As I sit with Leila; a friend I recently got introduced to, I am always shocked to watch her eat all sorts of unhealthy and fattening food, and still find her extremely underweight. After she is done, she excuses herself to the bathroom, and returns looking sick. I then suspected she might be bulimic (a food disorder I read about many times), and felt bad about other common friends making fun of the situation. Of course such behavior could not help nor support what she is going through. It rather intimidates negative feelings and makes her resort even more to food. I then thought of writing something about such food disorders so we can all understand and learn about one another’s extreme situations.
What Is Food Addiction?
We all crave different food types at certain times, but when the craving does not stop or is constantly unhealthy…then there is a big chance you are a food addict. You also need to understand whether your eating habits contain any of the following, because just then you must be sure you have a food addiction that you need to work on.
- You crave unhealthy food all the time
- You are unable to stop eating even when you are full
- Your diet causes medical problems such as obesity, gastro-problems, fullness, or even sever headaches and stomach aches
- You eat things that are harmful for you most of the time, and have no control(as you may think) over that, for example being a diabetic and eating sugar all the time.
Factors That Turn People Into Food Addicts:
- Lots of food addictions start out as an escape from psychological problems, food addicts find comfort in the company of food. They usually have been put into lots of blame, and therefore find that they have their own choice in the food they eat regardless of how bad it is for their health. Let us think of it practically, have you ever been in a situation at work or at home when you have had a serious fight and then first thing you thought of was to dial your supermarket and purchase the biggest pack of potato chips and sink into it?! To you this seems like the perfect escape from solving the issue, yet to your body it is total damage!
- Having an activity free life, allows you to think of food most of the time. Here in Egypt or even in the Arab world, we tend to associate all our celebrations with food and don’t you even think that it is usually the most unhealthy food celebrations ever!!!! So I guess we have been raised in a way to know that food is sometimes something we tend to do when we are happy, and even when not!
- Social expectations of having figures like the models we see on TV is unbelievable, such models are too skinny I think a lot of them are suffering from food addictions themselves. So what one tends to do is run to eating too much, they throw up later and sometimes this happens in complete secrecy.
How to Pull Your Brakes, and Change Your Life?
If you have been suffering for a long time, then changing such habits might take some time. But have the patience, and learn about yourself as you go and know that it is all worth it …
The steps to having changing what you are going through:
- Fix your emotional aches, and by doing this you may release a lot of the stress that causes you to eat in the first place. Don’t bottle up your emotions and learn to let any problems or upsetting situations out of your cycle as they happen. And learn the truth behind those emotions, and fight against them.
- Be your best friend, and by doing that you will love yourself and learn that by eating the wrong way you are harming nobody but yourself the most..
- Search for comfort in other ways that may bring you more or equal happiness to that of food… comfort may be found in doing charity, or simply hanging out with people you love…
- Know what food triggers you and try avoiding them, and you can simply do that by not having such food around and in access.
- Stop blaming yourself, because the more you blame yourself the endless the eating cycle becomes. Know that what has been done is over with, and always turn a new and positive page.
- Join a weight loss group for support, or a physician who will ensure you stay on track ..but above all you stay in control and seek power within yourself.
You have to understand that eating will never solve deep down troubles. Maybe your own life is tough but in the warmth of a friend’s understanding we may release our troubles. So search for a good friend and ask for complete support.
FUN FACTS : What Does Your Food Addiction Say About You?!
Craving Salty Food:
Scientifically: it means you may have a Mineral deficiency, such as Calcium, Iron and Potassium.
Personality: You’re a go with the flow personality.
Scientifically: it is basically an antidepressant in dessert form that your body instinctively seeks out when your happy chemicals are bottoming out and you need a quick lift..
Personality: Depends on the chocolate type
- If it is Dark chocolate: You’re the life of the party, a social butterfly, and right in the mix of the team project at work.
- Is it is Milk chocolate: You’re the quiet, introspective type. Your idea of a perfect afternoon is a solo run or one-on-one time with a good book.
Craving Sweet Food:
Scientifically: it is the same as chocolate, and could also indicate a decrease in energy levels.
Personality: A personality that likes to stand out and feel special
Craving Spicy Food:
Scientifically: it means that your temperature is high, and sometimes spicy food helps you cool down through perspiring that is why it’s famous in hot countries.
Personality: You love order, dislike wasting time, and sweat the details.