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Why Am I So Addicted To Food

Eating Addiction Rather Than Food Addiction Better Captures Addictive

why am i addicted to food

Evidence for addiction to specific macronutrients is lacking in humans.

Eating addiction describes a behavioral addiction.

An eating addiction is not necessarily associated with obesity.

Obesity prevention strategies should focus on eating addiction.

Consider eating addiction as a disorder in DSM-5 Non-Substance-Related Disorders.

The Difference Between Physical And Psychological Addiction

Physical addiction to a substance means that your body will physically react if the substance is no longer present. Physical withdrawal symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, can occur within a few hours of the last use. It usually takes regular use of the addictive substance for a period of time for the body to reach a state of physical addiction.

Psychological addiction is more of an emotional, rather than physical, craving for a substance or behavior. If a person has become psychologically dependent on something and then stops that behavior, they wont have physical withdrawal symptoms but they may have emotional withdrawal symptoms like anxiety or depression.

Both physical and psychological addictions are reinforced by the pleasure and reward centers of the brain. Dopamine, a feel good brain chemical, regulates our emotions and motivation. When eating certain foods triggers the increase of dopamine, pleasure results, motivating us to eat more of that food. This cycle can reach the point where the craving to eat certain foods becomes intolerable unless the urge is satisfied. As the behavior continues, it can lead to tolerance.

A statement by the American Society of Addiction Medicine calls addiction a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitryThis is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. This psychological addiction is intensified as tolerance increases.

A Food Addiction Has Defined My Entire Life And It Is Slowly Killing Me

Food is the great love of my life. Ive forsaken everything else for it. Ive chosen it over lovers, over experiences, over family, over my career

A food addiction is able to flourish, unjudged, when you live on your own. Its the chocolate thickshake spilled on the back seat of the car getting into every crevice revealing itself to still be there, somehow, when you think its all cleaned up six months later.

Astonishingly, the jury is still out on food addiction. The DSM 5 only includes alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and caffeine as the types of substance-use disorders. Twelve-step programs say an addiction is a physical compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession.

Whatever addiction is, an addiction to food has defined my entire life.

Memories are rarely about people and places. Theyre about food.

High school is apple muffins from the canteen, stolen Twisties and Milo bars from my parents grocery store, packets of Vita-Weat sandwiches made with butter and Kraft Singles.

University is a weird obsession with sweet potato and balsamic dressing, coupled with trip after trip to what I called Wollongongs Fat Land a restaurant and petrol strip populated with McDonalds, KFC and Chilis.

Ninety per cent of this food has been bought at great cost and sneakily brought home into my bedroom

I live in Hobart, Tasmania now and my time there has been about artisan donuts and roasted sweet potatoes with almonds and yoghurt from a local restaurant.

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Is Liking Spicy Food Genetic

The researchers discovered that there was a common genetic component that governed reactions to spicy meals across all participants in the study. After analyzing the data, the researchers discovered that genetic variables were responsible for anything from 18 percent to 58 percent of the difference in pleasure of spicy cuisine, leading them to infer that spice tolerance is linked to heredity. 3

What Causes Food Addiction

5 Reasons You Crave Junk Food

Consuming highly palatable foods, or foods that are high in carbohydrates, fat, salt, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, triggers the pleasure centers of the brain and releases feel-good chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. These foods affect the same area of the brain as drugs, alcohol, and behaviors such as shopping or gambling.

Highly palatable foods often contain unnatural substances or higher-than-normal levels of natural substances that your body and brain can’t process. This results in your body being flooded with feel-good chemicals.

To help you hang on to or recreate those good feelings, your body and brain will begin to crave highly palatable foods. And, because your brain will adjust its receptors to compensate for the rush of chemicals, you’ll eventually need to consume increasing quantities of highly palatable foods to get the same feel-good reaction.

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Treatments And Natural Remedies

Research does not support any specific treatment for pornography addiction.

