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Mind Body Yoga and Food Addiction, How They Work

Last Updated: December 12, 2023

Losing control or the ability to stop consuming food is a disease often referred to as Food Addiction.

When first hearing the word addiction, many think of drugs or alcohol. Food addiction can be just as dangerous and can occur for many reasons. Scientifically speaking, the addiction to food is caused by a chemical dependency within the brain mostly on foods such as those that are high-fat, high sugar, or salty foods. These foods trigger a reward within the brain and pleasure centers.

In high portions, the brain will release those feel-good chemicals that are typically sought such as dopamine. This is the cause of the endless cycle of food is the cause of pleasure. This cycle typically continues to occur as the brain yearns for more stimulation. This is a concern that over 24 million Americans suffer from daily.

Signs of Food Addictions

  • Eating to the point of feeling ill or getting sick.
  • Constant thought or worry about food. This includes thinking about the next meal even while still eating your current one.
  • Eating more than planned even after thinking that you are full.
  • Eating when feeling upset, sad, angry, or alone.
  • Using food as a method to cope with depression or low self-esteem instead of healthier options.

Yoga 101

Yoga is categorized as a “Mind and Body” exercise and experience. Yoga has been around for many years and often incorporates the mind, body, and spirit. The focus that occurs while doing yoga is purposely done in order to allow the mind to solely focus on the body.

Traditional yoga is a stepping stone for mediation but also includes a full lifestyle of living, eating, and breathing a certain way throughout your day. Yoga is often looked at for the physical benefits but with a long-term commitment, you may develop a deeper awareness and appreciation of your body.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga has many benefits if done routinely and with care. Those who engage in yoga experience pleasure that is similar if not identical to the feelings that a food addict may feel when eating. Yoga reworks the brain and reduces overall stress-related habits.

With learning awareness of your body, it becomes possible to create a good and healthy relationship with food. Yoga allows you to feel those same pleasure-causing sensations without having to overeat. This will turn the focus away from food and to a positive coping skill.

Improvement of your overall strength and balance

  • Yoga provides time to work on your physical body while working on your mind.
  • The reduction of back pain.
  • Yoga provides safe options for stretching muscles that may be causing tension
  • A decrease in arthritis symptoms
  • Yoga gets the blood flowing which causes a reduction in overall swelling
  • The improvement of heart health
  • Yoga is a lifestyle that includes appropriate meals and body focus
  • The relaxation that causes better sleep
  • Calming the mind through yoga provides the body time to shut down appropriately.
  • More energy and brighter moods
  • Feeling better leads to activating more positively for yourself and others.
  • Appropriate stress management
  • Yoga provides appropriate coping skills that can be used when stress arises
  • Promotes better self-care
  • You and your body are number one when engaging in yoga.
  • Allows for an inclusive supportive community

Many individuals live the yoga lifestyle and can be turned to for assistance.

Overcoming food addiction by turning to a journey with yoga is not an instant recovery method. The more the body stimulates positivity with the assistance of positive factors, the less it will crave the food that initially caused the addiction. This will help reduce the negative food habits and cause an overall healthier lifestyle. Your mind and body will be given the appropriate time to heal with the assistance of engaging in a new way of life.