Foods do not have an addictive property that make someone dependent unlike chemical substances. Food addiction has more to do with how a person behaves with food, what they think about food and the habits they have formed with food. Food can become a way to cope with emotional matters. The repetition of this coping mechanism can lead to an addiction. When food is used as a means to deal with grief, anxiety and stress, the body becomes conditioned to crave the process to feel relief. People often associate pleasure with foods that contain sugar, salt and fat. This starts at a young age when candy and soda are given as a reward for good grades, behavior or celebration. Research studies have shown the reward centers of the brain light up and release dopamine when these pleasurable foods are eaten. This may be why our bodies are conditioned to react in this way.
Recovering from food addiction is a process. Taking the power back from food sometimes requires a team approach in order to achieve full recovery. Here are a few steps to take to help someone that is recovering from a food addiction.
With a food addiction one can’t simply abstain from eating. Food is essential to life. Learning how to eat properly is essential in establishing a healthy relationship with food.
2. Follow a Structured Meal Plan
An individual suffering from an unhealthy relationship with food can get on the track to recovery by following a meal plan and normal eating pattern. This helps the person set safe boundaries with food, and feel satisfied so that there is not a physiological need to eat. It is more tempting to be out of control with food when there is physical deprivation.
Remove foods that are not in the diet plan from the household and set boundaries so that managing these foods in a healthier way can be relearned. Eliminating the temptation until he or she becomes balanced is a safe option.
4. Healthy Coping Strategies
Identify the reasons for turning to food for coping. Once these reasons are brought to the surface, create healthier coping mechanisms and strategies. This will be the beginning of learning healthier means of dealing with emotions.
5. Professional Advice
Overcoming a food addiction does not happen overnight. Seeking the advice of a registered dietitian and licensed therapist that specialized in eating disorders is highly encouraged. These professionals will help a person that is suffering from a food addiction implement eating strategies, provide accountability and give sound advice.
Atlas Mens Health Institute
2650 Lake Sahara Dr. Ste. 100
Las Vegas, NV 89117
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