Cravings

Do You Have an Addiction to Food? 5 Food Addiction Symptoms

I have always enjoyed SHAPE magazine and recently found this on-line. The article is written by Jennipher Walters and describes what symptoms to look for if you’re wondering if you could be addicted to food/eating!!

I often say that in college I was addicted to Pop Tarts. In graduate school, it was candy corn. These days, thankfully, I’m more drawn to more nutritious foods, but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard others say that they’re addicted to chocolate, or chips or fast food. While we usually all say these things in jest, the more research that is done on the brain’s reaction to some foods, the more food addiction isn’t just a joke — it’s a reality.

The latest study to come out Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that a chocolate milkshake may affect the brain in the same way that cocaine might. Cocaine! Researchers are finding that high-sugarand high-fat foods, in a way, hijack the brain into not just craving but needing certain kinds of food. So how do you know if you are truly addicted to food? Or if you just really like and crave something? Below are five symptoms that may indicate an addiction to food.

5 Food Addiction Symptoms

1. Food is all you think about. If thinking about eating — or worrying about what you just ate — is getting in the way of your ability to go to work, be social or be a good family member, you may have a problem.

2. You want to stop — but you can’t. If you feel like your love of food is out of control or if you want to stop eating so much but can’t stop, it may be a sign that you need professional help.

3. You eat in secret or lie about what you’ve eaten. One characteristic of most people who are addicted to food is that they hide their eating behaviors or lie about what they’ve consumed. Feelings of guilt and shame when it comes to eating is another sign of disordered eating.

4. You eat beyond the point of fullness. Eating too much on Thanksgiving or your birthday is one thing, but regularly binging is another. If you regularly eat so much that you feel sick or can’t stop eating even though you’re full, you might be addicted to food. If you use laxatives or purge after binging, it’s especially important to seek professional help.

5. You are compelled to eat when you’re not hungry or are feeling low. While we all eat out of emotion every now and again, if you find yourself always going for high-fat and high-sugar foods when you’re lonely, bored, stressed, anxious or depressed, this can signal food addiction, as your body is using some of the chemicals in those foods to boost levels in the brain.

Jennipher Walters is a certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, and holds an MA in health journalism.

Are You Addicted to Food?

So many people have seriously – and half kidding – have asked me if food can be addicting. And my answer is always a resounding YES! I know this is just a little over 7 minutes but when you’re wondering about how/where cravings begin, and how (food) addiction keeps you from losing weight, then you need to view this video. Our THINKING (in fighting the battle of the muffin top) is critical but the pathology of addiction is something that needs to be understood too – and I think this video does a nice job of it!

Is it Hunger or Just a Craving?

A French proverb says “A good meal ought to begin with hunger.”  Well, there is some truth to that.  Make sure you’re not experiencing a craving (which is just an intense desire for some particular thing) before you convince yourself it’s time to eat.

True hunger is the gnawing, growling feeling that happens in your stomach, an indicator letting you know you are truly h-u-n-g-r-y.  So make sure when you experience true hunger that you’re eating a good nutritional meal.

Drinking Diet Pop

To most, the word “diet” equals weight loss. But diet soda may not be holding up its end of the bargain. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center Center at San Antonio recently found that people who drank two or more diet sodas daily had a six-times-greater increase in waist circumference at the end of the 10-year study than those who didn’t drink diet soda at all.

Those bigger waists sizes may be due to the “I saved here, I can splurge there” theory of dieting, says researcher Sharon Fowler, M.P.H. Or perhaps the artificial sweeteners in diet soda stoked diet-soda drinkers’ appetite, as other research suggests.

Have a Chocolate Craving?

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Beat Afternoon Cravings

Are you like me and struggle with the ‘Afternoon Blahs”? It’s so easy to cure those low moments of the afternoon with FOOD!! Take 1 minute and 26 seconds to watch this helpful video. Go on….watch it!

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Reducing Blood Sugar Spikes Day 7

Eat sweets for dessert only
Reason: All of the above (see Days 1 – 6)

If you eat sweets on an empty stomach, there’s nothing to impede the sugar from racing directly into your blood stream – no fat, no soluble fiber, no protein, no vinegar.  But if you confine sweets to the end of the meal, you have all of the built-in protection the preceding rules provide.

If you want to keep blood sugar on an even keel, avoid between-meal sweets at all costs – and when you do indulge, don’t eat more than you can hold in the cup of you hand. But a few bites of candy after a meal will have little effect on your blood sugar and insulin – and can be quite satisfying.

(Thanks to Dr. Rob Thompson, MD and March 2012 Prevention for providing information)

Reducing Blood Sugar Spikes Day 6

Have a glass of wine with dinner.
Reason: Your liver won’t produce as much glucose.

Alcohol has unique sugar-blocking properties. Your liver normally converts some of the fat and protein in your blood to glucose, which adds to the glucose from the carbs you eat. But alcohol consumed with a meal temporarily halts your liver’s glucose production. A serving of any alcohol – beer, red or white wine, or a shot of hard liquor – will reduce the blood sugar load of a typical service of starch by approximately 25%.

That doesn’t mean you should have several drinks (especially if you have diabetes, as multiple drinks can cause hypoglycemia). Not only does alcohol contain calories, but it also delays the sensation of fullness, so you tend to overeat and pile on calories. Be especially mindful about avoiding cocktails that are made with sweetened mixers – yet another source of sugar.

Reducing Blood Sugar Spikes Day 5

Eat lightly cooked vegetables.
Reason: You digest them more slowly.

Both fruits and vegetables contain soluble fiber. As a rule, though, vegetables make better sugar blockers, because they have more fiber and less sugar.

But don’t cook your vegetables to mush. Boiling vegetables until they’re limp and soggy saturates the soluble fiber, filling it with water so it can’t absorb the sugar and starch you want it to. Also, crisp vegetables are chunkier when they reach your stomach, and larger food particles take longer to digest, so you’ll feel full longer. Another tip: Roasted vegetables like cauliflower can often serves as a delicious starch substitute.

Reducing Blood Sugar Spikes Day 4

Include protein with your meal.
Reason: You won’t secrete as much insulin.

Here’s a paradox: You want to blunt insulin spikes – but to do that, you need to start secreting insulin sooner rather than later. It’s like a fire department responding to a fire. The quicker the alarm goes off, the fewer firefighters will be needed to put out the blaze.

Even though protein contains no glucose, it triggers a ‘first-phase insulin response” that occurs so fast, it keeps your blood sugar from rising as high later – and reduces the total amount of insulin you need to handle a meal. So have meatballs with your spaghetti.