Food Addiction ...

Discussion in 'Beginner Training & Nutrition' started by Erik, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    Food addiction .... I've been reading about this lately.

    It involves a 'compulsive pursuit of a mood change by engaging repeatedly in episodes of binge eating despite adverse consequences.'

    Did you know this is a real 'condition'?

    A food addict is an individual who continues to use food compulsively without regard for the negative consequences. Compulsion is always present in the disease of addiction.

    They're not weak willed or suffering from a bad habit or a behaviour problem. Rather, they have metabolic, biochemical imbalances which result in the characteristic symptoms of addiction. It's said that food addicts are 'obsessed with food, preoccupied with weight and appearance, and experience a progressive loss of control over the amount of food they eat.'

    It's said there are symptoms that are present in all addictions - obsession, compulsion, denial, tolerance, withdrawal syndrome and craving. Food addicts exhibit all of these signs plus a distorted body image.

    Obsession - demonstrated by frequently recurring thoughts about buying, preparing, and eating food. The force of desire for food is irresistable and is followed by action. It's a psychological truth that we move towards our dominant thought so the preoccupation with getting, preparing and eating food will continually lead to binging.

    Compulsion - the loss of control or the inability to stop eating after one bite of a binge food. The food addict may be able to stop for indeterminate periods, but despite all resolutions, will binge again. The inability to control eating is a certain sign of addiction. Loss of control - that is addiction.

    It's a paradox isn't it? Eat to feel bettter those foods which make you feel worse. :shrug:

    Denial - the mental process by which the person concludes that they're 'alright'. Ignorance of the disease process and the inability for self examination work together to keep a person sick. Knowing nothing about food addiction and knowing no other way to live, the individual concludes that there is nothing wrong.

    Tolerance - the body's ability to endure contact with a substance. For the food addict, as food intake increases, the physiological level of tolerance to binge food increases. The body depends on the presence of refined carbs and develops the need for greater quantities. One bite is too many, a thousand not enough.

    Withdrawal - We know that it's an addiction because when the supply of binge food is cut off, for whatever reason, the food addict experiences withdrawal symptoms. (think of when you cut sugar out of your diet). It can appear to be like flu symptoms even. During withdrawal there's always the risk of returning since consumption of addicting substances will bring relief from the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. The dangers of this are obvious of course. Although the reintroduction may lead to better feelings, it'll trigger the addiction.

    Ever felt that? Start a new diet and you feel a bit dizzy and weak for a bit? But a little sugar makes you feel better?

    I've got more stuff but I'll start other threads for my discussion ideas.
     
  2. Blondell

    Blondell Former Postwhore

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    I recall you stating that you would look into this. I hope you continue to get a better understanding of it.

    Nice post.
     
  3. hsquared

    hsquared LOL

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    This seems to me to be one of the most difficult addictions to deal with because you can't get rid of food. I know all addictions are difficult, but with alcohol and drugs or even gambling, you can remove it from your environment. You can't do that with food, so in essences, every bite is a trigger. But, you have to eat, so there is always that threat of the addiction.

    Also, I think it is important to distinguish between an unhealthy relationship with food and an addiction. So, I wonder, where is the line? I have heard that you can be addicted to alcohol even if you only binge drink on the weekends. So if you have regular intervals of binge eating, are you addicted to food?
     
  4. Ali

    Ali Senior Member

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    :uhuh:
     
  5. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    But you can get rid of trigger foods.

    The issue isn't food per se. It's the trigger foods - those that result in the binge. Those CAN be removed.

    It's not a matter of removing all food. It's a matter of following a lifestyle that precludes the intake of the foods one is addicted to. Kind of like how Alcoholics Anonymous precludes the intake of alcohol, but obviously allows the use of other beverages such as water, milk, whatever.

    Any binge eating isn't going to fall under the headline of 'healthy relationship with food' IMO.

