• 18May

    The Mind and Food Addiction

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    As any addict will tell you, as time goes on, you will find your tolerance to the object of your fixation will grow. This means you will need more and more to get a sense of satisfaction. You may feel that you are rolling down a mountain faster and faster, building a snowball that is speeding out of control. In the case of food addiction, it is this growing tolerance that has scientists believing that this is the link between food addiction and obesity.

     

    Food, like any chemical substance, can potentially be extremely addicting. Many people use it as a comfort when feeling down, depressed, anxious, stressed or angry. Foods high in sugar, salt, starch and fat are the most addictive and can trigger the brain with “feel-good” chemicals, similarly to heroin or cocaine. When food addicts experience pleasure from feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine that are released after eating certain foods, they quickly feel the need to eat again. This in turns creates a vicious cycle that can feel near impossible to break. In this cycle, the food addict may find themselves facing some pretty scary demons.

     

    Just like anyone suffering an addiction, food addicts will hold on to their substance at any cost, even if it means destroying relationships or experiencing severe weight gain. There are ways to support yourself in the midst of a food addiction, but at the end of the day, history shows that addicts will at some point need help from a professional counselor to overcome their addiction.

     

    Signs of Food Addition

     

    There are a variety of different indicators that could demonstrate someone is a food addict. While sufferers come in all shapes and sizes and one size does not fit all, there is a small list of factors to look out for that could indicate someone is struggling with an addiction to food.

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    You…

    • Keep eating certain foods, even when you aren’t hungry?
    • Eat more than you planned when you start eating?
    • Eat until you feel sick?
    • Go out of your way to eat certain foods?
    • Focus so much on eating certain foods that you’ll eat rather than working, spending time with loved ones or participating in other activities?
    • Find it difficult to function at school or work because of a fixation on food?
    • When you cut down on certain foods, do you experience anxiety, agitation or other physical symptoms?
    • Eat to reduce negative emotions or increase pleasure?

     

    If you answered “yes” to any combination of the above questions, you may be suffering from food addiction. Treatment for food addiction is different from treatment for addiction to drugs and alcohol because, unlike these substances, you cannot simply quit eating. A professional food addiction specialist and a nutritionist may be able to help you break the cycle of your addiction to food.

    Food addiction can lead to obesity resulting in numerous other health complications. If you or someone you love suffers from an addiction to food, seek professional help. Shades Of Hope is one such resource that can save you from this debilitating disease. Do not hesitate to reach out to them if you’re suffering.

     


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