Food addiction is similar to drug addiction. Though not illegal, this is an epidemic crippling Americans and making its way into a global issue. Like a drug addict who has quit, a food addict can’t just nibble on some sugar and not become addicted again. The alcoholic who just takes a ‘sip’ is also addicted once more. Such is the truth about food addiction.
Are we truly addicted?
Yes, scientifically speaking. According to Healthline, food addiction has changed people forever. Due to the way the brain receptors react to sugar, it mimics nicotine and drug addiction. Similarly people, once trained to feel that high begin to blunt the feeling of satiety and continue to crave that new high. There is no cure for this. In many cases, people have to truly change their biochemical response and it is not easy.
Could you be a food addict? Here are some questions to contemplate.
Do you eat past the point of fullness even though cognitively you know you are no longer hungry?
When you finish eating a nutritious meal do you still find that you crave foods you don’t ‘need’ to have?
You make excuses so that you can eat something you shouldn’t be eating.
So what should a food addict know?
First, people will not understand and America's food focus is prevalent in a society that has drive-thru breakfast and lunch as well as take out dinners. This is a challenge for a food addict. Worst yet, everyone is focused on what you are or are not eating. Food addicts are truly fitted for a difficult task ahead of them as people tend to comment and scrutinize when you do or do not eat a sugary treat. Never mind, the social implications of refusing cookies at a party or bypassing the cake. These can be seen as signs you are anti-social.
Worst still, at times, most food addicts are fighting a battle most people don’t even recognize as an addiction. The supermarkets are lined with sugar-laden cereals, “healthy bites” that are anything but healthy as well as lined with sugar alcohols and other foods laced with addictive ingredients.
I understand because I’ve had the chips ahoy box all to myself. I’ve downed the cookies and cream ice cream without the blink of an eye and yes, eaten the cake frosting with my own spoon. Am I a food addict? Yes, yes I am. It isn’t fair or pretty but cold turkey is the answer and there are other ways to achieve certain highs.
Are these other highs the same? No, they will last longer and won’t crash you. One trick is to gain a higher awareness of your triggers and the reasons you crave the foods you do. The other trick is to abstain or stay as far away from those foods when you feel weak.
Is this your fault?
No, actually it isn't. The government, food industries and lobbyists have created these addictions by failing to impose regulations on ingredients in food. This is similar to GMO as no one is monitoring this and won't until it's recognized as a problem, impacts someone famous and ultimately directly harms someone 'important'. Until then the masses will continue to tackle this alone. As it stands, this junk is in vending machines at schools, workplaces and supermarkets for convenient easy access.
Until we demand these regulations, we'll continue to think the 'lean cuisine' is comprised of healthy ingredients. We'll continue to have 40 flavors of bread and we'll continue to find masked sugar aka sucralose aka cane crystals in all of our foods.
For support, please seek a food addiction group near you. You don’t have to be an army of one on this matter and yes, you do need support as this is a very real issue.
For a quick visual explanation please view this video.