Posted in Food Addiction, Uncategorized

8 Telling Signs and Symptoms of Food Addiction

Obesity and food addiction are almost a taboo topic; however, it needs to be honestly  addressed. You are beautiful at whatever weight you are – you’re just not healthy and are basically screaming out that you want to suffer with sickness and disease!  I don’t want you to submit to that!  God created you to be precious in His sight which means He has given you the job of keeping the  body that He gave you at a healthy state of being. 

Yes… food is a critically serious addiction and can lead to a premature death – just like street drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol.  It’s an addiction that is visible and cannot be hidden.  If you are overweight, you are addicted to food.  The wrong foods cause high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes type II, kidney disease, liver disease, and much much more.  People don’t take food addiction seriously enough.  All to many parents today shove food down children’s throats to placate them or please their senses; so,  what we have today is an epidemic f diabetes type II here in the US, as well as a shorter life span.  No adult or child should be eating processed foods, foods high in carbs, sugar, fruit juices, GMO’s and foods/drinks that are non-organic.  So, today, we’re going to visit recognizing an addiction to food and, hopefully, you can take action immediately.  I found a great article (below) that honestly and creatively defines food addiction . I hope you enjoy the article, learn from it, and take action today.

Much love, Dina

Does this scenario sound familiar?

It’s a brand new day; a day you’ve vowed to start eating right, cutting sugar, and eating out less. You actually make a good first step with a healthy breakfast at home, but after a stressful day at work, you choose to hit a drive-thru for lunch and eat a supersized meal and a sundae instead of those leftovers you brought with you from home. After a chaotic afternoon, you stop into a bakery on your way home and take away half a dozen cupcakes. Once home, nothing appeals to you in the fridge, so you order a pizza and spend the night noshing mozzarella and icing sugar in front of the television.  And you go to bed feeling weak, ashamed, and guilty about another failed diet attempt.

Is this just a nasty, unhealthy cycle that you can’t break due to stress—or do you, like thousands of other North Americans, suffer from food addiction?

Here are eight telling signs and symptoms of binge eaters…

1. You Never Eat in Moderation

Sure, a bit of chocolate in moderation is totally fine, but those with food addictions can’t stop at “just a square” and can’t refuse unhealthy foods. Food addicts, like drug addicts, have an “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to eating, which means if they take home a chocolate cake, they will likely eat most of it until they are sick.

2. You Make Up Excuses for Failure

You’ve decided to cut sugar out of your diet for a month. However, 2 days later, you’re out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It would be rude not to have a piece of cake, wouldn’t it? So you indulge anyway and make the excuse in order to rid you of the guilt of surrendering to the food craving.

3. You Crave Food Following Meals

Sure, if you eat a small salad for dinner when you’re used to more, you’re likely to feel hungry within a few hours. However, if you’re more likely to eat a full meal of chicken, rice, and veggies and still find yourself “stuffed” but unable to resist devouring a full bag of chips following dinner, you’re giving into cravings and not hunger.  Most people get cravings for sweets and fats, but if this happens most nights of the week, you might be suffering with a food addiction.

4. You Set Yourself Up to Fail

People with any addiction—be it drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, or food—can’t turn off their behavior without help. That’s why the alcoholic can’t just limit their booze intake to “only on the weekends”. The same goes with the food addicted setting rules about eating. Even if you limit yourself to one cheat meal a week, you will likely find yourself failing without help.

5. You Eat Until Stuffed…and Keep Going

Many food addicts continue to eat even after they are full—and even though they know they will get sick from overeating. This is because the cravings they feel have nothing to do with hunger. The cravings are urges sent by the brain and not by the need for nourishment.

6. You Sneak Food

A very common indication of food addiction is hiding food and consuming it in secret. You might eat in your bedroom, in the car, or only after everyone is in bed, but if you’re eating alone and hiding the containers and wrappers of what you’ve consumed, the embarrassment associated with eating is a telling sign that you are food addicted.

7. You Associate Guilt with Eating

Do you often feel a horrible sense of guilt set in when you overeat? Giving into a craving will often do that—particularly if you’re attempting to lose weight or you’ve vowed to eat better. The continued cycle of giving into binge eating even though it makes you feel weak or undisciplined can result in depression and further binge eating.

