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How can you tell if you are addicted?

Many people I work with feel addicted to food. How do you tell if you are addicted to food? Is this accurate?

This label is often tied to a history of chronic diets that have resulted in restriction and binging cycles. When we spend long periods depriving ourselves of food, it is easy to become addicted to it.

Is it possible to become addicted to food?

As it is not possible to become addicted to something that is vital to your life, the use of the term addicted is wrong. For example, breathing and sleeping are very important. It would be insane to believe that we could become addicted to them. Food is essential. It is essential for survival.

How common is food addiction?

Why is it that so many people feel addicted to certain foods? The brain has a neurochemical reaction to food that causes the release of “feel-good” hormones like dopamine. Hormones like dopamine are used to help us remember good habits so we can repeat them. It is also in our best interest to survive that our primal brain knows that high-calorie foods can quickly restore equilibrium.

This tendency is even more evident when the body senses an imbalance such as calorie restriction. Our worst fears are confirmed when we find ourselves drawn to the very foods that we have been trying to avoid. The body interprets calorie restriction as a threat and puts us in defense mode. This mode is where the sympathetic nervous system takes control, which further depresses appetite and messes up our ability to metabolize food.

While we treat food as a threat, we are actually swimming in stress chemistry. This makes things even more difficult. Instead of looking objectively at the pool and getting out, we keep in the water, hitting ourselves with a dive stick. Sorry, but that’s a random analogy.

How can I get rid of my food addiction?

You are invited to be curious about all of your food habits and behaviors. We often apply human rationale logic to food, when the body is much more complex than we realize. When you consider all the metabolic adaptations the body goes through with repeated diets, the classic calories in, calories away equation isn’t accurate.

Certain foods, such as those containing caffeine or sugar, may become part of our daily routine. We become conditioned to the ‘hits’ these foods provide and the neurological cascades they trigger. The effects of these foods are actually very mild compared to addictive substances like drugs and alcohol.

There are many emotional and physical reactions to certain foods. These connections are often made when we are growing up or trying out to find our identity. Although some beliefs and thoughts may not be true or factual, they are still plausible.

We all know that food can be used as a coping strategy. That’s why we keep it going.

It all comes down to the driving factors that drive these behaviors and draw towards certain foods. We can now remove the stigma of being an addict and take a more proactive and compassionate look at all these influencing factors.

Understanding the basics of what is going on in your body is an important first step. This 3-step plan for Cracking Your Cravings will help you understand your body better. You can get it for free here.

Allow yourself to let go of the toxic labels and tune in to your physiology. This will allow you to win.

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