Food Addiction: 7 Signs You Overeat

Table of contents:

Food Addiction: 7 Signs You Overeat
Food Addiction: 7 Signs You Overeat

Video: Food Addiction: 7 Signs You Overeat

Video: Food Addiction: 7 Signs You Overeat
Video: Food Addiction: Craving the Truth About Food | Andrew Becker | TEDxUWGreenBay 2023, May

Food addiction is a condition in which a person uses food not to satisfy hunger, but to cope with various unpleasant emotions. For example, with anxiety, loneliness or boredom. According to a Harvard Medical School study, food addiction can be as severe and dangerous as alcohol or drug addiction. Systematic overeating and night trips to the refrigerator not only spoil the appearance, but also provoke various diseases. Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis, but here are some of the most common signs that should alert you.

1. Eat until nausea

For people with addiction, food is not exclusively a physiological need. Rather, it is a way to relax and relieve stress. Since our body quickly adapts to any changes, in order to continue to receive the same effect, the portions have to be constantly increased. So control over the state of satiety is lost, and even after a full meal, emotional hunger remains, not associated with the need for energy and nutrients. The person continues to consume food until they feel physical discomfort (indigestion, nausea). At the same time, he enjoys not so much the taste as the process. Doctors advise leaving the table with a slight feeling of hunger. If you cannot stop and fill your stomach, this is an alarming signal.

2. Have food triggers

Food triggers are foods that cause addiction and binge eating. As a rule, we consume them without a sense of proportion and continue to eat, even when we are full. Different people have their own food triggers, but according to American researchers, these are most often foods with a high glycemic index. They activate the "reward system" in the brain and increase the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Thus, unpleasant feelings and experiences are blocked, and with them - signals of satiety. As a result, a person not only becomes addicted to the emotions caused by triggered foods, but also regularly overeats. Moreover, he begins to buy them specifically for emotional relief and to combat bad moods.

Photo: Derek Duran / Unsplash
Photo: Derek Duran / Unsplash

© Derek Duran / Unsplash

3. Looking for excuses for breakdowns

People with food addictions eat when they feel bad to support or comfort themselves. According to psychologists, this is due to their inability to cope with stress in other ways. A person gets used to seizing even the slightest stress, and in order to break loose and break promises, he finds many excuses. During such bargaining with oneself, one can come up with a lot of arguments why the eaten was useful and necessary for the body. For example, we had a bad day, so you need to please yourself with something. Or, conversely, the day turned out to be too good, and thus we decide to reward ourselves for a job well done. Such excuses always sound logical and reasonable, so we see no reason to resist the temptation.

4. Feel guilty

Regular attempts to start controlling your diet, and the breakdowns and frustrations that follow, build up deep feelings of guilt and even self-loathing. Despite this, the cycle repeats over and over. Due to bouts of overeating, food addicts often cancel planned events because they feel not slim enough. For example, they may avoid romantic dates or meeting friends. For the same reason, food addicts are more likely than others to suffer from depression, obsessive thoughts, anxiety, and low self-esteem. This provokes repeated bouts of overeating. It turns out a vicious circle: a person cannot curb his appetite, gets upset because of this and again relieves stress in the usual way - with the help of trigger foods.

Photo: Spencer Davis / Unsplash
Photo: Spencer Davis / Unsplash

© Spencer Davis / Unsplash

5. Hide food from your family

With other people, food addicts behave differently than when they are alone. They try to hide from others the amount they have eaten and their unhealthy relationship with food. There are various ways to do this. For example, some eat only at night, while their loved ones sleep, after which they carefully cover their tracks. Others always keep a stock of junk food in their car so they can enjoy it without prying eyes. Still others in a hurry eat a chocolate bar or a packet of cookies on their way home from the store. At the same time, being in the company of strangers, they make a choice in favor of healthier meals and impose themselves on small portions. If you begin to notice that your eating habits at home are very different from those that you are used to demonstrating in society, this is a reason to be wary.

6. Constantly think about food

Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute (Florida) have come to the conclusion that food addiction causes the same changes in the brain as in alcoholism and drug addiction. For example, if a favorite food runs out at home, the patient begins to experience severe physical suffering, similar to the withdrawal of a drug addict. In addition, the thoughts of such people constantly revolve around food. During the day, they often fantasize about treats and where and when their next meal will be. Food lovers love to anticipate what they will buy in the supermarket after work and what dish they will cook for dinner. All this makes it difficult to concentrate on more important matters. If your specialty has nothing to do with cooking, but you regularly catch yourself thinking about food and are struggling with the obsession with the need for something to eat, it is best to seek help.

Photo: Roman Kraft / Unsplash
Photo: Roman Kraft / Unsplash

© Roman Kraft / Unsplash

7. Continue to risk your health

Food addiction not only complicates life, but also causes disease: from being overweight, fatigue and acne to diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. However, even knowing about the possible unpleasant consequences, an addicted person is not able to pull himself together and streamline food. He is constantly worried about excess weight and appearance, continuing to absorb large portions of "junk" food. It is very difficult to give up unhealthy foods and start controlling your eating habits overnight. Since addiction is formed over the years, the caloric content of the diet must be reduced gradually. Ideally, under the guidance of a specialist who will help you choose a balanced diet and teach you how to recognize body signals.

The Whole Truth About Kombuche, or How Healthy is Kombucha.

How to deal with food addiction

1. Choose a comfortable diet for yourself. That being said, try not to skip meals and watch your portion sizes. It is helpful to keep a food diary and learn how to count calories. Special applications for smartphones will help with this. For example, YAZIO, Lifesum, or FatSecret.

2. Check the refrigerator. Get rid of junk food and trigger foods that trigger breakdowns. They will interfere with following your meal plan.

3. Stop looking for emotional support in food. Find another way to deal with stress. Go for a walk, listen to your favorite music, do a mini workout or clean up. Take your mind off food.

4. Find like-minded people on a healthy lifestyle. Doing something for the company, even if there are only two of you, is always much easier.

5. Get enough sleep. With a lack of sleep in the body, the level of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite and is responsible for the feeling of fullness, decreases.

6. If you cannot cope with addiction on your own, seek help from a psychologist. Ideally, undergo a comprehensive examination. It may turn out that the whole thing is in problems with the endocrine system.>

Popular by topic