Are You Dealing With Food Addiction? If So, You Can Overcome It and Here’s How! When you hear the term ‘food addict,’ do you instantly think to yourself, “Oh my gosh! That is me!”? Do you almost always compare your desire to eat to a drug addict’s compulsion to get his or her next fix of a particular drug? Is food on your mind all day every day, sometimes appearing in your dreams? If so, it is possible that you are addicted to the food—specifically to the foods you are craving.
While this may make losing weight extra hard for you, it is possible to overcome this type of addiction by doing just a couple of things. But first, let’s talk about how food addiction occurs.
Causes of Food Addiction
According to the Food Addiction Research Education (FARE) organization, there are many scenarios as to why a person could become addicted to food. However, four of the ten causes they list have to do with chemical imbalances in your body. Specifically, they note that when your hormones, neurotransmitters, nutrients, or metabolism (think blood sugars) are not at the levels that they need to be, that is when food addiction can result.
Also on FARE’s list of food addiction causes are allergies and intolerances to food, being in a toxic food environment, and suffering some sort of emotional trauma. While each of these causes could have a book of its own written about it (and some do), for purposes of this article, we’re going to talk about the effects of imbalances on your predisposition toward food as that seems to be the most prevalent cause. This starts with looking at your brain.
Your Brain’s Role in Food Addiction
There are two chemicals within your brain that have a huge amount of control over your desire to eat. They are dopamine and serotonin. When these are low, your body entices cravings in order to get you to eat something that will raise them, which is why you crave sugary foods.
Foods higher in sugar will increase your levels of dopamine and serotonin, but only short-term. Once your levels start to fall again, more cravings will come to the surface and the pattern continues. That is why addiction is so powerful and you’re stuck constantly battling it.
This is a similar type of process that people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, and nicotine go through. Each one of these substances raises your levels of dopamine and serotonin, which makes them even harder to kick because of how good you feel when you consume them.
However, keep in mind that vitamin and mineral deficiencies and low blood sugar can also create a food addiction. Therefore, the more balanced all of your hormones and chemicals are, the less chance you will have of developing a food addiction.
So, what can you do to overcome your food addiction so that you can start to live a normal life in which you’re not constantly thinking about or eating food?
Overcoming Food Addiction
Overcoming food addiction is party behavioral as some actions that you take when addicted to food are habit, but, as you just learned, it is also largely hormonal. Therefore, in order to reduce and even eliminate your cravings for sugary sweet foods, you need to stabilize your hormones and other chemicals. This will help you resolve your desire to overeat, naturally and effectively.
This can be done fairly easily by first testing for any deficiencies that may exist in your body. Once they are identified, they can be remedied with a supplemental regimen that will likely eliminate your cravings completely. There are also other things you can do to help with the healing process.
For instance, because eating sugary foods fuels the cycle to want to overeat, avoiding these types of foods to begin with can help lessen your cravings. Prepare to have withdrawal symptoms for the first few days as your body gets used to no longer having them in your system. Caffeine can play a part in this process as well, so start reducing the amount of coffee and sodas you drink, with an aim to eliminate them from your diet all together.
Also, eat healthy foods and eat regularly. This will keep your blood sugars stable which will lessen your mood swings and reduce your irritability. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water, which will also make you feel better since all of your body systems rely on it in order to function efficiently.
Do these things and put your food addiction in the past—where it belongs!