Are You a Victim of Food Addiction?

You might be surprised by the answer.

When you consider the term, food addiction, you might first think that food addiction refers to people who overeat or people who can't stop eating. This is partially accurate. Perhaps this is a misconception of this medical condition, because food addiction also refers to any obsessive or compulsive behaviors related to eating. For example, people with anorexia or bulimia, or similar disorders, have addictive behaviors towards the ritual of eating. This syndrome actually describes a condition where a person has an irrational fixation relating to the rituals that surround eating.

A food addiction is actually quite similar in nature to substance or alcohol abuse. It is often said that the way you know someone is an alcoholic is that they are preoccupied with whether alchohol will be served or not when faced with a decision to socialize.

People with a food addiction often spend more time anticipating the ritual than in enjoying the satisfaction of obtaining it. For example, people who are hooked on meds or illegal substances, will obsessively think about getting the next dose. If you're hooked on pain killers, your first thought upon getting up in the morning is to reach for that medication. Once taken, everything seems right again. The body calms down because your mind recognizes that you'll soon feel the desired effects.

People who overeat tend to have certain foods that will satisfy their cravings. A bowl of ice cream or a favorite cookie may be far more satisfying than a big steak. If there's only steak in the frig, this type of food addict may well rush out to the store for the ice cream. Nothing else will do at a time like that.

In the case of anorexia or bulimia, people often try to hide their fixation on feeling too fat. The anorexic makes all sorts of excuses for not eating, while the bulimic victim eats to maintain a normal appearance and then purges the food from their system by forcing themselves to throw up the food in private.

Another food disorder is fast food addiction. In these cases, an individual satisfies their hunger only with fast food binges. Just with fast food disorders, e very type of food disorder is characterized by an obsessive or compulsive fixation on the ritual of eating. The disorder may manifest in obesity and malnutrition alike. There are many causes for such food related behaviors, including psychological and genetic factors.

If you find that you think more about the act of eating food than the actual meal, you may want to talk to your doctor. Recent research has  resulted in the development of programs which deal with your problem in a realistic and compassionate way.

Too many people suffer from food addiction and food-related disorders that are bad for their health. There's lots of sensible help available. Get back to enjoying food for what it is – good tastes, energy and good health! It's one of life's few pleasures.

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