Most of us are fond of at least one product that has the effect of a stimulant and that eventually becomes an addiction. These products include baked goods, confectionery, exercise stimulant drinks, sugary fizzy drinks, tobacco, and alcohol.
There can’t be many adults who don’t know that products like these consumed in excess, can severely harm our bodies. Yet, we still find them hard to resist. The need to eat stimulant food is a simple human weakness that has existed for ages: humans have always indulged in foods that give a sort of emotional high.
These sensations of ‘high’ die down within hours, and we are left feeling listless and low. This leads to a craving for that food again, to experience the high one more time. And there we are going round and round in a vicious circle. Addictive-like eating behavior involves a lot more than just a lack of willpower, as there are biochemical reasons why some people lose control over their consumption.
Food addiction involves being addicted to food in the same way as someone with a substance use disorder demonstrates addiction to a particular substance. My particular addiction was to bread, in the past I could eat bread all day long. I used to have a strong craving for bread, cookies, pastry, and crackers. I didn’t at the time think of it as an addiction. But I had this compulsion to eat bread and other baked goods instead of other foods. I ate bread at every meal.
Consuming addictive foods is one of the oldest unhealthy food practices and, despite a revolution in health consciousness; it shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
The most addictive foods are most often processed foods with high amounts of fat and added sugar. Think, pizza, chocolate, cakes, cookies, cheeseburgers, fries, chips (crisps), sugary fizzy drinks, ice cream, and alcohol. Processed foods are usually engineered to be hyper-palatable so that they taste really good.
Scientists say addiction is a disease. Although there is no cure for addiction, there are many evidence-based treatments that are effective at managing the illness. Like all chronic illnesses, addiction requires ongoing management that may include medication, therapy, and lifestyle change.
Many people who have food addiction will need help to overcome it. Food addiction is treatable, and recovery should be the expected outcome when working with a certified nutrition and weight management coach.
Breaking my bread addiction was challenging but the health benefits were totally worth it. If you’ve had a difficult time trying to lose weight, seriously consider getting in touch with me and I will help you to overcome your food addiction and get back on track.