Food Addiction Help
Find answers to some of the common questions surrounding the topic of food addiction.
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By Heleen Woest
What does it mean to be a food addict?
Recognizing this problem is not always simple. It is often very hard to recognize this addiction. Many things can cloud the reality of the situation. Being depressed or caught up in an emotional downward spiral can make recognizing problems like this very difficult.
Often it can take a considerable period of time to notice that a person has an eating problem. Generally it is first noticed in the waistline, which is a devastating symptom of this addiction.
There are different schools of thought on this topic. Not everybody agrees that you can become addicted to food. Research are still being done in this field. There is scientific evidence that some substances or components in food can be (if only mildly) addictive.
What causes food addiction?
Again, opinions differ about this, but there is some indication of hereditary factors that contribute to food addiction. Learned behavior and social pressure also plays a substantial role. People are more aware of the problem of food addiction and eating disorders with the rising obesity problem in our society. This problem has become even more prevalent among children Childhood Obesity is becoming a great source of concern for parents.
Are specific foods more addictive than others?
Food Addiction: Sugar
The bursts of energy produced by sugar are very addictive. Sugar addicts often feel tired and cranky if they are not getting their daily consumption of sugar laden foods. They start to feel tired and worn out as if going through withdrawal. Heroin addicts, that are in withdrawal often consume huge quantities of sugar to offset the effects of heroin withdrawal. So some people coming off drugs actually swap addictions and pick-up food addiction or something else instead.
Food Addiction: Caffeine
Starbucks beware. Everyone knows that caffeine is addictive. Just stop drinking five cups of coffee a day and it does not take much to realize that you are addicted to caffeine. The headaches alone will tell you that you have a problem. It is often debated whether coffee is really harmful. In reasonable quantities it should not be harmful, however, excessive amounts of coffee can certainly be bad for you.
Have a look at the sketch about food addiction below and see if you might relate:
I can not live without my morning coffee. The more coffee I drink the more cups I need to keep me going. I might have to throw in an energy drink or two to keep me going at the same pace. Soon I may have to look into more potent energy drinks or even pills to keep up my performance and help me cut calories. In just a few weeks I can not function without several cups of coffee. If I were to stop drinking the coffee, I would, for at least a few days have really bad headaches, feel too tired to set one foot in front of another, and eat everything in sight. So I can not possibly stop. If I want to keep up my busy schedule without gaining weight, I will just have to up my espresso shots. My skin and hair is looking pretty dull and dry, but hey, what can you do; got to be thin, go to be busy…
This is an all too familiar scenario and can be a way of life for a homemaker, business woman, or a college student who suffers from an eating disorder and has to keep up a busy schedule. Some athletes and dancers with eating disorders would add diet pills to this already dangerous cocktail and do irreversible damage to their health.
Did you notice that somehow this started with one cup of caffeinated coffee?
Food Addiction: Carbohydrates
Many people think that carbohydrates can also be addictive. This may be true for the same reason that sugar is addictive. Unless you are a marathon runner or compete regularly in Iron Man competitions you should temper the consumption of carbohydrates. Your body can become overly dependent upon them. Many people are addicted to carbohydrates and don’t even realize it.
In general, food addiction is not something that people talk about much, and many people do not consider it to be in the same category as other addictions. However, this is a reality for many people. You may be a food addict and, like most addicts, not even realize it. Awareness of the potential problem will allow you to control it.
Mankind is an addictive breed. Sometimes it seems that everyone is addicted to something. If it isn’t food it is something else. However, we don’t have to remain in this place where we are always mastered by something, there is an answer to quench the insatiable hunger inside of us.
I was addicted to food for many years. When I found healing and release from this addiction I started support groups for women who also struggle with food addiction. After years of study and research in this field, as well as observing and talking to the women in my support groups, I came to realize that this problem is very complex: Cutting the food from your diet is only part of the solution. Furthermore, trying to quit on your own is very difficult if not impossible, and sheer will-power will not do the trick either. On the contrary, these things can leave you even more discouraged.
To get out of food addiction we need to find healing in different areas simultaneously. I spend years putting a course together that deals with all of these areas, and I am so humbled and excited about all the women who find healing and freedom through following this program. This course is based on the truth of the Bible and material from well known Christian authors, counselors, and doctors. I do believe strongly that we need God to break free from any addiction. That said, this course is also very practical with hands-on guidelines and approximately 100 daily videos to encourage and motivate you to stay on track.
A life branded with food addiction is no way to live, in fact it is a very mediocre and sad existence, and it suppresses the person God made you to be.
You can get help for yourself or a loved one through my 12 Week Online Study Course. I’ve compiled this course from my own experience with food struggles, insight and understanding I’ve gained through counseling ladies in my support groups, Biblical principals, as well as material I’ve gathered by well-known Christian authors, counselors, and doctors. This study is jam-packed with information, practical guide lines and honest testimonies.
Week 3 of my 12 Week Online Course deals specifically with Food Addiction
Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program
Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook for free