Food Addiction

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People are so busy these days that they do not have time to cook. They want something quick and easily so they rely on food joints or in other words junk food because it is quick, easy and cheapest thing available. This has made them addicted to this kind of food.

What is food addiction?

In very simple words food addiction is like any other kind of addiction in which people are so much obsessed with junk food that they just don’t get satisfied even after having too much of it. There cravings keep hunting them all the time. Food addiction has become one of the major issues these days. Its symptoms are similar to drug addiction and it triggers the same area of brain neurotransmitters.  Food addiction is caused due to intense dopamine signals that attacks and seize brain’s biochemistry.

Symptoms of Food Addiction

Some of the common symptoms of food addiction are depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and binge eating. These people usually:

  • Dream about what, when, where to eat
  • Eat too much during meals
  • Keep on having snacks all the time
  • Eats secretly
  • Eats at unusual times like midnight
  • Connect food to rewards
  • Eat during watching TV or when talking on the phone
  • Feels ashamed after eating too much
  • Try to overcome these addictions but keep failing all the time.

How to check if you are food addict

There is a simple test to find out if you are addicted to food or not. Just think about these questions and if you answer yes even to one of them than you are food addict.

  • When you eat, do you end up having more than you wanted to?
  • Do you still keep eating on even when you are no longer hungry?
  • Do you keep eating until you fall sick?
  • Are you conscious about some kinds of food that what will happen if I eat too much and feel like I should cut it down from my diet?
  • Do you feel malaise when you are unable to get certain kind of food and you feel like doing anything to get it?
  • Are you unable to do your regular chores, as you are obsessed with eating food all the time?
  • Do you ignore your social life because of food?

So food addiction even though usually taken lightly may cause some serious damage as it can cause some severe diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s arthritis , cancer and many more.

How to overcome food addiction

It would be hard to adapt to some changes in your lifestyle but it would make you much happier, healthy and it will give make you live longer. So just, follow some simple rules:

Be aware of your situations

You should take into consideration what situations made you eat too much, how they arose and why you stated eating them at first place so that you can fight them back.

Healthy habits

Start avoiding junk food. If you pass by these places every day, than it is the time to change your route. Try to plug your mind in some other resourceful directions like going for a walk, gardening, talking to neighbors etc.

Train your brain

Start thinking about how much is enough and right food for you. Keep a count of all the calories you eat in a day. You should think about the food served to you, if it is not right you do not have to eat it.

Create negative feeling

Even though junk food gives, you pleasure for small time but later on you will feel guilty. Therefore, this is the time to start creating a negative feeling for all those junks and sweets. Just think about the damage they are doing in long term and embrace positive feelings about not eating these bad foods anymore.

Don’t let emotions come in the picture

Before your heart and head starts controlling you make some rules and start following them because if emotions comes in picture than you are never going to win this food addiction battle.

Set healthy habits

You should set healthy habits by cooking healthy foods yourself and talking to your parent, friends and family members for help to get rid of this addiction.

Make healthy food choices

To overcome food addiction, one needs to learn about healthy choice of food. People should train their mind about what good food is and what bad food is.  This way body will be cleansed out from the bad food residue and good food ideas will make life more healthy and refreshing.

Is this good or bad food

In order to overcome food addiction, one should first find out which food they carve for and then develop strategies to avoid such kind of foods. It should be gradually reduced from daily food chart and be replaces with fresh fruits and veggies. This will make it lot easier and stressful.

Keep a record

One should keep a record of the food cravings, how and when they occur. By keeping this record, whenever you get the cravings, you will be ready to substitute it with a healthy choice.

Food addiction help

There are many steps involved in this process.

Consult a counselor or therapist

Sometimes it is hard to fight on your own so the best possible way is to consult a counselor or therapist, as they will make a diet program for you. You have to eat but at the same time avoid unhealthy foods.

What food triggers you?

Everyone has different food cravings. Some crave for junk food, some for sweets, and some for cheesy food or chocolates. Everyone is different. So try to figure out yours and then get rid of them.

Work it out slowly

If you stop eating them straight away, it might leave you more depressed. So whenever these trigger foods invite you add a little bit of fruit or vegetable in before starting. Every time keep adding more of fruit and vegetables and less of this unhealthy food and slowly you will get rid of these trigger foods from your life.

Exercise

Exercise is the best way to help you in getting rid of these bad foods as you can use it to not only divert your mind but it will increase your chances of becoming healthy.

Treatment of food addiction

Various methods can be adapted in order to overcome food addiction. These are as follows:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It is an approach, which is used to treat problems like emotional, behavioral or psychiatric disorders. It helps in teaching addicts about the day-to-day problems that are related to food bingeing and negative thoughts related to it.

Psychotherapy

It is usually found that whenever people suffer from emotional problems they take the help of food to overcome it. This therapy can help people in getting rid of those negative thoughts by talking about them instead of eating.

