Alcohol addiction! Drug addiction! Even love addiction! But what about food addiction?
People apprehend all other addictions to be justified, but when it comes to food…it must be just a hunger pang!
Wrong notion that is carried away in waves! After all, we do not visit a doctor for getting rid of food addiction, we do not get withdrawal symptoms, and most importantly, it is not a registered illness. But what about its adverse effects?
People forget the atrocities of overeating, which is obesity and the chronic diseases that are associated with it.
Did you know: Over 100 million people suffer from obesity, but people suffering from alcohol addiction are only 17.6 million, and we all know what obesity is capable of, right?
There are certain foods that offer the same adrenaline rush to our brains that drugs or alcohol do. Of course, you know all about the sugar rushers and chocolate devourers!
What is food addiction?
Going by its term, food addiction is getting addicted to food the same way a person gets addicted to any other addictive substances or even gambling.
Food addiction is similar to other eating disorders like binge eating, bulimia, and compulsive overeating.
What causes food addiction?
Lesser studies and research about it have not given us much insight onto it. However, it is evident that the high-fat, high-sugar junk food activates the reward centers of the brain, precisely so as to say… the dopamine. Addiction to food like ice cream or the French fries results in the release of endorphins which gives the same dopamine effect, making the person crave more of it.
Symptoms of food addiction-
- Cravings for certain foods and not being able to abstain from them despite being full.
- Gobbling down palatable foods without having any break to it.
- Consistently eating even when you are stuffed up.
- Having guilt trips for indulging in foods so heavily yet following the same cycle again.
- Self-defending oneself to make it seem like eating is a good option.
- Repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit eating.
- Hiding away junk food items from others.
- Unable to avoid consumption of food even after knowing it may cause adverse effects like weight gain.
If any of the symptoms are relatable to you, then there is a possibility that you are a food addict. Like any other addiction, this too can take a toll both on your physical health and mental well-being. So finding out measures to overcome this phase is a must.
How to get over food addiction?
Food addiction is an impaired control towards consistently munching away. It should be taken into account that overcoming food addiction is not an easy task. Anyone trying to walk this path should fill themselves up with the drive of willpower and concentration to tackle the food cravings. Since everyone devours on different types of nutritionally bankrupt addictive foods, therefore, they must have different ways, equipment to overcome their food addiction. However, a few easy methods that may help people to get over food addiction in general are;
- Alter your food habits-
Say no to all the high sugar and fat foods you filled up your cart with, in the grocery store. This time make a change to stuff in more nutritious foods. Not food that is processed or is rich in artificial sweeteners. Go for foods that are actually listed down as a part of a balanced food chart diet. You can always eat a little of your favourites instead of only picking up items that scream low fat and low carb. But make sure to be a potential eater and not a hoarder instead.
Light stretching, yoga, brisk walking, or running, and also do not forget the 30 minutes of light exercise. Any one of them has the ability to not only drop the surge of dopamine in your mind but will also give you a healthy lifestyle. It does take a lot to bring about a sudden change from being unhealthy to healthy. But, when you see the changes your body is going through, you might just end up becoming a fitness freak! With time, the body will adjust itself to the lack of high sugar or fat diets. Take advantage of the situation to sculpt your body in a way that you always desired.
- Drink water-
Many times you may mistake your thirst to be a hunger pang. Indulging oneself into eating junk food can be satiated otherwise by just drinking water. At least 3-4 liters of water daily is all you need to suppress your cravings for unhealthy food.
- No caffeine and alcohol-
The body’s cravings are aggravated by caffeine and alcohol. A person consuming any of the two mostly has a tendency to make poor food choices. Also, these beverages have the potential to cause anxiety leading to emotional eating.
- Maintain a journal-
Pen down your junk food details in a diary. How can this help? Any time you gormandize your favourite fast food, maintain a record of it. Also jot down the times you did not give in to your cravings. These instances will be registered on your mind as well, boosting you up when you avoid your yearning and feeling guilty when you are not able to do it. Slowly you will become more accustomed to observing your actions and will have a better control on yourself.
- Quit dieting-
Doing all things together will only worsen the situation. You are already dealing with an addiction which is a health hazard on its own. Do not overburden yourself with wanting to lose weight simultaneously. Work on one thing at a time to accomplish it wholly.
- Avoid social media/television-
To advertise their product, food industries oftentimes exaggerate the necessity of their brand to be a part of our lifestyle. You do not have to be a hermit here and keep away from all worldly things. But, restrict your television viewing time and keep reminding yourself that the ad campaigns are to market their products; you have no benefit out of it!
Food addiction can turn your life into darkness. It is a disorder not often talked about or given much importance to. But, the disastrous effects on your body can be on a never-ending list. Although your journey to overcome food addiction can be a tough one but with the support of your loved ones, it will be a worthwhile walk.
Contact us at Hopecare, if you or any of your loved ones are dwindling in this painstaking experience. We are available for help 24*7. Call us now at 91-9311112377 to wave away your worries.
Hope Care established under the guidance of Dr. Deepak Raheja, President at Delhi Psychiatric Society is a psychiatric center of excellence that endeavors to restore hope and well-being to individuals and families afflicted by mental ill-health through comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services. Hopecare seeks to set benchmarks in innovative programs in treatment, care, and education.