Food addiction is a real issue in today’s society. I have seen many people in my life addicted to food and in each case has led to major health issues. My mother is addicted to food for emotional release, my dad is addicted to food because it tastes good, and I am addicted to food because mentally it makes me feel better. Food addiction can lead to people using food as an outlet, which can lead to weight gain, depression, low-self esteem, and more. Research has shown that food has the ability to cause hormones to release in the brain, causing you to feel better, but, as a result, eating becomes an addiction. This is similar to alcohol and drug addiction. They involve the same areas in the brain, the same neurotransmitters, and many of the symptoms are identical. Processed junk foods or foods that contain sugar or wheat, have a powerful effect on the “reward” centers in the brain involving brain neurotransmitters like dopamine. Food addiction is not about the lack of willpower, but caused by the intense dopamine signal “hijacking” the biochemistry of the brain.
Some symptoms of food addiction:
1. you frequently get cravings for certain foods, despite feeling full and having just finished a healthy meal.
2. when you give in and start eating food you were craving, you often find yourself eating more than you intended.
3. when you eat food you were craving, you sometimes eat to the point of feeling stuffed
4. you often feel guilty after eating particular foods, but you continue to eat them soon after
5. you sometimes make excuses in your head about why you should eat something that you are craving
6. you have repeatedly tried to quit eating or set rules about certain foods but been unsuccessful
7. you often hide your consumption of unhealthy food from others
8.you feel unable to control your consumption of unhealthy foods, despite knowing that they are causing you physcial harm like gaining weight
1. slowly eliminate trigger foods from your diet: you don’t have to eliminate all foods at once, but take it one step at a time
2. replace bad foods with good food
3. cope with cravings- ask why you want to eat that food. Are you bored? upset? take some time before you make the decision.
4. Distractions are key: