Food Addiction is something recently that has gained more and more support over the years, as studies on the topic increase. It’s something that many may not even know that they have and need treatment for, which is the most interesting part. Studies have shown that some people feel the same pleasure or “high” from food addiction as one does to addictive drugs like heroin or cocaine.
Many centers in the brain associated with pleasure have also been found to become activated when these foods are eaten.
What kinds of foods? When it comes to food addiction, commonly addictive foods are highly palatable, meaning that they are abundant in Sugar, Fat, and Salt.
It is just important to know that because these high palatable foods are so addicting, it causes them to eat even when you are not hungry. This is because they trigger parts of the brain to want more and more. However, it doesn’t necessarily make these foods something to avoid entirely. In today’s world, some foods are causing these things to happen to us.
I myself definitely have a hard time saying no to sweets after my lunch or dinner, even if I’m completely full. But, there are some differences between wanting to have something sweet after your meal, pure enjoyment, and being addicted to food.
Here are some symptoms that show signs of a Food Addiction:
- A feeling of loss of control
- Adjusting social and family gatherings to revolve around food
- Irritability, restlessness
- Emotional response in relation to food behaviors – guilt, shame
- Eating larger amounts of food
- Decreased energy level
- Avoidance of previous areas of interest
- Difficulties in other areas of life – social, relational Isolation
But how does one go about treating a food addiction? It is much more complicated to recover from food addiction than one might think. What many don’t realize is that, unlike drugs or alcohol, you can’t be “sober from food”. Food is fuel, and we need food to survive.
So, in food addiction treatment, it is important to avoid the highly palatable foods that are so addictive. During treatment, however, avoiding these highly palatable foods results in similar symptoms of withdrawal from drugs/alcohol. Some of these symptoms include:
- Periodic cravings.
- Confused or fuzzy thinking.
- Excessive sleepiness for a period of time.
Don’t be discouraged by these symptoms though! Even though it can be difficult to recover, with the right treatment and help, the road to recovery from food addiction is 100% possible and worth it!
Another question frequently asked is “What kind of Treatment should I seek for Food Addiction”? There isn’t just one answer. The path towards recovery isn’t a “quick fix” and there are many different steps and people that can help you. Here are some popular types of treatment for food addictions:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Health coach
- 12 step programs
- Medical doctor
It’s also important to note that everyone’s recovery is different and what might work for one person may not work for another.
Body Positive Works offers various types of treatment for Food Addiction, such as Yoga classes catered towards your needs, Meditation, Therapy, and Nutritionists/Dieticians! Also, note that all of these areas of treatment are able to help you in different ways. We value community, and sitting down with a dietician or nutritionist can be just as important as sitting down with a counselor to discuss your emotions. Building a team and support group of people to help you achieve your goals is something crucial to recovery. We are always focused on how to help others and get others better to be their best selves!