    The criteria of any addiction - the ones mentioned in the first post - that'd be a good place to start. They're symptoms present in all addictions; indicators used to help recognize it.
     
  6. Ali

    Ali Senior Member

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    Hi. My name is Ali, and I'm a food addict. :oops:
     
  7. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    Hi there Ali.
     
  8. Noel Clark

    Noel Clark Senior Member

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    Do you really feel that you are?
     
  9. Ana

    Ana Think back...Move forward

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    Hi Ali, My name is Ana and I'M a food addict :(
     
  10. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    I put this in the craving thread, but this is also what's said about food addiction.

    It's said that all food addicts have one thing in common - once they eat a trigger food, it sets off and develops the craving for more of it.
     
  11. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    I think this might be something that most people take a lot more lightly than say an addiction to a drug or alcohol, but the reality of it is that it's very serious when you consider the emotional roller coaster some people spend 90% of their time on because of food. And even in the more serious cases, the physical consequences.
     
  12. ritzgal

    ritzgal Well-Known Member

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    Bingo.

    I can go from looking at myself in the mirror and thinking "You've got to get the size of your ass under control," to heading down the hall raiding the candy jar because I'm stressed out. Thus like Erik said, one minute loathing what the food is doing to my body, and shoving it in my face the next.

    Maybe not addiction, but I do have food issues.
     
  13. Ali

    Ali Senior Member

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    I am not sure that I have one particular food. It is overeating in general...sets off more overeating. I am not sure if it's related to sugar or carbs, but they are definitely involved. I've never binged on protein. So, maybe this is another whole ED entirely. :lol:
     
  14. Ana

    Ana Think back...Move forward

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    Absolutely, I explained it before and most ppl simply don't get it or don't believe it, but because my issues with food are predominantly sweets I've eaten to the point where I've come close to losing consciousness. I'm thinking i'm going to end up in the hospital. It's quite scary in fact but at the same time I can't stop
     
  15. hsquared

    hsquared LOL

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    That is very interesting. I did not realize that it was only trigger foods. I thought it was all food, but that makes sense.

    I wonder if there is a fuzzy line between body dysmorphic disorder and addictions to food. The description says you have to be preoccupied with weight and appearance, so i wonder if when you have bdd, then, often, you have a food addiction? I guess if you were preoccupied with only one part of your body, like your nose (ahem - Micheal Jackson) then food wouldn't play as large of a role. I would like to know how they all correlate with each other.
     
  16. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    On the topic of disturbed body image and how it ties in, it's said that self disgust is a byproduct of food addiction. Dissatisfaction with the body and body parts is part of the process. As a person eats addictively, fear and hatred of fat drives the person crazy. It's impossible to feel self worth when eating is out of control.

    There's a direct correlation b/w what happens to the addict physically and the level of self esteem.

    The more weight gained for example, the more self loathing experienced. The more the person curses themselves for their weakness. They blame themselves, instead of the actual disease.

    Also read that 'weighing is the addiction within the addiction'. If it drops, elation. If it goes up, despair. The scale is the ruler of the food addict's universe. That number can make or break the day.
     
  17. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    Refined carbohydrates? Sugar? That's what it appears to often be.
     
  18. ritzgal

    ritzgal Well-Known Member

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    OMG, where are you reading this stuff and how long have they been following me? :lol:
     
  19. Erik

    Erik Admin

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    According to what I've read, you need to remove the trigger foods completely. You can't have just a little ...

    It's just like an alcoholic. Having just one drink is risky.
     
  20. Sherry

    Sherry New Member

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    I can go from looking at myself in the mirror and thinking "You've got to get the size of your ass under control," to heading down the hall raiding the candy jar because I'm stressed out. Thus like Erik said, one minute loathing what the food is doing to my body, and shoving it in my face the next.

    I am SO the same way! Sugar is a huge trigger for me...I guess this explains how I can eat a dozen cookies, I just crave more once I have one. I'm not sure I'm an addict...but I too definitely have some issues!
     

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