Indeed, because many researchers do not believe that pornography addiction is a real medical condition, some doctors and counselors may feel that no treatment is necessary.

Some people seeking treatment for pornography addiction may instead benefit from addressing other issues, such as relationship problems, sexual shame, or depression. Therefore, if a person opts for therapy, it is important to choose a therapist who understands and can manage these issues.

Some treatment strategies may involve:

  • Psychotherapy: This can help a person understand their relationship with porn, identify unmet sexual needs, and develop strategies for dealing with psychological distress.
  • Relationship counseling: Couples counseling can help partners talk about their values, determine whether porn has a place in their relationship, and cultivate deeper trust.
  • Medication: Sometimes a person uses pornography to cope with another condition. Medication may help treat the underlying issue.
  • Lifestyle changes: Some people use pornography out of boredom or exhaustion. A more healthful lifestyle may involve spending fewer hours on the computer.

A person should see a doctor if:

A therapist may be able to help with pornography addiction and other sex and relationship issues. It may be a good idea to see a therapist if:

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.

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Cannabis Addiction Signs And Symptoms

Also commonly referred to as âmarijuanaâ, âgrassâ and âweedâ, cannabis is a mixture of dried leaves, flowers and stems from the cannabis sativa plant and is the most commonly misused illegal substance in the UK. Cannabis is typically smoked, either in a cigarette form or via a pipe, while the drug may also be misused by brewing it in tea or cooking it in certain foods.

Cannabis affects your central nervous system to produce sensations including relaxation, mild euphoria, increased appetite and difficulties perceiving space and time. Many people mistakenly believe that cannabis is a safe or harmless substance, although if you misuse cannabis you expose yourself to both immediate harm and long-term damage, including the development of an addiction.

If you become addicted to cannabis, you will feel compelled to continue to misuse this substance, often in increasingly greater amounts, to the detriment to both your physical and mental health.

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Unable To Eat Less Despite Health Problems

Sugar Addiction Explained: Why Am I Addicted to Sugar?

Its widely known that healthy eating plays a vital role in overall health.

Were constantly reminded of the negative health implications that junk food can have on us, including:

  • Weight gain

  • Tooth decay

  • Inflammation

More often than not, eating junk food can lead to serious problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Sadly, even serious conditions like these may not be enough to snap food addicts out of their bad habits.

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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

Why Do I Like Hot Sauce On Everything

The use of good hot sauce or really any kind of spice, from whole chilis plain or pickled to a fiery salsa to milder harissa or curries with flavor and kick can open up and enhance the flavors in your food, making it that much more enjoyable. Thats why the vast majority of people who use them do so because they find it to be a pleasant experience.

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Do You Have A Food Addiction

All addictions share similar behavioural symptoms. It is not a lack of willpower that keeps people using their drug of choice no one wants to be an alcoholic or drug addict, nor does anyone want to be obese and addicted to food.

The following questions can help you determine if you have a problematic relationship with food:

  • Do you eat much more than you planned of certain foods such as chips, ice cream, or chocolate once you start?
  • Do you often eat so much of certain foods that you feel stuffed?
  • Have you made many unsuccessful attempts at cutting back your consumption of certain foods?
  • Do you continue eating unhealthy foods despite growing negative physical and emotion consequences ?
  • Do you hide you consumption of unhealthy foods from others?
  • Do you frequently experience cravings for certain foods, even if you are full?
  • Do your eating habits cause you significant distress and interfere with your ability to function in work, school, or at home?
  • Do you feel agitated or anxious when you dont have certain foods available to you throughout the day?
  • If you answer a resounding yes to more than half of these questions you probably struggle with an addiction to food.

    Not surprisingly, those in addiction recovery are more susceptible to becoming addicted to food. Replacing one addiction with another is not uncommon, and those formerly suffering from drug addiction may find they begin to use foods addictively.

    What Is A Porn Addiction

    why are some foods addictive ?

