There are many different things that a person can be addicted to, but food addiction has to be one of the toughest addictions to break. Food is necessary to survival, so you can’t give it up like you can with other things such as drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. Are you addicted to food? It seems like it wouldn’t technically be possible, but research has shown that some people actually have an addictive personality when it comes to eating food.
How can researchers be so sure it’s not just a lack of control on the part of the patient? After all, addiction and low willpower are not the same thing. What the researchers was hook people up to brain reading machines, and compared the active parts of the patient’s brains. They discovered that some people who thought about food had the same reactions as drug addicts who were thinking about drugs. This indicates that food addiction is very real.
Just like any other addiction, food addiction needs to be taken seriously. Going through a twelve-step program, talking to your doctor, or attending inpatient treatment are all possible course of action for getting your addiction under control.
Here are a few more things you can do to help keep your food addiction in check:
1. Keep a food journal. Write down the food you eat, when and where you eat, who you are with at the time, how you’re feeling before you eat, and how you feel after you are done eating. Just being aware of your eating is often enough to get you to make improvements to your diet. Having a food journal will also help you to recognize eating patterns, for better or worse.
2. Slow down and savor your food. Food addiction is difficult because you have to eat, but how you eat will make a difference in how you perceive food. Don’t gulp down your food without giving it any thought. Instead, take your time when eating, and make a habit of savoring every bite.
3. Find out what your triggers are, and then do your best to avoid them. As you start to pay more attention to your eating habits, you will notice that certain things cause you to eat. For example, maybe you always pig out on potato chips while watching the evening news; if so, then not watching the evening news would mean you are avoiding a food trigger.
4. Eat for nutrition, not for comfort. Imagine only eating because you are hungry and want to fill your body with the nutrients it needs. This may seem like a dream if you are addicted to food, but it can be done. Before you eat, ask yourself if you are really hungry. If you aren’t hungry, then don’t eat. If you are hungry, then take a moment to remind yourself of the true purpose for eating, and then make food choices that do a better job of accomplishing that purpose.