Being overweight means battling with food and eating every day. Headlines have suggested that sugar…
What It Feels Like to Be a Food Addict
To many people, food addiction might sound like a joke. To those who battle it every day, it is anything but funny. As researchers delve deeper into the mysteries of the brain and how it responds to food, we are learning that food addiction is a real issue and that it may be underlying the struggle many people have with being overweight or obese. If you have never considered food addiction to be a real possibility, learn what it’s like to obsess about eating day in and day out.
Constant Food Thoughts
For a food addict, the day begins with food. You wake up thinking about food and what you will eat. You think today is the day. This is the day you will eat well and you will control your cravings for junk food. You’ll plan out a healthful diet for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. More than anything, you will think about food and eating. Your day revolves around foods, calories, meal planning and anything to do with eating. Being a food addict means being obsessed with what you eat. Even on a so-called good day, you think obsessively about what to eat. This leaves little time for thinking about much else and other aspects of your life might suffer as a result.
Eating Triggers – Stress and Other Negative Emotions
Your day as a food addict starts with thinking about food and planning to make this the day that you make good choices. It may even start out with a healthful and controlled breakfast. You’re feeling good, so you resist the urge to get that giant, high-calorie coffee along with a scone. You walk right past the coffee shop.
Then you get to work and the stress hits. A project you’ve been working on isn’t going well or your boss is angry with you or you’re worried about getting fired. You feel stressed out and your self-esteem takes a hit. For a food addict, these negative emotions are eating triggers. You make a dash for the vending machine and indulge in a candy bar or pastry. You feel those negative emotions wash away as you revel in the food.
Craving More Food
Unfortunately, that one bit of junk food, which might satisfy someone else, just isn’t enough for you. Suddenly you feel worse. Your stress shoots through the roof and you feel an overpowering sense of self-loathing for giving in to the urge to eat. Your cravings for more food only intensify. You hide in your office and eat more. You are out of control and before you know it your day has totally gone off the rails. You figure you may as well eat more. The day is ruined. You tell yourself you will start again tomorrow. Not only is your diet for the day ruined, but so is your emotional state. You now feel emotionally, psychologically and even physically unwell.
Food addicts struggle much like other types of addicts. They respond to triggers. They obsess over eating. They get out of control and end up binging on food. They hide their food habit and lie about it. They feel guilty, ashamed and disgusted with themselves, especially after a binge. Before you judge someone who is obese, consider the fact that she may be struggling with a powerful addiction. If you have a loved one who you suspect might be going through this, be supportive and tell her you will help her to get help.