Are You Addicted to Food?
We all know the dangers of drug addiction, whether from our own experiences with a friend or family member, or seeing it played out on TV. That would never happen to us, right? We wouldn’t allow it. However, many of us do medicate with food, maybe we just don’t realize it. It begs the question, is food your drug?
Here’s the thing about food. Unlike a drug, we cannot completely eliminate it. We must eat in order to live. So if someone is addicted to food, how do they cure it? The answer isn’t simple. It usually takes a multi-faceted approach, including counseling to address the underlying reason for medicating with food.
Many people are addicted to certain foods and don’t even know it! The food industry is very clever in its formulation of “junk foods” to contain their uber-addicting triad of salt, fat and sugar. Those three elements combined can light up the pleasure centers in our brain even more so than cocaine.
Signs of food addiction:
- Craving certain foods even when you’re full
- Going out of your way to get a particular food when it isn’t immediately available
- Eating more than planned or feeling out of control
- Feeling guilty afterward, but still planning on doing it again soon
- Rationalizing indulging in that particular food
- Attempts at moderation with a certain food have failed because it seems to have more power than you
- Hiding your eating habits from others
If these signs resonate with you, what can you do about it?
- See a counselor who specializes in addiction
- Try eliminating the “trigger foods” from your diet. It will be difficult in the beginning, but your trigger foods are not likely to be healthy items like vegetables. You won’t develop a nutritional deficiency by eliminating junk foods.
- Explore other support options like Overeaters Anonymous https://oa.org/ or Food Addicts Anonymous https://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org/
- Learn to eat mindfully. Every bite you choose to take should be promoting health, not disease. Check out Eating Mindfully by Dr. Susan Albers, Psy.D.
Written by Alissa Lorchick, RD, LMNT, Bryan Bariatric Advantage Dietitian