Are you a victim of food addiction? You might be surprised.
When you consider the term, food addiction, you might first think that this refers to people who overeat, people who can’t stop eating. This is accurate in part. Perhaps this is a misnomer of this medical condition, because food addiction also refers to any obsessive or compulsive eating.
For example, people with anorexia or bulimia, or with such tendencies, have addictive behaviors towards the ritual of eating. This syndrome actually describes a condition where a person has an irrational fixation relating to the rituals surrounding eating.
Addiction to food is quite similar in nature to substance or alcohol abuse. People with this condition often spend more time anticipating the ritual than in enjoying the satisfaction of obtaining it. For example, people who are hooked on meds or illegal substances, will obsessively think about getting the next dose.
If you’re hooked on pain killers, your first thought upon waking is to reach for that medication. Once taken, everything’s OK. The body calms down, because your mind recognizes that you’ll soon feel the effects.
People who overeat tend to have certain foods that will satisfy their cravings. A bowl of ice cream or a favorite cookie may be far more satisfying than a big steak. If there’s only steak in the frig, this type of food addict may well rush out to the store for the ice cream. Nothing else will do.
In the case of anorexia or bulimia, the person often tries to hide their fixation on feeling too fat. The anorexic makes all sorts of excuses for not eating, while the bulimic victim eats to maintain a normal appearance and then purges the food from their system by forcing themselves to throw up the food in private.
Another food disorder is fast food addiction. In these cases, an individual satisfies their hunger only with fast food binges.
Every type of food disorder is characterized by an obsessive or compulsive fixation on the ritual of eating. The disorder may manifest in obesity and malnutrition alike. There are many causes for such food related behaviors, including psychological and genetic factors.
If you find that you think more about the act of eating food than the actual meal, you may want to talk to your doctor. Recent research has resulted in the development of programs which deal with your problem in a realistic and compassionate way.
Too many people suffer from eating disorders that are bad for their health. There’s lots of sensible help available. Get back to enjoying food for what it is – good tastes, energy and good health!
It’s one of life’s few pleasures.