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.
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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.