Food Addiction – Wadda You Gonna Do, You Gotta Eat


Food addiction seems very real if you are plagued by it, but most of the world is unsympathetic to this problem. The concept of it being a psychological or medical disorder is controversial, so it would be very easy to give into the frustration and hopelessness you may feel. However, you will be glad to know there is treatment and support out there, and scientific research on this subject is growing.

Unique Addiction with An Emotional Component

Food addiction is rather unique because eating food is a biological necessity, and abstinence is most often a part of substance abuse treatment. However, compulsive over-eating has the same aspects as many other serious addictions including:

  • Being obsessed with eating.

  • Having triggers that make self-control much more difficult.

  • Experiencing an increased tolerance to certain foods, and you eat much more of them than others do to feel satisfied.

  • Having made many unsuccessful attempts to control overeating.

  • Feeling unable to quit even when your psychological and physical health are suffering.

In general, the 'source of your pleasure has become the source of your pain.'

The Science and Nutrition Aspects

Foods, such as white flour and sugar, are refined so much that pure substances are obtained much the way drugs are. Unfortunately, these sugar and flour contain little or no nutrition, and the body draws on its own nutritional stores to digest foods that contain them, so you are creating nutritional deficits when your diet is primarily made of these substances.

When you eat something very starchy (simple starches) in the morning, you set up a carbohydrate craving for the rest of the day, one that you have to fight all day to lose weight.

There is also growing scientific evidence that these substances "trigger the same brain receptors that are triggered by addictive drugs," according to a researcher at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Also, food addiction has been found to work on the same "neurobiological highway" as other officially recognized addictions do.


When you work with a therapist to overcome food addiction, he or she will help you to:

  • Identify mental/emotional origins of compulsive eating, including abusive or controlling behaviors by your parents or significant others.

  • Learn to journal in a way that is therapeutic.

  • Identify triggers such as certain places, situations, and sensory cues.

  • "Detox" from overly refined foods and overeating for emotional reasons, or use only in moderation.

  • Learn how to exchange self-defeating thoughts and behaviors for healthier ones through cognitive-behavioral concepts.

  • Adapt habits that support your goals, such as regular mealtimes, portion control, drinking more water, replacing junk food with more nutritious choices, and creating a pleasant atmosphere for eating.

  • Find new sources of healthy pleasure and satisfaction.


Recognizing that you have a problem with food addiction is the first step. Examining the roots of your compulsion through therapy, replacing self-defeating behaviors with healthy alternatives, and being prepared to deal with triggers more effectively, are all ways to gain insight and control over your life. (For more information on counseling, contact Park Center Inc)


5 January 2015

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.