Authorities argue about calling it a Food Addiction or an eating disorder.
Food Addiction! Do You Have It? [Part One]
Whatever you call it, if you stop and take an honest look at your eating habits with an open mind you will know if you have a food addiction.
Here are some clues that you may have a food addiction.
Check these clues for Food Addiction and ‘Associates’
*Are you overweight?
* Can you go without breakfast and not eat until mid-morning or lunch time – you don’t feel very hungry. With a desire to do the right thing you have a healthy stir-fry. You feel good, even though you are dreaming about a donut or a chocolate bar.
You allow yourself to have just a small piece of the chocolate bar. At first, it feels like a relief as the chocolate melts in your mouth. Then the cravings start so you finish eating the bar. Then there is an aggravating feeling that you want (need) just a little extra, you eat something but it does not hit the spot. You nibble at other things, sweet – savory – sweet again but nothing satisfies. (This is not eating because you are hungry).
*Do you feel you could keep eating even when others are full?
*Do you feel sluggish and unwell – most of the time?
*Have you forgotten what it was like to feel well and energetic?
*Maybe like me, you don’t ever remember feeling really well. Even as a child I had frequent headaches. I loved store-bought cookies, yet every time I ate them I got brain fog, but I kept eating them.
*Do you know you have specific health issues that a lifestyle change would help? However, you have made ‘friends’ with your condition. You have learned to cope with it. It even comes in handy when you feel ‘unwell’ and use it as an excuse not to go to an event.
*You have tried lots of diets, you even did extra exercise. You can lose weight . . . then it comes back and sometimes with extra weight.
The above clues could indicate a bad relationship with food that may or may not develop into a food addiction. Either way, it would be wise to take steps to correct it. These clues do not indicate a healthy outcome.
Back to the addiction to food
What we know about addictions is that they are never really cured.
While I was living overseas for two years I worked really hard to lose 20 lbs. Exercising and often cutting back to 500 calories a day. I loved fitting into smaller clothes.
I returned home and my friend took me out for coffee. She treated me to a vanilla slice, a thick vanilla custard pudding between pastry with cream. That one treat set me off craving and I was not equipped to deal with it. The weight came back on. Of course, I had lost and gained weight before this event and several times since.
Back then I did not know about food addictions or triggers that set it off. These days there is much discussion and information available to help us understand our relationship to food. Once we realize what is happening we are left with some choices to make.
- Break the addiction or be its slave forever.
2. Fight to regain your health or delude ourselves that being unwell is natural and to be expected as we get older.
It is easy to think we are doing something positive for our health but really it is nowhere near enough to undo the damage already done.We are doing something positive for our health but nowhere near enough to undo the damage already done. Click To Tweet
A serious heath scare often jolts us into action
The way to better health is knowledge and then the WILLINGNESS to change. The will to change is brought about by the realization that it is detrimental not to change. In fact, it is a necessity for my well being and I want it. I am talking about health issues like Diabetes II, inactivity, being overweight and all the damaging effects of those conditions.
11 Years of making friends with Diabetes II
My son made friends with Diabetes II for over 11 years. It started with a lack of exercise and a developing food addiction. Diagnosed with Diabetes II, he was spasmodic in taking his medication and curbing his eating habits. He was overweight and developed high blood pressure, but apart from this, he thought he was dodging the bullets of serious side effects from his Diabetes. The advice he was getting was often conflicting so he did not worry too much about his diet or any lifestyle changes.
Recently (8 months ago) at his yearly eye examination, the optometrist told him that he was bleeding in his eyes, his capillaries were breaking down. She said that this breakdown of capillaries would be happening throughout his body. The end results can be kidney disease or loss of circulation in the legs, often requiring amputation etc. etc. The more serious complications of diabetes often don’t show up until about 10 years after diagnosis.
He was told that Diabetes is a chronic disease with no cure, that it will keep getting worse over time. He just needed to control it and to lose weight.
The big wake up call
Despite my years of nagging him to watch his diet and take his medication, his WILL to change did not come until his trip to the optometrist. This coincided with me getting my own wake-up call and finding a doctor on the Internet who was having great success, especially in reversing Diabetes II. (To clarify ‘a doctor on the Internet’ This doctor is a Toronto based nephrologist who manages the kidney damage resulting from Diabetes.)
In my next post, I will share how both of us are off our medications and have broken the power of food addiction, and gaining back our health.
Four months after my son made changes to his diet, his local doctor told him to cease his Diabetic medication because his blood tests showed he was no longer in a diabetic range. Awesome news.
What triggers food addiction cravings?
Everyone is different and may experience different triggers. The most common triggers for food addiction come from refined sugars and wheat products. Processed foods and fast foods contain these sugars and their derivatives. Sugar lights up our brain’s reward pathway. It works a lot like any drug of addiction – the effect requires more and more to satisfy. When deprived of the stimulation there are withdrawal symptoms.
Some clinics try to treat food addiction as an eating disorder by teaching their clients to eat in moderation, even the trigger foods.
It won’t work! As they say, whoever heard of an alcoholic being cured by giving him/her small amounts of alcohol. The little bit of alcohol will set off a trigger of craving in the brain, just like the little bite of the chocolate bar makes you eat the lot and want more.
Food addiction will often lead to food binging, resulting in a very unwell sluggish feeling, even self-loathing that can lead to depression and stress eating.
Breaking this addiction will remove a huge burden, both mentally and physically.
I am not a doctor and can only share from my research and experience.
In my next post, I will share how we broke the food addiction, it really works. In fact, it may work for any type of bad relationship with food.
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