Food Addiction

Food addiction is very common.  Especially today, when fast food is the mainstay of most diets.  This convenience food is laced with ingredients to keep you going back for more.

We need food to survive, it gives us pleasure, and it is the center of celebrations.  Food nourishes us, it calms us, it comforts us, it fuels our bodies to do all of the physical and mental tasks we do on a daily basis.    Without food we would not survive.

As with anything, food can become an addiction for many people.  With the rise in obesity in our society now, I’d say that food addiction abounds.  I believe the chemicals, sodium, preservatives, sugar etc. in the fast food and processed food industry has latched on to the human brain’s addiction center and we have now got an epidemic of food-aholics walking around….overweight, diabetic, depressed and possibly heading towards a lifetime of serious illness and early mortality.

People get a “food high” from eating certain foods, which drives them back to these unhealthy foods even when they are not in need of nourishment or are not hungry at that time.  It’s a treadmill that never stops.  The brain’s reward center gets stimulated time and time again and the need to keep this stimulation going leads to eating more and more and more of these bad foods.

Food addiction can be caused by biological, psychological and social reasons.  Biological reasons could be hormonal, brain irregularity, possible genetic reasons or maybe even a side effect from pharmaceutical drugs.  A psychological cause could be eating to dull an emotional pain and the social reasons could be peer pressure, lack of nutritional support and/or stressful life events.  In any event….food is used as a comfort drug.   There are many eating disorders plaguing our society today.

Advertisings on television are helping to drive food addiction into the millions.  The tv ads are all for fast foods, sodium, sugar and bad fat laden.  The more you eat, the more you want.  These fast foods are not giving your body the nourishment it requires so you continue to go back for more.  Where the opposite is true with whole food nutrition.  When one eats fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes the body is getting nourished and satiety is lasting until the next meal.  I find with a whole food diet such as mine, I’m not thinking about food all day.  Only at meal times do I feel the hunger and cravings associated with food and eating.

Food addiction has symptoms.  Some of these symptoms are: eating more than one requires, eating past the feeling of fullness, obsessing over food, closet eating in hiding, binge eating, chronic fatigue, insomnia, irritability, digestive problems, headaches and other body aches and pains,  obesity.

If you or someone you know suffers with a food addicition seek professional help.  It is a powerful and destructive addiction that needs to be dealt with before the person gets seriously ill.

I always say “NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS LEAN AND HEALTHY FEELS.”  That mantra helps keep me away from destructive habits.  I also say “learning to love yourself stops destructive habits as you don’t want to do harm to your precious self”.

 

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