Like any type of addiction, a food addiction can quickly lead to trouble. Unless you’re addicted to the right foods, your food addiction could be compromising your health.
Food is fuel for our bodies and provides us with the energy we need to live our active lives, but sometimes the food we eat can block our energy and empty calories to our waistlines.
The problem is that foods with sugar, salt, and fat can literally trigger “feel good” chemicals in our brains such as dopamine, which only encourages us to eat more so we “feel” even better.
Understand the Signs
A food addiction can lead to becoming overweight and even obese. One of the ways to combat food addiction is to understand its signs. One of the signs of a food addiction is when you keep eating certain foods even when you are no longer hungry. Unfortunately, healthy food options like carrot sticks aren’t associated with unhealthy food addictions.
Eating to the point of feeling sick is another classic sign of a food addiction. If you find yourself going out of your way to obtain unhealthy foods or eating the same unhealthy foods on a regular basis, you might have a food addiction problem that could be negatively affecting your nutritional well-being.
Before you can cope with your food addiction, take time to understand what food addictions are. Many people may not understand that their food problem is an addiction problem. Learning the nature of that addiction as well as how to eat healthier will translate into better coping methods.
Alternative Methods of Feeling Good
If you crave the good feeling that food triggers, you should search for other activities that lead to that feeling, activities that don’t compromise your health. Exercise, for example, can also boost feel-good chemicals in your brain while enhancing your fitness. Activities like reading or gardening might also help you keep your mind off food between mealtimes.
Quitting cold turkey when it comes to your favorite snacks isn’t just difficult; it could also be setting you up for failure. Instead, create daily portions of foods like chips or cookies. This way, you won’t have to give up these items entirely, but you will have to stick carefully to your portion plan. If you go out to eat, it can also help to ask for a box right at the start of your meal so you can take half your portion home.
If you are unable to curtail your food addiction, you may find it helpful to speak with a food addiction specialist. Many experts believe that food addictions are based upon compulsions. Therapy can help you control these compulsions so you can control your eating habits.
Food addictions become serious when they compromise your nutrition and ultimately your health. If you believe you have a food addiction, take steps to work through it. You can conquer your addiction to unhealthy food habits, but you must first understand that you have a problem and learn about the most effective ways to cope with it.