If you are struggling to lose weight you've probably been told you simply need to eat less. Or that you just need to have more control.
But it's not that simple. Weight loss is so much more complicated than just eating less or having more willpower.
What is a food addiction?
An addiction is when your body craves a substance or behavior and is unable to stop even when you know you should.
A food addiction is an uncontrollable urge to eat food and does not relate to hunger.
The body can become physically addicted to a substance like nicotine in cigarettes, but it can also crave the pleasurable chemicals in the brain that result from the behavior.
With a food addiction consuming certain foods triggers feel good chemicals like dopamine in the brain.
Are food addictions real?
Brain imaging in humans and animals show that foods can trigger the same pleasure and reward centers in the brain as addictive drugs like cocaine. So food addictions may not cause the same physical sensations as substance addiction, but the brain treats food the same way as other addictions.
What foods are the most addictive?
The most addictive foods contain sugar, fat and salt. In fact processed foods are the most addictive because they are actually designed to be addictive, usually with a combination of these.
What are the symptoms of a food addiction?
The symptoms of a food addiction are similar to other addictions:
A preoccupation with certain foods
Binge and compulsive eating
Food provides an emotional release
Eating alone and being secretive about your binges.
An impact on your family and social life
Suffering from withdrawal symptoms like cravings, headaches, and irritability when you try to stop
What causes food addictions?
Some people are more susceptible to addictions and food addictions are no different.
The fact that many addictive foods are readily available makes them easy to turn to for comfort and the addictive nature of these foods makes it hard to stop.
How can you reduce addictive eating?
There are several ways to reduce and prevent food addictions from taking over your life.
A food addiction may require counseling and therapies that help with other addictions like cognitive behavioral therapy and other types of therapy can be effective.
Removing the trigger foods from your house can help. This is the cold turkey method of stopping the addiction. If you make it harder to eat, then you are less likely to eat it.
If stress seems to trigger your binges, then find other outlets for stress relief like going for a walk or practicing yoga.
Establish healthy eating habits like three meals per day and eating slowly and sitting down while eating. Planning meals and creating a list for your groceries can also help with cutting down on unplanned purchases.
Eating more protein, especially in the morning can help to keep blood sugar balanced and reduce cravings.
Other healthy lifestyle habits like getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep and drinking enough water can also help.
Food addictions like any other are more easily overcome with support.
My programs are customized to fit you as an individual and address these behaviors as part of my holistic approach. You will receive the highest level of structure and support that include real life, practical solution-based tools needed to overcome unhealthy eating patterns that contribute to food addictions.
Vicki Witt | Clinical Nutritionist | Holistic Coach | Reiki Master | Certified LEAP allergy therapist Over 25 years of successfully helping you achieve optimal health and weight loss 🍏 email@example.com | www.vickiwittweightloss.com
Vicki Witt is a Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, and Reiki Master. She has been practicing over 25 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and hormonal control. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner. One of the USA and Australia's top Nutritionists, she has won multiple awards for her services in the industry.