This question comes up often in our practice. People think they may be food addicts. These questions will help you figure it out. If you answer yes to 2 or more questions… it’s a possibility.
- Do you think about food more than 1 hour a day?
- Do you eat to the point of being physically sick?
- Does your relationship with food affect your personal relationships?(do you avoid company or social events because you lack self-control to eat the right foods)
- Do you turn to food during stressful situations?
- Do you experience withdrawal from food?
We would like to believe that we can all be balanced and controlled but is the sugar/processed/fat and salt laden food a real addiction……a biological addition? Think about it…. do we binge on celery? Do we go overboard eating broccoli or chicken, not likely but cookies or potato chips….easy right?
I would like to say self-control is all you need… personal power, it helps, but is that enough? Obesity and the related diseases are an epidemic. Does “just the say no attitude” always work? It is harder for the food addicts compared to other addicts because they have to deal with their demon every day. The “just say no” approach to drug addiction hasn’t fared very well. We don’t think it works for our industrial food addiction either. It is hard for a cocaine or heroin addict or an alcoholic to “just say no” after that first snort, shot, or drink. I do not think that it is that simple. There are many specific biological mechanisms that push people towards addictive behavior.
Nobody chooses to be a drug addict, or alcoholic. Nobody chooses to be fat either. The bad behaviors arise out of primitive neurochemical pathways in the brain that override basic willpower and overwhelm our natural biological signals that control hunger.
- Why smoke when we know smoking will give you cancer and heart disease?
- Why do less than 20 percent of alcoholics succeed in quitting drinking?
- Why do most drug addicts continue to use drugs despite their lives being ruined?
- Why do we get headaches when we quit coffee and become irritable?
It is because these substances are all biologically addictive.
We don’t want to be overweight and unhealthy! ….but it may be because certain types of food are addictive. Hate to be one of those conspiracy people but when sugary salty foods are combined in secret ways the food industry will not share or make public we are biologically wired to crave these foods and eat as much of them as possible.
We all understand about cravings, but what does science tell us about food and addiction and what are the legal and policy implications. Can we do anything if certain foods are, in fact, addictive?
Those of you who know me see me as a person who has extreme self-control…..but would I be the same person if I did not avoid the foods that I know are triggers?…..what if I did not know?……what if I was the average lay person?….
I always think of the movie Super Size Me. This should be required viewing for every overweight person, or food addict. Morgan Spurlock ate three super-sized meals from McDonald’s every day he gained 30 pounds, his cholesterol, he got a fatty liver but what was most amazing was the addictive quality of the food he ate. When he ate his first super-sized meal, he threw it up, just like someone who drinks too much alcohol. By the end of the movie, he only felt “well” when he was eating the junk food. The rest of the time he felt sick, depressed, anxious, exhausted and irritable without sex drive, just like a smoker or addict withdrawing from a drug. The food was clearly addictive. My early childhood to my twenties I was a food addict for sure, took me many years to realizes this though.
The good news it is never too late to win this battle. Most people can turn it around in 3-4 weeks and the craving disappears. Dabbling in these foods is never a good idea though the cravings start again. Begin your new life today!
Products that may help you get started:
Saffron 88.25mg 2 times a day
5 HTP before bedtime 100-200mg
Mangodrene 500mg 1-2 per day.