Nutritional Therapies

Food addicts can take help of doctors or nutritionists to make a diet plan for them in order to overcome food craving and replacing them with healthy and nutritious food.

Medication

Food addiction is accompanied by many other mental health disorders in many cases. So in order to get back to normal life drugs like anti-depressants are used.



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Questions & Answers (19)

  1. Caleb says

    Being a food addict is a very serious problem. You have well explained how to overcome it with simple ways.

    1. khan says

      I have similar problem, but I didn’t know that I suffer with this. All signs and symptoms of food addiction are present in me. Now, I know and try your guidelines to get rid of habit of overeating. Thank you very much.

  2. Neha says

    It is all about me that you have written in this article. I am also food addict and I have tried many times to overcome it. It seems some involvement of subconscious mind in it. Many times, I found guilty after eating, but I cannot control it before eating any food. I think it is good way to shift diet from non veg to vegan for combating obesity due to being food addiction. What do you think?

    1. Dr. Jagdev Singh says

      Yes, vegan diet can help to lose weight, but excess carbs and low nutrition may deteriorate health. So you have to make diet plans very carefully thinking about the balanced diet.

  3. sanjana says

    I am eating larger meals and eat frequently when I am in stress. Is it food addiction or something else? Eating during stress is like a relaxation for my mind.

    1. karan says

      I am a food addict and I have tried very hard to get rid of this problem. I have tried to avoid junk foods, sweets, and processed foods. I adopted and tried yoga diet plans i.e. Satvik Diet. It helps me a lot. It includes herbs like coriander, cow ghee, vegetable, cow’s milk, yogurt, fruits, juices of raw vegetables etc. This diet has helped me; I shared this, as this may also help other food-addicted people.

    2. Dr. Jagdev Singh says

      It is sign of depression; it is not a food addiction. Do meditation to combat this problem, especially in the evening and before going to sleep. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths when you feel you are stressed. It may also help to avoid eating excessively.

  4. arti says

    I have craving for sweets. It is uncontrollable craving and I have to eat something sweet many times in a week. Should I try food addiction recovery Anonymous? Will they help in food addiction?

    1. Ezekiel says

      My problem is very serious one. I have to eat until my abdomen is full and again after an hour, I feel hungry. Then again, I eat and I going to washroom 5 to 10 times a day, especially immediately after eating main meals. I am also obese. My weight is 110 kg. I want to lose my weight. I am lazy, depressed, can’t do any work, my partner has leaved me after 2 months relationship. Please help me.

      1. Dr. Jagdev Singh says

        Hi Ezekiel,
        I will try helping you. You should first follow the steps listed below:
        1. When you feel hungry, eat salad, fruits or raw vegetables.
        2. When you feel craving for food, take 10 deep breathes and give autosuggestion, you should not take unhealthy foods just eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and salad.
        3. You are now eating every hour, start skipping it. Increase your span of eating initially with 10 minutes and increase this span after every three days for 10 minutes.
        4. Do meditation for 30 minutes four times a day, especially in evening, before sleeping, immediately after waking up in the morning and in afternoon. It will help you to calm your mind and help you to control your emotions.
        5. Ayurveda can also help in food addiction and depression. Take brahmi (bacopa monnieri) and licorice.
        6. As you also suffer from bowel disturbance, add ginger, black pepper, and long pepper in your diet. But do not take it continuously, when you feel better stop using these herbs.
        7. You can also consult me if you need more information about ayurveda for de-addiction and depression help.
        I hope these tips may help you with food addition, depression and bowel disturbances.

    2. Dr. Jagdev Singh says

      Yes, It may help to fight off food addiction. These are based on Twelve-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  5. pinto says

    Many scientists believe food addition does not exist. They believe it is just a habit of overeating.

    1. Robert says

      Eating Carbs in breakfast helped me. I was drinking fruit juice and eating eggs in the morning. then i changed my breakfast to indian wheat flour and corn flour chapattis, vegetable soup and oat meal. it helped me a lot to feel abdomen full till lunch. All other people should try this.

    2. Dr. Jagdev Singh says

      Yes, but we can give a name of food addiction for overeating subconsciously, as some people do not know they are eating more than that they actually need.

  6. Lucy says

    I have tried low Carb and high fat diet. It helps me to feel abdomen full and decrease my desire to eat. This trick may help people with food addiction.

    1. Michael says

      According to my opinion, if you are eating low fat diet and grain rich diet, you may become afflicted with food addiction. If your body has sufficient amount of energy, then it may need overeating. Eating is mainly linked with depression, first a food addict need anti-depressants.
      I suggest people for eating sufficient healthy fats and maintain a balanced diet. Fats and proteins are equally essential for the good health, not just Carbs. Food craving can be managed by adopting this food strategy.

  7. Ellie says

    It is very relevant and in depth insight into food addition. I appreciate you for your great effort.

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