eating disorder.
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Try To Eat Enough And Avoid Restriction
Following a regular eating pattern can make you less likely to overeat. Try eating meals and snacks throughout the day to make sure you dont get too hungry.
According to a 2014 study, food addiction is associated with both frequent dieting and weight regain, which can result in higher weight.
Though it may help to limit exposure to triggering foods until you know how to manage distressing feelings and urges, its best to partner with a professional to work toward allowing all foods.
Tip : Find Better Ways To Feed Your Feelings
One of the most common reasons for binge eating is an attempt to manage unpleasant emotions such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear, and anxiety. When you have a bad day, it can seem like food is your only friend. Binge eating can temporarily make feelings such as stress, sadness, anxiety, depression, and boredom evaporate into thin air. But the relief is very fleeting.
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Differences Between Addictive Disorders
Though premature acceptance of food addiction has been cautioned against due to inconsistencies with other addictive disorders , it is important to note differences that exist among addictive disorders included in the DSM-5 . Notably, the characteristics required for a substance to be considered addictive have changed over time. As previously mentioned, alcohol and opioid dependence may trigger intense physiological withdrawal symptoms , whereas cocaine and nicotine dependence appear more likely to produce psychological symptoms like involving anxiety and irritability . Additionally, the inclusion of the behavioral addiction gambling disorder in the DSM-5 reflects a shift away from physiological withdrawal as a necessary component of addiction . Importantly, regardless of whether the symptoms are physical or psychological, the experience of withdrawal appears to increase the probability of relapse across addictive disorders . Thus, a key, shared component of withdrawal within addiction may involve the increased chance of relapse associated with experiencing withdrawal symptoms. In this respect, it will be important for future research to examine whether individuals with food addiction experience withdrawal symptoms that may trigger addictive-like eating behavior.
A. Benjamin Srivastava, Mark S. Gold, in, 2019
Clinical Definitions And Suggested Criteria For Diagnosis
Food addiction is defined as an eating behavior involving the overconsumption of specific foods in an addiction-like manner . Not all foods are equally addictive, therefore an investigation of the chemical characteristics that may trigger addictive behaviors is needed. Hyperpalatable foods, containing high proportion of saturated fat, sugar, artificial flavors, or sodium have been associated with addictive properties, and public health interventions focused on reducing the impact of addictive drugs may have also a role in targeting obesity and other, related, metabolic diseases .
Fat rich food addiction can be a diagnosable condition, as this food is hyperpalatable, and it is liable to be consumed in excess amounts . Psychological vulnerabilities like attentional biases have been identified in people presenting tendency toward this type of addiction, while craving and liking for fat has been explored in patients reporting high consumption of saturated fats, meat, butter, sweetened cream desserts, and pastries .
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The 15 Best Books On Food Addiction
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Obesity has become one of Americas top health issues. Many people suffer from eating disorders and food addiction. Unlike other types of addiction, it is not possible to stop consuming food. We all must eat to survive.
Our lives are full of quick fixes. We often go to a fast-food drive-through on the way home from work, so cooking and cleaning can be averted.
Preparing meals and eating healthy takes time and energy. Many of us get caught up in this cycle and end up gaining weight and craving foods that are unhealthy.
Is it possible to eat healthy on a daily basis? What if we are truly addicted to food and are unable to stop eating? Is there hope for escaping tasty, fat and sugar-filled fast food?
The truth is, we are what we eat. Eating healthy food gives us more energy, helps fight off disease and makes us feel better in general.
Breaking the unhealthy eating cycle is well worth it. Kicking a food addiction or eating disorder to the curb may save your life.
I have listed the fifteen best books available today to help win this war. Please take some time to look through the list. There is something for everybody here. Eating disorders are as diverse as the people who have them.
There is no magic bullet for treatment. The secret is to find a remedy that works for you.
Remember to live a happy, healthy, healing life!