by Yasmin Nolasco

Can you remember a time when you were a child and your parents gave you food or sweets so that you would stop crying or being upset? As innocent as this behavior appears it’s actually the root of many people’s eating habits. As adults, these people eat out of pleasure or to fill an emotional void. Food addiction happens when we lose control of eating behavior and we find ourselves spending an excessive amount of time involved with food and overeating, or anticipating the emotional effects of compulsive overeating.

Are you addicted to food? Hunger happens when you have a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by a lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat. A craving is different. It’s common to have cravings especially after eating a nutritious meal of meat and potatoes as some people crave dessert. A craving occurs when you experience an urge to eat something, despite having already eaten or being full. Do you overeat without intention or feel guilty? Do you hide or eat alone? Do you binge eat regardless of health problems or obesity? If you have a craving even after eating or have a difficult time ignoring it then this is a sign of trying to fill a different kind of void.

Usually, it’s an emotion. Ask yourself what am I feeling right now and what void am I trying to fill? It takes time to figure out the void and a great idea to journal or talk to a friend, nutritionist, or therapist. It’s common for people who have had substance abuse or cigarette smoking to develop food addictions as this is just another tool to fill a void. The true root is a void of emotion. Practicing mindfulness with food is not easy considering that we do need to eat in order to live. Try these tips to help you.

How to overcome food addiction?

  1. Ask yourself and find your void. Try journaling or therapy.
  2. Create a list of your goal. This could be to improve blood glucose or reach an ideal weight.
  3. Create a list of your “Go-To” unhealthy foods to avoid.
  4. Create a list of the fast-food restaurants or items to avoid.
  5. Create a list of foods that are healthy and you enjoy.
  6. Avoid drinking alcohol or vents that will trigger you to fall into your food addiction.

For more nutrition advice, you can book a consultation or call our office at 240-766-4552

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