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Overcome Food Addiction for Your Health

To overcome food addiction, you need to take the first step of acknowledging to yourself that you experience certain foods as addictive. That means you eat them compulsively and lose control of yourself in the process.

Yes, there is such thing as food addiction. This is the time when “good” food becomes bad for you.

Food addiction is a term given when someone makes food the outlet for his or her problems, whatever the cause may be. But, just because addictive behaviors are behaviors doesn’t mean the addiction is “all in your head.”

Actually, studies have shown that plain sucrose or table sugar, actually cross-reacts with addictive stimulant drugs (like amphetamine) in its effects on brain chemistry and brain function.

So, for some people, especially women, who are particularly sensitive to sensitizing to foods and environmental chemicals, sugar is a literally addictive food.

Foods high in fat, like those with sugar, can also calm down anxiety, making many desserts such as ice cream and rich cakes and cookies a particularly addictive combination for people under stress.

Food addiction doesn’t really have an easy recovery, but there are changes in dietary habits and natural treatments such as acupuncture, that can help. One extra step to take is to know what causes the stress eating or emotional eating response in the person who has food addiction.

Usually, the craving for food, even if the person is not hungry, is caused by emotional problems engaged in the person’s life. Once a dysfunctional habit is maintained with food, there is a risk to always be starving or over-eating.

When food is used as a getaway tool for problems, it becomes unhealthy and can lead to health risks ranging from joint pain and mood swings to actual diabetes and heart disease.

Don’t mistake food addiction with over-eating in food gatherings or occasions because that is totally expected. Over-eating in parties or holidays is normal in many societies and the person can get back into his or her daily eating habit afterwards.

Food addiction is far beyond than that. It involves a certain kind of craving that goes out of control and leads the person into eating compulsively, like any addict does with their addictive substance of choice.

This is quite evident with people who are obese. A lot of obese people who were once thin have undergone physical and emotional stresses that activated the addictive tendency.

Food ends up their inappropriate “best friend.” You can think of food addiction as both a physical and emotional dependence, craving, and addictive behaviors.

No matter how “healthy” something is, when it runs to excess, the result can be pretty nasty and unforgiving to the addicted body. Unlike smoking and alcohol addiction that can be avoided toward improving health, food is a necessity for staying alive.

But in food addiction, it’s quite different because people need to eat. A person who is addicted to food can’t be extracted from eating, or they would eventually die.

So, the focus of food addiction treatment becomes finding out the specific foods that trigger the cravings and finding diet plans to avoid those foods completely. And, learning techniques to reduce your stress reponse is key.

The good news is that there are many different foods that you can eat to replace the nutrients that a specific addictive food may otherwise offer.

For less severe food addiction, sometimes acupuncture can ease both the withdrawal experience, as it may for smokers, but it may also help keep down the cravings over the long haul.

In addition to acupuncture, some people find that hypnosis from a qualified hypnotist or hypnotherapist can help change your eating habit pattern for weight loss.

How can you spot a food addict?

1. Secretive eating. When someone in your family isolates himself from everyone just to gobble up everything in the fridge, this can be a good sign. Although, this person will never mention how many times he eats because he wanted to keep his eating disorder to himself.

2. Eating bad foods. Bad here describes food that are raw, stale, undercooked, overcooked or even half frozen. Or, just eating junk food or sweets or even bread compulsively and often, but not always, in binges.

Overcome Food Addiction

Food addiction is not just a problem for those who are fat but also to those who seem normal and underweight. This kind of addiction can be associated with other food eating disorders like bulimia wherein someone indulges in food and then resorts to induced vomiting or laxative use to eliminate excess food that were taken.

The moment you have spotted someone who is into food addiction, especially in your family or even a friend, take a moment to sit down and help them get help for their addiction. There are self help programs, even a food addicts anonymous group, and professional treatment, often with alternative medicine doctors.

Food addicts are in dire need of medical and psychological help in order to overcome the disorder. If someone in your family has exhibited food addiction, encourage him or her to get the help that is out there so that they can get back to living more happily and fully.

Some self-help groups that might offer key social support for you include Overeaters Anonmymous and Food Addicts Anonymous.

About the Author Kris Greenway

Natural Wellness Zone is a blog discussion of approaches to self care using complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies that make sense to help people dealing with a range of health challenges. Kris Greenway is a fellow patient who has researched and found more natural ways to deal with a long list of health problems, including type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, leaky gut, and arthritis. She includes information and updates from expert physicians to educate people about their natural wellness options.