The evidence for various types of food addiction has been increasing over recent years. Nutritional choices play a large role in these conditions. While some people maintain that obese people are simply greedy and don’t care about their health, this narrow-minded view is simply untrue. In a lot of cases, hormonal urges create unrelenting cravings for poor dietary choices that people just cannot control. And shocking as it may sound; eating addictions are one of the biggest killers of the 21st century.
This article will explain what food addiction is, some of the devastating effects it has on health, and how to get rid of food addiction. Read on!
What is Food Addiction?
Food addiction simply means being addicted to food. In this situation, you cannot give it up and feel the need to eat even when you don’t need to.
Perhaps you even find enjoyment from foods you don’t particularly like.
For most people, this unhealthy relationship with food is due to an underlying hormonal condition that causes severe cravings. These cravings are especially intense for highly refined sources of carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour. Both wheat and sugar addictions are becoming increasingly common due to our highly industrialized modern diets.
How to overcome food addiction
The health consequences of food addiction can be very scary. But what can we do to curb our cravings and how to overcome food addiction?
The first step to breaking an addiction is to admit the problem to ourselves.
Say to yourself “I’m addicted to food, but I’m going to do something about it.”
Once we have done that, whether we want to stop eating fast food or binging on bread – the principles are the same. Not until we recognize the causes of addiction — our ‘trigger’ foods — can we start to actively evade them and learn how to overcome junk food addiction.
What causes addiction may vary a lot among individuals; while some find it difficult to quit sugary drinks, others find comfort in huge bowls of rice/pasta. And bread is a huge weakness for many people, due to the particular addictive properties of wheat
The embrace of overall healthy eating is essential too. Rather than simply replacing our trigger foods with other food of questionable quality, we should learn how to eat healthily.
As a very brief overview, healthy foods are naturally occurring and include meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. In contrast, it’s best to avoid factory-made foods such as bread, cereal, cakes, candy, and industrial oils.
How to deal with cravings
The more you eat foods you have an unhealthy relationship with, the more you begin to crave them. So, we believe it’s best to cut them out ‘cold turkey’ rather than have constant reminders of how they make you feel.
At this point, many people experience intense cravings and want to eat the foods which make them feel good.
However, this stage is only temporary, and these urges for processed foods reside after a period of avoidance. Usually, the first week is the hardest, after which the cravings become less and less intense.
During this time it is essential not to let yourself get hungry. Stopping eating processed foods such as sugar and bread isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Overeat slightly on fat and protein if you have to, because if you feel hungry while out of the house, then you may give in to temptation. Also keeping satiating food handy is a very good idea, and cheese, nuts, boiled eggs, and dark chocolate are all good for this purpose.
Maybe it’s a few weeks after you last had something from a bakery, and your cravings have dropped to a manageable level.
So, just one pastry won’t harm, right?
Unfortunately, this is one of the very worst things you can do. If you have a genuine fast food addiction, then there is no such thing as moderation. Eat something today and you’ll likely eat it tomorrow and the day after too.
We call this ‘the law of addiction’ – a recovering smoker can’t have just one cigarette and a former alcoholic should never have a shot of whiskey. Likewise, a former bread addict shouldn’t eat a single piece of bread.
Recovery from food addiction needs a complete dietary and lifestyle change. By learning how to love real food, you can give up the ultra-processed food products for good. Its hormonal cravings rather than amazing taste that brings you back for more and more.
Ask Yourself This: “What Do I Want To Eat?”
If you have read down to this point, and you feel like you have a food addiction, then this is the question you need to ask.
What do you want to eat?
Do you want to stay on the same course as now, and keep eating all the foods that make you feel (temporarily) happy? Or do you want to stop sacrificing your health and make a positive change? Only you know the answer to that question, and only you can make the decision to improve your health. You probably know by now that moderation doesn’t work.
It’s not about how much sugar is too much, or about following the recommended daily sugar intake. How to get healthy isn’t rocket science, and it just involves eating a sustainable diet that you find both enjoyable and satisfying.
In short, just remember that knowing how to beat food addiction is different from doing it and needs a lot of dedication.
Supportive relationships — either family/friends or through support groups — are extremely important.
In other words, nobody going through food addiction is alone if they choose to seek support. If you don’t think you can do it on your own, then it may be worth looking into food addiction treatment. As recovering from food addiction is incredibly tough, some professionals can also help you.
So are you ready to beat your food addiction? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment box!