What is ‘food addiction’?
Food is necessary for human survival and is a crucial aspect of our wellness, in addition to a means of pleasure and enjoyment. However, in some individuals, this may take the form of addiction. ‘Food addiction’ is characterized by the compulsive consumption of foods, generally foods high in fat and sugar. Addicted individuals become compulsive overeaters who engage in frequent episodes of uncontrolled eating (binge eating).
Signs and symptoms of food addiction
This type of addiction is based on behavioral symptoms. Some common signs and symptoms for diagnosing food addiction are –
- Frequent uncontrollable cravings for certain foods, despite feeling
full or even after having just finished a meal.
- Eating the craved food in much more amount than initially
intended, such as a craving for one slice of cake, sometimes turns
into half a cake.
- Eating to the point of feeling excessively filled or stuffed.
- Feeling guilty after such an episode of binge eating
- Making up excuses for overeating, such as “I was feeling low
today, so it’s okay.”
- Repeatedly failing to avoid these foods – Sometimes, individuals
try to set rules like eating junk food only on a fixed day of the
week, or only at parties and events. Still, people facing food
addiction usually set such rules and always tend to fail at it.
- Hiding consumption of unhealthy foods from others, possibly due
to feelings of guilt.
- Going out of the way to obtain certain foods
- Decreased energy and irritability
If addiction is left ignored or untreated, it can rapidly begin consuming your life, creating negative and chronic symptoms.
- Increased risk of chronic health conditions – obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.
- Chronic fatigue, pain, and headaches
- Low self-esteem
- Sleeping disorders
- Feeling guilty, sad and hopeless
- Increased irritability, especially when they fail to obtain crave food.
- Avoiding social events and activities which were once enjoyed
- Isolation from family and friends
- Decreased performance at work/school
Ways to overcome food addiction – getting professional help is
- Try to make a list of trigger emotions, recognising them can help
you make a crisis plan.
- Try to avoid foods that cause cravings by not buying them.
- Try to avoid going to your usually visited fast food places, find
healthier alternatives, or cook healthy at home.
- Eat healthy foods that you already like. Use the smart app Health Click Away for making healthy lifestyle changes. It helps you log your food intake and create healthy meal plans for yourself. Also, you can track your water intake using the app. You also get smart notifications to remind you to eat healthy meals. And when you are ready to make healthy changes, you can consult the best health and fitness coaches, nutritionists dietitians using the app Health Click Away to achieve your health and fitness goals.