Monday, November 7, 2011

psychological connections to food

I think I might be addicted to food. No, seriously, for real. Read this article and tell me what you think. Any other thoughts on psychological connections to foods and cravings? Do you think you have the same issues? How do I start changing this? And I love cooking good food and then eating it, so how do I balance my hobby of cooking with this new information?


Confronting the Psychology of Food Addiction

When you think about an emotionally traumatic experience, like breaking up with your significant other, is your first impulse to eat something to calm down? Do you think about food when facing other stressful scenarios, such as talking to someone you don't particularly like, or even the idea of just getting through your day? If so, you are showing the classic signs of being addicted to food, and as a result, you are probably also overweight. If you resort to eating as way to combat your emotional stress, you have a dangerous psychological addiction that is affecting your physical health. But how do you overcome an addiction to something as necessary as food?
Food addiction, like other addictions, starts in the brain. Physical addiction is always much easier to cure than psychological addiction, because unlike physical addiction, psychological addiction is rooted deep within our neural pathways. We build profound emotional connections with our addiction. Every time we have a stressful feeling, we will automatically start thinking about eating to help combat that stress. This is the brutal truth of addiction.
In the case of food, we are surrounded by it all day, throughout the year. In fact, there are holidays set aside just for eating-such as Thanksgiving-that make food addiction an incredibly difficult disease to cure. How do we teach ourselves to think differently about food? If you will pardon the expression, cold turkey, when it comes to food addiction, is simply not possible. You need to keep eating to survive. But you need to learn how to eat to satisfy your hunger, not your emotional cravings.
As with any addiction, the first step in overcoming food addiction is learning to recognize that you are addicted to food. Once you've made this painfuladmission, your life will become much easier to control. You will begin to see clearly how you've been using food as a way to compensate for your emotions.
Of course, it is rare to be able to make this major breakthrough on your own. You may benefit from having other people to guide you through this process. Finding someone who can motivate you when you feel weak or tired, or when you feel you may be on the verge of a relapse, is invaluable. Learning how to eat in a healthy manner will take time, but it is not impossible. The most difficult step is in confronting the psychology of the addiction, and understanding just how deeply embedded it is.
Once you begin to separate eating from your emotions, you will begin to lose weight and feel better. You will discover that you have the power to control your life without food. You will no longer be ruled by the kitchen, the bathroom scale, or your emotions! The freedom and personal pride that you will experience will add joy to your life, and take inches off your waistline.


The author has many years of experience in theweight loss industry. He has delivered training on weight loss, smoking cessation, and other cognitive based programs.

2 comments:

you can call me aunt choody said...

I don't think that you are psychological eater. I think that, if you are like me, you probably just eat with your kids- who are hungry and eating all day long. So long as you don't have huge portions or something, dig in! You need lots of energy to get you through these crazy days. Food is awesome!

Kirsten said...

I am addicted to food. I'm not kidding either. When stressful things happen, my first thought, is food -sweet food, probably chocolate food. The best I've figured it to substitute those cravings with things that are good but not soo fatty. Like if I just need to EAT, I eat a bag of 94% FF popcorn. Very low calorie, but I get that stuff-my-face satisfaction. I think there are lots of us out there... I'm just trying to prevent my girls from the same trap...