Methods of Help for Food Addiction Recovery
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Some people might believe that there is no such thing as an addiction to food. That a person simply eats more because they are fat and lazy. Although no can say for sure, science now shows more indicators that addiction to food is real and for some can be debilitating.
Is Food Addiction Real?
Studies in animals and people have shown that for some people, the same reward pleasure centers of the brain that are triggered by addictive drugs are also activated by food. Especially foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat. This causes the person to eat more and more food as they build up a tolerance and need more to feel full.
We all overeat sometimes. Who hasn’t indulged a little too much on Mom’s Sunday dinner? It’s different for people with a food addiction. As with any other kind of addiction they do not have control over the amount of food they consume. They will eat in private to conceal the amount of food they eat from their spouses or loved ones. They will avoid social interaction because they are afraid they will overeat and be embarrassed.
Like a person with a gambling addiction or shopping addiction they are unable to control their eating even when they make attempts to stop. This can lead to feelings of shame and guilt that cause them to eat even more in attempt to conceal their feelings of inadequacy and lead to a vicious cycle that repeats itself over and over again.
It is important to understand that having an addiction to food does not make someone a bad person. It simply means that like many other people, they need help to stop overeating. Food is their “drug” of choice because of the way it makes them feel. Some people think that people who suffer from addictions lack morals and could stop if they really wanted to. The truth is, that addiction can be so overwhelming that the person cannot stop on their own even after making multiple attempts. That is why counseling is the most important part of food addiction recovery.
It is also important for the individual to know what might trigger them to overeat. For some there are emotional triggers and certain foods that they are unable to resist overeating. Through counseling it is possible to recognize these patterns and change the way your brain reacts to them. The amount of food is slowly reduced as crash diets never work for anyone. The idea is for your brain to gradually get used to eating a healthy diet. Shocking the system with no food can cause even more depression and lead to relapse of overeating. There is no quick fix for food addiction.
According to VAntage Point, support groups are also available for extra guidance. Overeaters Anonymous (OA) gives people an option to talk with others who are going through a similar struggle, but does not offer nutrition advice or promote cutting out major food groups. Instead, they use group support to help members stop overeating. For more information on getting support for food addictions consider meeting with a registered dietitian and a mental health professional for additional help and support.