As of recently, food addiction has been identified as a major cause for excess weight and obesity. The theory is supported by ample scientific evidence which includes brain imaging as well as extensive research on the impact of compulsive or binge eating on the brain’s pleasure center.
Both animal and human trials have found that certain foods, particularly those abounding in sugar, fat and salt (in other words, highly palatable foods), can produce the same effect on the brain’s pleasure center as that produced by addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
The common denominator of addictive drugs and highly palatable foods is the fact that both groups stimulate the secretion of dopamine – a neurotransmitter controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. This means that once a food is recognized as a mood booster, the brain, i.e. the body starts craving it more and more.
Unfortunately, the feeling of reward that these foods evoke prevails over the feelings of fullness and satisfaction, which ultimately results in overeating, even when the feeling of huger is satiated. Health experts define compulsive overeating as a form of behavioral addiction that generates deep pleasure. It occurs when a person is obsessed with a pleasure-stimulating behavior like eating, gambling, even shopping.
Moreover, food addiction often results in food tolerance, meaning the more a food is consumed, the less satisfaction it brings. It’s no surprise that research has found a direct link between obesity and binge eating.
Sadly, just like any other addiction, food addiction is difficult to break and people affected with it often have hard time putting an end to this behavior regardless of their sustained efforts to do so.
How Do You Know If You Are Addicted To Food?
A questionnaire designed by researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has become a valuable tool in identifying food addiction.
Some of the sample questions include:
- Do you end up eating more than planned when you start eating certain foods?
- Do you keep eating certain foods even if you’re no longer hungry?
- Do you eat to the point of feeling ill?
- Do you worry about not eating certain types of foods or worry about cutting down on certain types of foods?
- When certain foods aren’t available, do you go out of your way to obtain them?
The questionnaire is not limited to a person’s relationship with food only, but also to the impact food has on their personal life.
Some of the questions include:
- Do you eat certain foods so often or in such large amounts that you start eating food instead of working, spending time with the family, or doing recreational activities?
- Do you avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating?
- Do you have problems functioning effectively at your job or school because of food and eating?
Plus, the questionnaire also puts emphasis on psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, agitation etc., which typically appear after cutting down on certain foods.
Last, but not least, the questionnaire also looks into the effect food decisions have on emotions.
Some of the questions include:
- Does eating food cause problems such as depression, anxiety, self-loathing, or guilt?
- Do you need to eat more and more food to reduce negative emotions or increase pleasure?
- Doesn’t eating the same amount of food reduce negative emotions or increase pleasure the way it used to?
Help for Food Addiction
As compulsive overeating is a rather new concept in the ‘nutrition department,’ health experts are still working on finding successful treatment against it. Another problem identified by some health experts is the fact that those fighting food addiction still need to eat, which makes dealing with the issue much more difficult when compared to dealing with alcohol addiction, for instance.
In any case, compulsive overeating is a disorder that requires medical or even psychological attention.
Using the Military Diet you will be able to give your body a break from the overeating and will achieve great weight loss results. If you from some reason can’t consume some of the products allowed in the Military Diet Plan, there are military diet substitutes that will help you achieve the same results.