Are You a Food Addict? (And How to Overcome It)

Are you addicted to anything? Maybe a particular game, an activity or just a kind of food? People with addiction are unable to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior, although it may bring some harmful effects. And there is one important addition that deserves your attention, that is, food addiction, with which you may overeat some unhealthy food so that it possibly occurs to you to suffer from some physical diseases.

How Do You Know If You Are Addicted to Food?

In a sense, people are all addicted to food.

Think about how it feels when you can’t eat. You begin to crave food, and the longer the craving lasts, the more uncomfortable you’ll feel physically and mentally until eating becomes the most important thing you need to do. But once you eat one kind of food (and often the wrong and unhealthy food) too much of the time, even every day, food addiction happens. It is actually an eating disorder worth discussing and here is a simple quiz about food addiction for you.

A Simple Food Addiction Quiz to Test Your Attitude to Food

1. Have you ever thought about stopping eating, but found that you can’t do it?

2. Do you often think about food or your weight?

3. Do you feel like you can’t stop eating even when being plenty full?

4. Do you sometimes eat until you are sick?

5. Is what you eat in private different from what you eat in front of others?

6. Has any doctor or family member approached you because of your eating habits or weight problems?

7. Do you eat large quantities of food at one time (binge)?

8. Do you eat to escape from your sadness or stress?

9. Do you eat in secret?

10. Have you ever hidden food to make sure you will have “enough?”

11. Are you obsessed with counting the calories you burn and the calories you eat?

12. Do you frequently feel guilty or ashamed about what you’ve eaten?

13. Do you feel hopeless about your relationship with food?

14. Do you still feel anxious sometimes even when you have eaten lots of food you like?

15. Do you lie about how much food you eat?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should take a closer look at your eating habits and how to correct them.

Food Addiction Symptoms

  • Craving some certain food even when you are plenty full
  • Eating more than expected
  • Eating in secret
  • Making up some excuses for eating too much
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed about what you’ve eaten
  • Often failing to complete some goals like losing weight
  • Spending a lot of money on certain foods for overeating
  • Feeling difficult to stop eating despite some physical problems
  • Decreased energy and always feeling tired
  • Some sleeping problems such as insomnia and oversleeping
  • Constantly Headaches
  • Feeling difficult to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Digestive disorders
  • Keeping the consumption of unhealthy food

Why Addicted to Food?

Since you have learned about the symptoms of food addiction and more importantly this addiction may cause some physical diseases to some extent, you must be curious about why you are addicted to some certain food. In fact, food addiction may be the result of the interaction of multiple factors such as biological, psychological, or social factors.

The biological reasons that may affect the progression of food addiction may include hormonal imbalances, various brain structure abnormalities, the side effects of certain medications, or family members who have had this type of addiction problem.

In addition, there is science behind it as well. There have been experiments completed on both animals and humans that show certain foods can trigger the pleasure center in your brain. Foods that contain quite a bit of sugar, fat, and salt can reasonably have the same effect as addictive drugs in the brain. Dopamine, the pleasuring brain chemical, can be released when eating foods that are high in these substances. Before you know it, you are consistently eating foods that are probably not good for you.

The psychological factors may include mood and stress, high affinity for palatable foods, food reward and motivation, sexual abuse, being a victim or survivor of a traumatic event, inability to deal with negative situations in a healthy manner, long-term low self-esteem, or experiencing sadness or loss.

Finally, food addiction may involve social impacts, including family dysfunction, stress from peers or society, social isolation, child abuse, lack of social support, and some other life events.

Food Addiction Help: Simple Tips to Overcome Food Addiction

Seek Professional Treatment

Food addiction is a kind of disease to a certain extent. If you have the above symptoms, you’d better go to the hospital for diagnosis and consult a professional doctor for targeted treatment. Fortunately, there are specialized food addiction treatment centers that can help you deal with this disease in a comprehensive way. They will provide unique and innovative treatments for different people with food addiction, focusing on solving medical and nutritional problems while integrating psychotherapy. So if you find that you’re a food addict, just ask professional doctors for help as getting over food addiction is a challenging task that requires correct instructions!

Be patient: Fixing the Food Addiction May Not Happen Overnight

If food addiction is real, how difficult is it for you to break? Since you eat a variety of foods every day to acquire the energy needed for the normal functioning of the body, food addiction may be more difficult to overcome than alcohol addiction or drug addiction.

It is expected that there will be bumps on the road and fixing the food addiction may not happen overnight. So the only important thing you must do is to be patient. Don’t give in after a few setbacks and believe in yourself! You can do it!

Think before Eating: Are You Really Hungry?

As the topic shows, remember to ask yourself “am I really hungry?” before you eat the food that you are addicted to. Craving some certain food even when you are plenty full is one of the symptoms of food addiction. Therefore, finding out whether you are really hungry or not seems more important for you to overcome this eating disorder. By the way, food addiction is like a game that can largely test your self-control and perseverance. If you want to be the winner, you have to consciously control yourself when eating and stick to it.

Intermittent Fasting: Dealing with false hunger

Simply speaking, intermittent fasting is to stipulate your eating and fasting time and to provide some guidance and reference in choosing your diet as well. The beauty of IF makes your diets simple and allows you to remember what it’s actually likely to feel satisfied and recognize real hunger to avoid the false ones. In this way, you may be more likely to get rid of the state of food addiction.

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