Eating healthy and losing weight can be impossible for many people. Despite having the best intentions to lose weight, in a short time they are eating large amounts of unhealthy foods, even while they know that this can cause them harm.
The food addiction is a big problem even is the main reason why people fail to lose weight or get better health. Therefore, we present different ways to overcome the addiction to food.
What is junk food addiction?
When we talk about “food addiction” we refer to the addiction to junk food, which can be compared to drug addiction. It is a relatively new and controversial term, and high-quality statistics on its prevalence are lacking.
Effects of junk food in your brain
Addiction to junk food involves the same areas of your brain as drug addiction. The same neurotransmitters are involved, and many of the symptoms are identical.
Foods considered junk, such as sweets, carbonated beverages, and high-fat fried foods have a great influence on your brain’s reward center, caused by brain neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
Symptoms of junk food addiction
We can find 8 main symptoms of junk food addiction:
- You often have cravings for certain foods, despite feeling full and having finished a nutritious meal.
- When you give up and start eating a food that you crave, you find yourself eating much more than you intended.
- When you eat a food you crave, you eat to the point of feeling overly full.
- You often feel guilty after eating certain foods, but you find yourself eating them again soon after.
- Invents excuses in your head about why you should eat something you’re craving.
- Repeatedly, but without success, you have tried to stop eating certain foods or set rules for them, such as meals or cheating days.
- Concealed the consumption of unhealthy foods of others.
- You feel unable to control the consumption of unhealthy foods, despite knowing that they cause physical damage, including weight gain.
If you consider that you have at least 5 of these 8 symptoms, you may consider that you have a serious problem of food addiction.
Problem of junk food addiction
The addiction to unhealthy food can cause physical damage and cause serious diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Like other addictions, food addiction can cause emotional problems , thus increasing the risk of premature death. Without forgetting that it can also negatively impact your self-esteem, since you can get to feel bad with your physical image.
Is avoiding junk food worth it?
Avoiding junk food can be very difficult, especially since it is part of modern culture and you can find it everywhere. However, abstaining from the consumption of certain foods of this type is necessary.
When making the decision not to eat these foods, it may be easier to avoid them, even your cravings may disappear. However, if you are not sure if it will be worth the sacrifice, experts recommend making a list of pros and cons.
- Pros: lose weight, live longer, have more energy, feel better every day, etc.
- Cons: you cannot enjoy an ice cream, you cannot share certain foods on special dates, have to explain your food options, etc.
After writing your pro and cons list, ask yourself if it is really beneficial to stop eating this type of food.
How to motivate yourself to avoid junk food
- Write a list of the foods you tend to desire. These are the trigger foods that you should avoid altogether.
- Make a list of fast food places that serve healthy foods and write down your healthy choices. This can prevent a relapse when you are hungry and do not feel like cooking.
- Think about what foods you are going to eat, preferably healthy foods that you like and that you already eat regularly.
- Consider making several copies of your list of pros and cons. Keep a copy in your kitchen, in your glove compartment and in your purse or wallet. It will help you remember why you are doing this.
Once you have made this step, you should set a date in the near future, such as the weekend. From that date you should avoid touching the foods that trigger your addiction.
Seek help to overcome food addiction
If you end up relapsing and consuming junk food again, you should know that you are not alone and that you are not the only one who has this problem.
You may need several attempts to achieve this, but if not, you should consider seeking help. Many health professionals and support groups can help you achieve your goal.
Maybe you should look for a psychologist or a psychiatrist who has experience in the treatment to avoid addiction to food, this way you will get personalized support. If you do not like this option, you can search your local support groups of people who suffer the same problem that you are completely free.
Food addiction is a problem that usually does not resolve on its own. Unless you make a conscious decision to avoid it, it is likely to get worse over time. You can start by discovering what the benefits are and problems that give you avoid the consumption of junk food, in this way you will know if it is beneficial for you: leave this lifestyle aside.
You can consider seeking help from a professional, but you have to take into account that this is an option that you have to pay for; On the other hand, if you are looking for help with a support group, it can be equally beneficial and is a totally free option.
Related Wiki Link: Major Junk Food Side Effects