While I thought the term food addiction was common knowledge, I have been finding out recently that it is not.
Putting first things first, let’s define it. What is food addiction? Food addiction is an abnormal eating pattern where a person cannot control themselves around certain types of foods. The most common foods used are junk food, highly processed food, and fast food. Some people tend to lean more toward sweet treats while others may go for salty or savory. This can be closely related to an eating disorder called bulimia however with food addiction vomiting is usually not an issue. Just like other substance abuse disorders, food is broken down into its chemical components which can then be used to affect mood. Whether someone is happy or sad they may use food.
Determining if you have a food addiction:
Some good questions to ask yourself are:
How often do I overeat and stuff myself even when I’m not hungry?
Do I closet eat so no one will know and how often do you do that?
Are you an emotional eater? Consoling yourself with a container of ice cream after a long day of work or celebrating with pizza and chocolate after you have received some positive recognition?
Do you reward yourself with food after you have achieved a health goal?
Have you tried eating plan after eating plan only to fail after a certain amount of time because there are certain foods you love and can’t deny yourself of?
Are you highly successful in your life except when it comes to controlling food and body weight?
This is not an exhaustive list and there may be more questions that could be asked. I would do more research and contact me if you feel you may have an issue.
Yes, I have a food addiction.
Take a deep breath and relax. It will all be okay. Awareness is the first key to solving this issue. Many things can help people overcome food addiction. Unlike other substance abuse problems which can sometimes be resolved cold turkey, food addiction cannot. Boundaries, guidelines, and a good abstinence plan will have to be set into place. There are specific 12-step programs that exist specifically for food addiction individuals. I attended one through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I don’t recommend going this alone. Plus you should know as well as I do having tried over and over again that that doesn’t work long-term. I hired a coach and am now coaching women in this area myself. Here is my website to book your free consultation: www.believeandachievehealth.com
Taking a look at the underlying causes and resolving those issues will naturally solve the issue.
No, I don’t have a food addiction.
That is great news. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. While you don’t have a food addiction, you are reading this article which suggests to me that there are some concerns that you may have surrounding food addiction. Feel free to reach out to me for a free consultation and we can discuss any concerns you may have surrounding the issue.
What causes people to have a food addiction?
While not all causes may apply to each person here are a few of the most popular causes/reasons.
1. Genetically engineered. Did you know that processed food is chemically engineered and modified to cause you to crave more of it? The reasoning is so that you buy more and keep coming back. To combat this choose whole clean foods like fruit, veggies, meat, and whole grains. If you have to buy food that is packaged go with items that have 5 ingredients or less. Try to ensure that sugar and salt are not in those first five ingredients.
2. Difficulty dealing with emotions. We all have different coping strategies. Some of us were given food as a reward for success and as comfort when things went wrong. We learned to use food to deal with our emotions instead of other healthier coping strategies. Try exercising, taking a bubble bath, or reading a book to unwind from a long stressful day. Try celebrating with friends or a new outfit or spa day when you have achieved something amazing.
3. Low self-esteem and the stories we tell ourselves. How we view ourselves can determine if we use food in an unhealthy way. Also if you maybe started out having a little weight to lose and failed (some reasons are not your fault) it could lead you to just give up and eat whatever you want when you want kind of attitude.
Having a food addiction is not fun but it can be overcome. If you believe you can achieve recovery, healing, and peace around food and your body then I believe you can achieve it. It may take some time but with my help, it won’t take as long as it took me.
Some of my top read to help with this topic are : The Pleasure Trap by Doug Lisle