What Is a Food Addiction?

by | May 28, 2012 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

What Is a Food Addiction?

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You’ve eaten two or three hours earlier. Now you need to eat again but are unable to lay your hands on food, you become physically and emotionally uncomfortable. You can’t think clearly, you can’t do anything until you have consumed some food. This is food addiction.

You’ve been to a restaurant the other day and liked a certain item on the menu. Now that you remember it, you have to re-visit the restaurant and order that same item and you have to do so preferably this evening itself if not sooner. This is another sign of food addiction.

In brief, food addiction is:

  • When our craving for food has nothing to do with hunger
  • When craving for food is more related to taste of food and the pleasure it brings
  • When memory of a delicacy begins to haunt and we want that food again

Missing a single meal becomes unbearable

A food addict or foodie will almost always be obese because he or she loves junk food and foods filled with Saturated fats and Cholesterol (LDL). These types of food are highly addictive and pack a wallop in terms of calories. In fact, every helping is likely to contain more calories than an adult requires for daily sustenance.

In short, if we eat food not because we are hungry, but because it is satisfying, then we would be labeled as food addicts. Food addicts are people who eat for the pleasure it brings rather than the hunger it satisfies.

Are food addicts robust in health?

Food addicts are anything but robust in health. They may look healthy but excessive consumption of food leads to a bloated stomach which in turn puts pressure on the internal organs leading to acute discomfort. Typically, a food addict will not be able to sleep well because it would be like trying to sleep over a hard ball full of air. Lack of sleep in turn leads to numerous medical problems.

And before you even ask – no, tongue isn’t the culprit. It is used to taste the food. The culprit is the brain. In a foodie, eating food leads to the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a ‘feel good’ hormone. It gives intense pleasure and brings about a feeling of well being making us want more.

Foods that can lead to food addiction

There are certain foods that actively trigger the release of dopamine. These foods include:

  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Pastries
  • Candies
  • Deep fried foods
  • Cookies

Controlling food addiction

A human being has an amazing ability to self-control. A resolve to not eat foods that cause or trigger food addiction will help curb the desire to eat. Therefore, a resolve to not eat chocolates, ice creams, pastries, candies, cookies and deep fried foods will prevent the unnecessary release of dopamine.

This can be achieved by resolving to not eat such foods for at least one week. If the food addict is able to achieve this small goal, then he or she can extend the resolve over a longer period of time ultimately curing the need to eat foods that cause or trigger food addiction.

Simultaneously, a resolve to eat small, regular, healthy meals will also lead to de-addiction.