It is hard to eat healthy and lose weight at the same time. Although people have the best intentions, they often end up eating large amounts of unhealthy foods without considering the harm it may cause. Certain foods can even cause addiction.
Food addiction is not something you should ignore. It’s a very serious disorder, one of the main reasons people can’t control themselves when eaten. It’s best to learn how to conquer food addiction to avoid some of the complications it may cause.
What’s Food Addiction?
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As the term implies, it is a sudden or growing addition to foods, often junk food. Food addiction works just like any other addiction, such as drugs or alcohol, and has many of the same biological effects in terms of how the neurotransmitters are affecting certain areas of the brain.
The term is new and fairly controversial, but food addiction is an eating disorders similar to compulsive eating, bulimia and a generally unhealthy relationship with food.
Symptoms of Food Addiction
There is no blood test for diagnosing food addiction. Like other types of addictions, the determining factor is the behavioral symptoms, such as:
- Eating a food you were craving to the point where you are feeling disproportionately “stuffed.”
- Frequent cravings for specific foods, regardless of being full or having just finished eating a nutritious meal.
- Making excuses in your mind about why you should eat a specific food that you are craving.
- Eating a food you were craving, but often let yourself eat much more than what you intended to.
- Hiding the consumption of unhealthy foods from other people.
- Feel guilty after eating specific foods, yet eating them again soon after.
- Recurrently trying to stop eating or setting guidelines about specific foods, without success.
- Feeling unable to regulate your intake of unhealthy foods, even though you know they are causing you physical harm.
Ways to Conquer Food Addiction
1. Take a test. The first thing you need to do is test if your relationship with food is healthy or not. Some research shows that the majority of people suffering from food addiction are those who are overweight or obese.
2. Distinguish your staple treats. The brain often looks for more delicious treats, like natural carbs or healthy fats from avocados, fish, lean meats and olive oil.
3. Restrict the reward. When you eat hyper-palatable foods all day and start each and every day with sugary, salty, fatty foods and drinks, you may end up with an infinite appetite for more.
4. Distinguish the Hyper-Palatable Foods. Hyper-palatable foods over-stimulate the brain. After a while, you get less and less dopamine from consuming food like that, and you will seek more to satiate you.
5. Know Your Enemy. List all the factors affecting your food consumption, especially those that trigger you to be more addicted to a certain food. These should be avoided in order to fight food addiction.
6. Keep in Mind the 3 Ms: Mind, Mouth and Muscle. This will certainly help you in organize the way you detoxify and recover from food addiction.
Mind: Recover your brain and its reward center. You can do this through mindfulness and meditation, or you can do yoga to clear your mind of negative thoughts.
Mouth: Get high, but in a natural way. Increase your intake of whole foods to increase your dopamine level naturally.
Muscle: For a better, bigger, more focused and stronger brain, you should stimulate it. You can do this by exercising daily, since every step you take can help stimulate the brain.
If, during the whole process, you find yourself losing control of your consumption and experiencing a relapse, seek help. Relapses are not new or uncommon when fighting addiction. Most people have a history of relapses, and may experience a few before finding success. It’s more about consistently picking yourself back up. However, if you are relapsing more than you are succeeding, you want to seek help from a professional, such as your physician. They can help guide you.=
Food addiction is a big problem that might not resolve itself. If treated incorrectly, it could even get worse. However, with rapid development of technology, we are continuously learning how to conquer it in our own way.