You may have tried numerous methods for weight control from diets to drugs. Yet nothing has created a permanent solution or seems to work. Studies show that for some people the same pleasure centers of the brain that are triggered by addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroin are also activated by food—especially highly palatable foods. Highly palatable foods contain the perfect combination of salty, sweet and savory to keep you reaching for more. These highly palatable foods trigger those feel-good brain chemicals such as dopamine which can cause you want to eat more and more of them.
It’s natural to have cravings, but if thinking about food is all-consuming or you have trouble controlling your intake, you may be addicted to food.
What is a food addiction?
Food addiction is a disease that is similar to drug or alcohol addiction in which a chemical reaction in the brain is triggered by a certain behavior. With food addiction, the behavior that triggers the reaction is eating a particular food or a certain amount of food.
So how do you know if you are truly addicted to food or if you are just craving something? Below are signs and symptoms that may indicate a food addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Food Addiction
• Food is all you can think about
• You try to stop but can’t
• You eat in secret
• You eat when you are full.
• You eat when you’re not even hungry
• You eat to the point of feeling ill
• You avoid social situations where certain foods are available for fear of overeating
• When certain foods aren’t available, you go out of your way to obtain them
• You lie to others about what you’ve eaten
• You feel hopeless when it comes to losing weight
• You eat when you are upset or depressed
• You feel anxious or irritable when eating certain foods or when there is not enough food
If you think you might be addicted to food, get help today by consulting your doctor or signing up for our Eat Great Live Well program.
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