8. You’re Aware Your Health is in Jeopardy

We all know that what we eat has a direct impact on our health—resulting in weight gain, blood pressure, heart health, energy levels, skin health, and oral health. However, those addicted to food will continue to abuse to abuse food even though they know their actions will lead to serious health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, and obesity.

Overeating from time to time is fairly normal, especially during a large holiday meal like Thanksgiving. But for those with binge eating disorder it can become a regular occurrence, in that they may “frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to stop eating,” says the Mayo Clinic.

While many people with binge eating disorder are overweight or obese, this is not always case; some individuals may be of normal body weight. This, along with their ability to hide their symptoms, can make it challenging to identify those with the condition, but here are six behavioral and emotional signs to look out for.

1. Eating Unusually Large Amounts of Food

One of the primary signs of binge eating disorder is that the individual will consume an abnormally large amount of food within a short time, typically a two-hour period. In some cases, MedicalNewsToday.com says, “10,000 to 20,000 calories of food may be consumed in one bout of bingeing,”

According to EatingDisorderHope.com, the reason for this bingeing is they never experience satiation “the state of being satisfied, no matter the amount of food consumed.”

2. Feeling Out of Control

People with binge eating disorder will often feel that their eating behavior is out of control. They may feel as though they are unable to stop eating, or that they can’t control what is being eaten.

Additionally, they will often eat very rapidly during a binge episode. Such behaviors may be difficult to detect, however, as people with binge eating disorder tend to eat normally around others, only gorging when they are alone.

 

3. Eating Even When Full or Not Hungry

As mentioned before, those with binge eating disorder often feel as though they are unable to stop eating and, as a result, tend to consume far more than they should. It is not uncommon for them to continue eating well beyond the point of feeling full.

They may also find themselves binging even when they’re not hungry. In some cases, this is due to feelings of stress or anxiety that can only be relieved by eating.

4. Eating Alone or in Secret

People with binge eating disorder will frequently eat alone or in secret to avoid the embarrassment of others seeing how much they consume. It is also common for them to stockpile or hoard food to eat during these binge episodes.

As these behaviors are kept so secretive, Helpguide.org says family and friends should keep an eye out for warning signs, such as “finding piles of empty food packages and wrappers, cupboards and refrigerators that have been cleaned out, or hidden stashes of high-calorie or junk food.”

5. Feeling Shame and Guilt About Eating

Binge eating disorder also causes affected individuals to feel a great deal of shame, guilt and disgust about their behaviors, especially right after a bingeing episode. To avoid judgement from others, they may resort to hiding empty food containers.

Anxiety and depression are also common signs of the disorder, to the point where the individual may self-harm or attempt suicide.

6. Frequent Dieting

Individuals with binge eating disorder often have very low self-esteem, and tend to feel a great deal of embarrassment about their physical appearance. As a result, they may frequently go on diets.

In some individuals, this can result in fluctuations in weight, while others may struggle to lose any at all. And the Mayo Clinic indicates that restricting their diet “may simply lead to more binge eating.”

Bottom line?  You can take action; however, you may need some good health coaching.

  • Take note of what you eat.  Keep a diary of EVERYTHING that you both eat and drink.

  • In addition to making notes on everything you eat, if you’re eating between meals, make a note of what you are feeling emotionally at those times.  Be honest.

  • Give yourself permission to accept what you’re doing.  You can’t fix what you can’t admit to yourself.

  • Take time to relax, no matter how simple or hectic your days are.

  • Be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking.  In other words, get yourself into the habit of looking at the food or snacks in front of you and ask yourself if it’s healthy for your body.  Do you really need it?  Are you truly hungry?

  • Seek out support and good health coaching.  You may realize that you have deep seated problems and need talk therapy.  You also may discover you need a little push and guidance in the right direction.  If this is the case, a good health coach is the answer.

  • Educate yourself about food.  Invest some time online learning about health and wellness and how food can change your life for the good.  It’s FREE!  I call it my online university!

  • Begin to love yourself.  Loving yourself is 99% of the battle.

  • Find God in all of this self discovery.  Jesus the Messiah is waiting for you 🙂

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If you need addiction coaching from the comfort of home, please visit us HERE.

Author:

Co-Founder, VP and Executive Director of Teshuvah Road Ministries Inc.