When you think of addiction, you automatically think of substance abuse of either narcotics or alcohol, but addiction can come in many forms. Some of the symptoms of food addiction include: obsession with thoughts about food, compulsive overeating, the feeling of being out of control when eating, overeating simply because food is there, hiding food so you can eat in secret, eating everything on the plate even when you are full, and being aware that your eating patterns are abnormal.
Check out Yale’s food addiction scale and see where your habits lie. http://www.midss.org/content/yale-food-addiction-scale-yfas
MRI scans have actually shown that food cravings activate the same reward parts of the brain as cravings for drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. Food addiction is on the rise now, since it is a more socially acceptable habit. The culprit of your addiction is known as dopamine. Dopamine production stimulates that “happy/reward” feeling. This is why a lot of parents give candy or treats to their children when they done something good. Our receptors link memory to the dopamine sensation, which is how we become addicted.
Here are a few treatment options to help get rid of your food addiction……..and yes this includes myself.
Psychotherapy – professional therapists can raise your chances of recovery. Part of your food addiction is psychological in nature. You have used food to cover up deeper emotional issues.
Identify trigger foods – For some people, its sugary foods. Other crave pasta and high-carb snacks. Pinpointing your trigger foods is the first step to recovery.
Slowly reduce the amount of trigger foods – Aggressive diets and complete abstinence of your trigger foods usually fail and leave the food addict even more depressed and destructive in eating habits. To succeed, you must adopt a progressive and gradual approach to replacing your trigger foods with healthier substitutions. Eventually, you will only associate the healthy food with the dopamine response of the trigger foods, but you will ultimately remove the trigger foods from your diet.
Exercise – For a food addict (any addict actually), exercise can regenerate dopamine receptors and help rebuild the damage of previous addiction and prevent relapse.
Kayla Germann BS, CFT 937-307-6278 cell 937-748-9905 office email@example.com