What is Food Addiction?
Food addiction is a relentless craving for typically unhealthy foods. It has only recently been recognized as a real condition. Processed foods made with refined flours and sugar are the most common culprits when it comes to food addiction.
Most people want to lead healthy lifestyles. But doing so isn’t always easy if you have a food addiction. People who show signs of food addiction may also develop a tolerance to food. They eat more and more, only to find that food satisfies them less and less. Needless to say, most people with food addiction struggle with obesity.
How can you become addicted to food?
The idea of food addiction was dismissed by many who thought it was impossible to become addicted to something our bodies need anyway.
However, recent studies have helped shed light on the fact that the types of foods associated with food addiction are the fat-filled, high salt, high sugar variety, which can directly impact parts of the brain associated with reward and pleasure.
The studies also show that this impact is basically the same as it would be for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Why it happens
Food addiction doesn’t seem to be more prevalent in men versus women, and it doesn’t seem to be impacted by a person’s size.
Instead, it’s more likely to develop in individuals that experienced some form of trauma during their childhood. However, this may not always be the case, as sometimes it can be triggered by factors such as hormonal imbalances and family situations that cause undue stress.
Can it be cured?
Just like addictions to other substances, there really is no cure for food addiction. However, also like other addictions, it is possible to recover from the effects of addiction by strict avoidance of the offending foods.
The road to health
Recovering from food addiction is not an easy process. In fact, in some ways it can be more difficult than drug or alcohol recovery. This is because the ingredients in the unhealthy products we crave are readily available and wind up in many of the foods we’d normally encounter throughout the course of our day. And…..we can completely eliminate alcohol or drugs from our lives…….but we can’t eliminate food.
If you think you are addicted to food, here are some steps to help you begin to overcome it:
-Enlist the help of a therapist or psychiatrist trained in addiction
-Remove trigger foods from your home
-Practice meditation and stress management (a calm mind makes better decisions!)
-Enroll in a regular exercise program that provides coaching , accountability and nutrition guidance.
If you’re local to San Jose and want a supportive group to work out with, contact us about doing a 1-week free trial at a lifeSport Fitness boot camp!