It's a well-known and even logical fact that our bodies need food for sustenance and survival. It is even a key fact on our wellness and overall health. But, for some people, food not only provides the normal and expected gratification, rather, it can turn into an addiction source just like drugs or alcohol. Learn to spot food addiction signs.
While food addiction is a relatively new term, what is a food addict can be summarize as: a person who becomes dependent on the "good feelings" that come arise from eating food, especially those rich in fat, sugar and/or salt.
Being addicted to food basically works out the same way as being addicted to drugs; this means that the intake of food provokes the same chemical reaction in the brain, targeting the same reward and pleasure centers of the brain and thus inducing feelings of satisfaction.
The danger of this type of addiction is, that while the good feelings persist, the person is not really able to control the intake of food even when they are not hungry or they are past the limit of satiation.
Food addiction signs tend to be tricky, but when knowing what exactly to look for, one can identify them. Some of the most telling food addiction signs are:
While these are just few food addiction signs, the main problem lays on the fact that what is a food addict is often taken as a light issue, when in reality it can bring numerous health complications and life-threatening conditions to the addict.
Many diseases can develop due to the type of diet one has. Food addiction can result in physical problems such as:
On the psychological side, food addiction signs and long term effects often will cause depression - mainly because of the low self-esteem caused by fluctuating weight - anxiety, loneliness, emotional detachment and suicidal thoughts.
Overcoming food addiction is as tough as overcoming an alcohol or drug addiction, or any other well-known eating disorder. It takes a conscious effort through the realization that there is in fact a problem, that there is a bad relationship with food and that is most-likely causing many issues with other aspects of life.
Many addicts may try overcoming addiction by themselves. While this is not a bad way to start, the addict is often not clear on what steps to take. One can easily make lists of foods that trigger the compulsive eating behavior. This technique may help in avoiding those foods once there is a clear definition of them.
Seeking healthy options is another step that helps; while addiction is mainly caused by foods rich in fat, high sugar and salt content - like junk food - places that an addict often visits will have healthier options available. Having a list of these options can help avoid the temptation if visiting such places.
Planning ahead is crucial when overcoming addiction. More often than not addicts can find themselves in social gatherings, work or family events that have more than one of the foods they crave. By planning ahead one can take certain considerations in these situations like eating before going to the event or taking a small personal bag with healthier options to eat.
For an addict that is clearly submerged on the vicious cycle and can't seem to have the willpower to stop or take some measures to get better, there are treatment centers than can help. Specialized addiction treatments not only know what is a food addict, but what type of program they need in order to recover and have a healthy relationship with food.
These centers will offer programs that combine group and individual psychotherapy to address the initial causes of the addiction, with physical training to work on targeting body issues. In addition, nutritionists are also available to teach the recovering addict how and what to eat, how to combine certain foods to obtain the best nutritional value while taking good care of their health.