The Dark Side of Food Addiction and How to Deal With It

The Dark Side of Food Addiction and How to Deal With It

Craving sweets and fatty foods are not much different from drug addiction. People eat various sweets and fatty foods for a reason. It’s instinct. And this is done to get the coveted dopamine – the hormone of happiness.

But in any case, you should understand that such food brings more harm to the body than happiness.

Dopamine has an impact on your decisions

The brain consumes about 20% of all energy entering the body every day, mainly in the form of glucose. Of course, he will encourage the consumption of such food. And your brain does this by secreting the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Dopamine is generally released so that the brain remembers some very important information for life, for example: “sex, food, adrenaline – the states, when a person experiences incredible pleasure”. All these presses on the “gas pedal”, and dopamine begins to bubble up.

That is why, say experts, sweet and fatty foods are not much different from drug addiction. Both conditions are accompanied by a sharp release of dopamine in a special area of ​​the brain called the limbic system.

Signs of food addiction

Note, that food addiction is even included in the latest psychiatric viewing as substance addiction.

A checklist of questions from a questionnaire developed by researchers at Yale University to help you understand if you have signs of food addiction:

  • Are you eating more than you bargained for when you have certain types of meals?
  • Do you continue to consume certain foods even when you’re not hungry?
  • Are you eating to the point where you feel bad?
  • Do you eat more to feel pleasure or to ease negative emotions?
  • Have you a feeling guilty or anxious after eating certain foods?

However, some researchers believe that getting rid of this condition is much more difficult than other addictions.

Alcoholics, for example, can refrain from drinking alcohol all their lives, but it is impossible to do without food. This is the sadness of the situation.

You need to be careful with food

Nutritionists have provided some helpful tips to make your relationship with food much easier:

  1. Create a list of foods that you tend to overuse. These are trigger foods and should be avoided completely.
  2. Cook it yourself. This way you can control the quantity and quality and enjoy the process.
  3. Create a list of places where you tend to overeat, especially fatty and sugary foods. Try to avoid these places, especially when you are hungry.
  4. Likewise, create a list of places where there is healthy and tasty food. If you are hungry or don’t want to cook, go eat there.
  5. Every time you want to eat something – think about it: you are really hungry or this desire is simply caused by addiction.

In addition, you should turn to specialists if it is not possible to overcome the addiction on your own.

Overcoming food addiction is a long-term process, but it can be dealt with. It is important to work in a team of a nutritionist and a psychologist on this issue to rule out other causes of food addiction.

Picture Credit: Pexels

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