What is Food Addiction and How To
Compulsive eating or food addiction is quite controversial
with many experts now believing it to be a real medical
condition, but not everyone, there are still some that
disagree believing that eating to much is a conscious choice.
In this article we discuss what food addiction is and the effect it has on our weight.
Food addiction or compulsive eating as it is sometimes called is a very contentious issue at the moment. Though some professionals now accept that it is a major reason for our modern day obesity problem. Unfortunately too many still don't accept it, so sufferers very often don't get the treatment they need. As we all know an addiction is a condition that involves the physiology and the mind, which like any addiction needs specialist treatment.
Having said that it is not an excuse not to do anything about a weight problem because it's a condition that you can't do anything about and out of your control. You most definitely can as long as you find the right motivation to make some tough choices.
Some people believe that you eat too much because you don't have the discipline to stop eating.
• On the one hand you have those severely overweight souls, who have for a long time been saying their condition is driven by an inability to exercise any control over their eating habits, not being taken seriously.
• On the other hand there are those who believe that an addiction to food is nonsense and
that obesity is just weak willed people trying to blame an addiction to food for their weight problems, when it is in fact because of an inability to stop eating too much.
What are the causes food addiction, or should we say junk food addiction.
Food addiction has as yet not been definitively proven either way, although there is compelling evidence from studies conducted on animals and humans, which go a long way to proving people can be addicted to food.
The culprit substance is proving to be processed refined carbohydrates (sugar) and fats found in a host of food products that have become first choice for many. Fast foods and ready made meals being the most popular, with white bread, cakes, biscuits, pastry, sweats and fizzy drinks having become the staple diet for many. Not only are these low in nutrients the are also calorie dense. Evidence shows that they can effect the pleasure center in the brain, causing addiction. After a period of eating these pleasure foods you start wanting more and more which can lead to the addiction.
If you think this is nonsense try cutting out the sweets and cakes you eat on a regular basis, you will most likely start getting a real urge to have them and because it's not thought to be problem you will probably just give up and indulge. Or start eating a large bar of chocolate thinking that you will just have a few rows, but you don't stop eating until it's finished.
How to beat food addiction.
When we eat a balanced diet it is difficult to overeat because we get full and stop, but with processed carbohydrates the full trigger never comes because there is virtually no digestion it goes straight through our system, the more we eat the more we want.
A recent study shows convincingly that those examined, after being exposed to junk food would prefer not to eat anything at all if they could not eat their junk food. But don't despair it is a learnt behavior and can be unlearnt if dealt with correctly.
What's it like not knowing how to stop compulsive eating.
Try to imagine a life dominated food and eating, nothing else comes remotely close to competing. Funnily it's never something healthy and nutritional you want, it's always exactly what we should be avoiding, when you are not eating those cakes, chocolates, burgers, you are very often thinking about them. It is obsessive with no thought of how to stop eating junk. We stop eating for pleasurable sustenance and start eating purely for pleasure, with absolutely no interest what we eat's nutritional value. With this in mind is it not unfair to brand all severely overweight people as weak willed. Should we not be treating them differently and be more sympathetic to their plight as we would with someone addicted to a narcotic substance. A disturbing problem is that food addiction has not been accepted by a large number of the medical fraternity, who still treat the symptoms of obesity, rather than the addiction to food which in some cases is proven to be the underlying problem.
Recently I read an article in an obscure corner of a national newspaper stating that the American Psychiatric Association has accepted sex addiction as a bona fide medical condition. But surely food addiction has a more legitimate claim. After all it is a substance.
Being addicted to food is more a condition of the mind than the physical condition one sees, and feels and has to live with, so is this not where it should be treated.