First of all, we all should understand that food addiction is a disease and is very hard to cure it, but not impossible.
You can be a food addict by eating all types of food in large portions which usually is called overeating or you can be a picky eater choosing one food that you will eat all day or a class of food, like sweets, fast food, fried foods, etc.
So, food addicts are over eaters and picky eaters.
Here is a photo with the most addictive foods:
Do you eat too much of one or more of the foods above? If the answer is YES then you are a food addict.
Food addiction is like alcohol addiction.
WHY DO WE EAT TOO MUCH?
Usually people who eat too much do it because they suffered a trauma in the past and eating is the only thing that make them feel safe and happy. Some of them even consider the weight a barrier for the external pain and a way to keep people away.
In the moment they eat they feel happy, but right after they finished eating they are back to reality and then they want to eat again to be in that happy place and escape reality. They get “high” with food not drugs, but addictive eating is as dangerous as drug addiction. You want more and more everyday.
Actually the food or the process of eating is sending pleasant and happy stimuli to your brain and because this is the only positive stimuli your brain receive he wants more.
Non Addictive people send positive stimuli to the brain by smelling a flower, seeing a dog playing in the park, walking their dog, playing with their children, shopping, spending time with their family etc. But for addictive eaters these are not positive stimuli, all these activities don’t give them any feelings or actually trigger negative feelings like sadness, fear, frustration, etc.
We can’t function without positive feelings or stimuli so the brain perceive the eating time as the only happy moment because there is the only moment when the person is happy and relaxed. And because the person don’t have enough positivity, the brain want more and more from the only “positive” stimuli: food.
WHAT DO WE DO IF WE HAVE A FRIEND WITH AN EATING ADDICTION?
First, we have to understand that this is a problem and is not a joke.
We have to be there for them and not make fun of them and actually we have to encourage them to see a professional to help them understand their problem and treat it.
HOW TO TREAT YOUR EATING ADDICTION?
You have to understand that this is a problem that affects you mentally and physically and if is hard to do it by yourself, go see a therapist.
Here is how I approach a patient with food addiction:
*This is not a guaranteed treatment method. Everyone is different and so the treatment.
Step 1: We will discuss what cause them the trauma, if they were abused, abandoned, bullied, etc.
Step 2: Understand their past.
Step 3: Discussing their eating behavior and explain the problem.
Step 4: Refer to a nutritionist (if is necessary).
Step 5: Support in their journey of adding foods or reducing the foods and/or portions.
Food addiction is a problem and it need time to cure it. Discussing your problem and ask for help is the best solution to begin your treatment.
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