9 Signs Of Food Addiction: How To Know When You Need Help
It’s no secret that we need food to live. Even though Gandhi fasted for 21 days, without food, we eventually wither away.
But food isn’t just necessary for survival. It’s often at the center of social gatherings.
It’s something to look forward to at the beginning and end of our workdays.
French fries are the perfect hangover cure.
A delicious burger is the ultimate Instagram post, and there is always something new to satisfy our tastebuds.
But even though food plays an integral role in our lives, it’s not healthy to think about food ALL the time. The signs of food addiction are real.
And if you have a food addiction, you might need help recovering.
Do you want to learn about the signs of food addiction and how to get help for yours?
Here are 9 signs to look for!
1. You Eat More Than You Intended
How many times have you scoffed at the idea of dessert and then given in, saying you’ll have a bite or 2?
Did that 1 bite ever turn into 20? Has 1 slice of pizza ever turned into half a pizza?
If you can’t ever stick to eating in moderation, especially when you set out to do just that, it’s possible that you have a food addiction.
2. You Eat Until You’re About To Burst
There’s a name for eating until you’re beyond stuffed – it’s called binge-eating!
Most things can be enjoyed in moderation. But just like consuming alcohol or anything else, it’s entirely possible to be eating TOO MUCH food.
Those who are victims of food addiction don’t just give in to cravings. Once they give in to a desire, they can’t stop eating until the urge is “satisfied,” which often means eating until you feel bloated and lethargic.
3. You Make Excuses
Do you find yourself making excuses any time you want to break your diet, give in to a craving, or have fun?
When it comes to addiction, we use our brains to convince ourselves of anything.
Maybe you’ve decided to “eat healthily,” but there’s a birthday at the office. The inevitably giant sugar-filled cake rolls out, and you’re already preparing yourself to give in.
It’s a special occasion. You didn’t buy the cake yourself. You’ll just have one bite. You don’t want to be the outcast.
One of the most common food addict symptoms is making excuses to break the rules.
4. You Break The Rules A Lot
As humans, we make all sorts of rules for ourselves. But more often than not, we break them.
Do you find that you’re continually making food rules for yourself and then breaking them? If the answer is yes, you might be a food addict.
5. You Get Cravings When You’re Full
Cravings are real, and everyone gets them.
Sometimes they are based on a need for nutrients or energy. But many other times, those cravings are your brain calling for dopamine.
Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that plays a significant role in how we feel pleasure. One of the food addiction symptoms occurs when the release of dopamine in your brain goes hand in hand with what you eat.
Do you NEED chocolate to satisfy an urge? Do you feel relieved and happy when you eat cheese?
Cravings and hunger are very different things.
Everyone feels both, and just because you get cravings doesn’t mean you have a food addiction.
But if cravings happen all the time and ignoring them becomes hard, even if you’re full, it might be an indication that you’re addicted to food.
6. You Feel Guilty A Lot
Do you find yourself attempting to control your consumption of unhealthy foods, only to give in and then be consumed by guilt for doing so?
If you feel guilty for cheating, but continue to repeat the process of cheating anyway, it could very well mean you’re addicted to food.
Trying to exert control over the consumption of unhealthy foods and then giving in to a craving can lead to feelings of guilt.
7. You Hide Your Eating
People with a track record of setting rules and repeated failures eventually begin to hide their consumption of unhealthy food from people around them.
Sometimes they’ll eat out alone, eat when no one is home, or when everyone is asleep, or eat in the car.
Whether it’s the embarrassment of failure or the obsession with over-eating, a lot of food addicts reach a point where they start hiding their food.
8. You Can’t Quit Even When It Gets Physical
Diet plays a significant role in health.
It can lead to acne, bad breath, poor dental health, fatigue, and weight gain, amongst a myriad of other health issues.
A lifetime of bad eating can lead to heart disease, dementia, and even cancer.
Anyone who deals with any of these issues and still can’t quit their unhealthy eating habits likely needs help.
9. You Think About Food All The Time
Are you one of those people who never stop thinking about food?
Do you always think about what you want to eat, what you shouldn’t eat, and what you can and can’t eat?
If it’s consuming your brain, you’re probably in need of food hypnosis.
Don’t Ignore The Signs Of Food Addiction
If, after reading about the signs of food addiction, you’ve realized that you are, in fact, addicted to food, do not be embarrassed.
Just like any other addiction, getting help is often the only way to start living free from what we can’t tackle ourselves.
The first step is admitting that you have an issue, and then acknowledging that you need tools to combat your addiction.
And remember, you don’t have to get rid of your favorite foods! There are plenty of ways to eat what you love in moderation. There are low-calorie choices in Mexican cuisine and many other foods.
Do you want to start your new and improved healthy living by burning more calories throughout your day? Check out how to estimate calories lost when you walk!