How to fight addiction to food?

by Onyinye Ogbuka

How to fight addiction to food?

Food addiction is also known as addiction to junk foods. Food addiction is related to other eating disorders such as Bulimia, binge eating, anorexia etc. 

Food addiction does not mean addiction to every type of food. Food addiction occurs only in relation to junk foods.

How to stop addiction to junk food?

Food addiction is similar to drug addiction in which certain parts of the brain are stimulated when some kinds of food are eaten. When this part of the brain is stimulated, there is the release of feel-good hormones that gives the person a sort of a high. At this point, the person is supposed to stop eating but they can’t because they want more of that hormone. This makes them overeat and binge not minding the health risk involved.

Here are some examples of junk food

  • Cakes 
  • Bread
  • Burger(hamburger, chicken burger)
  • Pizza
  • Chips
  • Sugary drink
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Crackers
  • Candy

What are the factors that lead to food addiction?

Stress; Food addictions can stem from stress; stress releases a lot more negative emotions than positive ones and because of this someone takes a junk just to create more positive emotions. At the same time, someone can decide to take junk just because of an accomplishment.

Brain reaction; The reward centre of the brain is associated with that part of the brain that releases positive feelings especially associated with core pleasure.

Trauma or depression: Most people who are depressed or have trauma turn to junk to feel good. This is most common with postpartum mothers who end up eating junk just to feel good.

  • Eating larger amounts of junk foods for an extended period.
  • Deciding to quit and failing consistently at the decision to quit.
  • No matter the costs, making sure that you satisfy your cravings.
  • Having to give up important obligations just to eat and binge eat.
  • Eating continuously and minding the effects of the excess food 
  • Increased desire for more junk food.
  • Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop the addiction 
  • Craving a particular food despite having just eaten a nutritious meal.
  • Feeling guilty banter eating certain food and justifying eating it 
  • Hiding the food away from family when they notice and want you to stop eating it.
  • feeling unable to control the consumption of unhealthy foods — despite knowing that they cause physical harm or weight gain

How to fight food addiction

Create your goals; Just to externalize the fact that you want to change. First of all, create a list of your goals and how you intend to achieve them. Secondly, a list of the junk foods that you should avoid. Thirdly, create a list of healthy foods that you can take in replacement of junk foods. You can also create a list of the fast food places that you should avoid and create a list of the healthy food places that you can go to.

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Avoid alcohol; you should not only avoid alcohol, you should also avoid sugary drinks and coffee. Alcohol leads you to have unhealthy food choices while the caffeine in coffee stimulates hunger for junk. Sodas and sugary drinks have a highly addictive effect, replace them with healthy drinks or water

Be intentional: when eating, make sure you are intentional about the kind of food that you take into your body. Be mindful of the number of calories that are in such foods, this will help you get rid of your food addiction faster.

Eat healthy food; to conquer your food addiction, start eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and more organic foods than eating junk. Make sure your body gets used to eating healthy stuff, this is one of the most effective ways you can use to ensure that your body does not crave junk anymore.

Get a therapist; one of the fastest ways to get rid of food addiction is to ensure that you get a therapist. Getting a therapist will make the journey shorter because you have someone to whom you are accountable. Sometimes your food addiction might have underlying causes such as trauma, stress, death of a loved one, or postpartum depression. Getting a therapist would ensure that these underlying issues are treated and dealt with. Mildstrings offers therapy for food addiction, you can book your slot now by clicking this link.

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