Have you ever wondered why you start every new year with a promise to yourself to eat healthfully, only to end up making several rounds of fast-food and grocery-store stops—the displays beckoning you to indulge in succulent sweets and crunchy or salty delights—and with you devouring the entire container almost trance-like?
Do you feel you’re doing everything right, but your weight keeps increasing, and your night-before promise to yourself to start clean eating disappears by the end of the following day? Or maybe you make it to the first week for this new year and then cave.
Do you find yourself eating when you’re not hungry at all?
Does the mere picture of a succulent chocolate cake cause you to obsess over the urgency to get a piece—or perhaps eat the entire cake and your resolution is down the tubes?
Do you experience a drug-like stupor after eating certain foods? Do you feel high at the thought of eating chocolate, followed by a deep depression soon after its consumption?
Is food your lover?
Is food your worst nightmare?
Do you panic at the thought of not eating cookies, candy, and bread?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may be a food addict. And if you suffer from food addiction and treat it with a diet you are setting yourself up for failure.
Food addiction is real.
It’s not your fault.
You may feel you have no way out of this hell you’re experiencing day in and day out but you do. There is hope and there is help.
Food addiction is defined as an uncontrollable urge for excess food, particularly refined carbohydrates such as sugar and flour substances, which are quick to metabolize. The disease—for food addiction truly constitutes a disease—is biochemical in nature because the body of the food addict reacts differently to some foods than the bodies of other people. A common link between food addicts is sensitivity to sugars and certain carbohydrates. More specifically, the reaction of deep craving begins with just one chocolate bar, a slice of cake, a bowl of pasta, or similar carbohydrates: all normal foods for most individuals.
I recognize food addiction as an addiction that, when addressed through abstaining from specific foods, causes cravings to cease. Refraining from eating these foods then allows the person to live a “normal” life tapped into a higher wisdom connected to spiritual recovery.
Learning if you are a food addict or a behavioral eater can be tricky at best. Often the two are crossed and blended as if the same.
In Psychology Today, What is Behavioral Addiction? penned by Jon E. Grand, JD, MD, MPH and Brian L. Odlaug suggest that ingesting drugs and alcohol may produce short-term rewards that then result in a lack of control over the behavior. It is the diminished control that is considered a core defining concept of substance addiction….but this is also similar between behaviors that produce a lack of control.
In both situations there is withdrawal. I find this quite telling. Do we behave a certain way or is the addiction kicking in? Can we separate the two?
The article goes on to say the idea of behavioral addictions is based in scientific knowledge, but the concept is still controversial. One is looking at a substance going into the body while the other is looking at behavior such as gambling. Both have signs of out of control. The brain will respond to the behavior in the same addictive manner as the drug or alcohol. In both cases they may become agitated, have trouble sleeping, experience a personality change and be quite irritable.
After I struggled with my addiction for well over thirty years, I found if I let go of my trigger foods, the monster within quieted. I no longer chase the new year resolution or the newest fad diet on the block.
I began my personal journey by adopting a manner of eating in order to get “sober” and avoid relapse. I learned quickly that if I plugged into the universal life force and omitted processed foods, the demon was tamed, and I was relieved of the disease—yet I remained keenly aware that the consumption of sugar would open the mouth to the devil and ignite the addictive phase.
So, when life is challenging rather than turning to food perhaps digging into the root cause might have a better outcome. Break free from the New Year Resolution Diet and begin in the now to eat healthfully, and once and for all end making several rounds of fast-food and grocery-store stops and displays beckoning you to indulge in succulent sweets and crunchy or salty delights. Life will get better and better with each passing day, I promise.
What are your thoughts? Do you struggle with your food? Do you think certain foods can lead to binge eating? I’d love to hear from you–your thoughts are important. If you don’t think food addiction is real I’d love to hear from you too…
Stay tuned…you never know where my mind will wander…
You can leave a comment by scrolling down to the section that says leave a reply. I look forward to hearing from you!
Hugs to you, I care!
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Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.