Food Addiction Help
Is food addiction for real?
Good question! There are a wide variety of opinions and scientific findings when it comes to the issue of food addiction. A number of psychiatrists and doctors believe that food addiction is at the heart of eating disorders and obesity. According to them some people are more susceptible to food addiction because of hereditary factors and genetic makeup, in similar ways that some people are more inclined to have a drug or alcohol addiction than their peers.
Others have written books about food allergies. They claim that when some people eat certain food (the food they are allergic to) it causes them to spiral into a binge episode.
Some experts shun the whole idea of food addiction and say that overeating cannot possibly be compared to something as severe as alcohol and drug addiction where brain alterations occur. There is still a lot of research going on surrounding this subject, so I guess time will tell what really happens biologically when people eat certain food.
As a therapist, I cannot recall meeting one person with a food struggle who didn’t have some family history of eating disorders, obesity, or other disordered ways of relating to food. In most cases their children were already carrying the burden as well. This is heart breaking for parents, and one of the main reasons why many are desperate for change is to also help their children.
So hereditary factors definitely play a role, but most disordered eating patterns can also be traced to learned behavior. Whether you believe that food addiction is for real or not, there are some physical ramifications that occur if we consume high amounts of fat, sugar, white flour, and caffeine that can simply not be ignored.
What is the solution?
You have probably heard some experts say that you will no longer crave certain food if it’s not forbidden. This is definitely true for some people, so I recommend testing it if you suspect that the idea of “forbidden food” makes you want them even more. However, if you decide not to restrict any type of food in order to gain freedom, I still advise adding foods that are high in nutritional value to compensate for the unhealthy food you are allowing yourself to eat. Not all foods are created equal as far as nutritional value is concerned and we build up an appetite for the food we eat on a regular basis. So if you only feed your body the food that you “feel” like eating, you might end up with a body that is totally depleted.
According to addiction experts the remedy for any addiction usually involves some sort of abstinence (even if just for a period of time). In food addiction, as in other addictions, abstinence can help to curb strong physiological cravings for certain food (usually food that are high in calories and low in nutrients).
Are you wondering if you also need to refrain from certain food for a period of time in order to get rid of the addiction? These things can be tricky to figure out without the help of a professional. Why don’t you give us a call at Life Solutions Counseling and find out if professional counseling may be a good fit for you. Call us at (503) 914-2749 or schedule an appointment online.