    Porn addiction is, in theory, when you canât stop looking at porn, even if you want to. And the obsession gets to the point that it interferes with work, relationships, and other parts of daily life. Itâs easy to understand how this could be a problem with the widespread availability of internet porn today. In 2019, for example, the popular site PornHub recorded 42 billion visits — thatâs 115 million a day.

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    Antidepressant Drug Addiction Dependence And Withdrawal In Online Addicts

    Due to the evident link between video game or Internet addiction and depression, it is not surprising that many addicted gamers take antidepressant medication to help with the symptoms. Though most healthcare professionals consider this type of medication to be safe and effective, it also comes with its own set of risks and side effects. One factor to consider before beginning antidepressant medication is that it may be difficult to stop taking it. It is common to experience withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, irritability, nausea and dizziness. In more serious cases, it is possible to experience depression as a symptom of withdrawal from the medication. This depression can be even more severe than the original depression, leading the patient to believe that the illness has returned.

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    Ways To Know If You Are Addicted To Video Games

    Its not easy to admit to a video game addiction. Mostly because video games are fun! How can anything fun be an addiction, right? But video game addiction is real, and many people who have this addiction may not even realize that they have a problem.

    I am a recovered video games addict. My several-month problem cost me my free time, my sleep, my grades, and my social life. Giving this addiction up wasnt easy. Fortunately, there are a number of warning signs of addiction that Ive come to realize since retaking my life.

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    Drug And Alcohol Addiction And Recovery

    Because of this, treatment of binge eating disorder has taken a moderate, all foods fit approach that focuses more on making peace with food and the body dissatisfaction that drives the binge-and-restrict behavior. Treatment focuses on addressing the emotional dysregulation and avoidant behaviors such as bingeing to escape their present reality. Becoming weight-neutral rather than using weight loss as a measure of treatment success helps those struggling to focus on intrinsic factors driving the behavior rather than the size of their bodies.

    The Science Of Sugar Addiction

    Am I ADDICTED to food? | Change Podcast

    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

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    Is Spicy Food Good For Mental Health

    Aside from the numerous ways that spicy food may be beneficial to ones health, Self discovered that meals that have a high concentration of hot spices can really improve ones mental well-being. The hormone serotonin may help to relieve sadness and stress, and consuming spicy foods helps to increase the bodys natural synthesis of these helpful chemicals.

    Sugar Is Even More Addictive Than Cocaine Yeah You Read That Right

    A study in 2007 found that 94% of rats tested would rather choose artificially sweetened water over cocaine . Just think about that for a second!

    Sugar fires up dopamine and lights up your brain in the same manners as drugs, and theres gotta be a problem with that – especially given the issues that come with high sugar consumption, problems I have had first hand experience with. I used to have a full blown sugar addiction – I was in really bad shape, both physically and mentally – so I certainly know the signs of an unhealthy relationship with the stuff.

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    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.

    Critics Of Food Addiction

    How to Overcome Food Addiction

    Food addiction is not as widely endorsed as the literature suggests.

    Some of the main criticisms of the food addiction concept are10Fletcher PC, Kenny PJ. Food addiction: a valid concept? Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018:1.:

    • The addictive substances within foods are unclear: This a major problem because the food addiction model assumes that some foods directly affect the brain, hijacking its reward systems. Critics argue that it is difficult to accept claims that food can be addictive if we are yet to pinpoint what the addictive properties are.
    • Food addiction = binge-eating disorder: There is a lot of overlap between food addiction and binge-eating disorder, both at the diagnostic level and the symptom level. Given the substantial overlap, critics are wondering whether food addiction is just another fancy term for binge-eating disorder.
    • The neurobiological evidence is poor: Critics argue that there is no convincing human evidence showing that neurobiological changes do indeed underlie food addicted behaviours. Also, the same areas of the brain that light up in response to food and drugs may also light up to other pleasurable stimuli.
    • Too much reliance on animal models: Although rats show evidence of compulsive eating and a range of other characteristics associated with addiction when given intermittent availability of high-sugar foods, whether these findings can be generalized to humans has been questioned.

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