Food addiction is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. So many people need to better understand how to manage their intense cravings or attachments to certain foods. The challenge is, though, there’s also quite a bit of confusion as to what food addiction is and isn’t.
Too many people believe that they have a food addiction when they truly don’t, while others have no idea that their biology has been hijacked and they’re indeed addicted. Well, it’s time to understand food addiction in a clear and simple way. In this great video from IPEtv, Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating does just that. She puts food addiction and overcoming food addiction in a digestible, fascinating context. We think you’ll make some excellent connections and discoveries!
Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Hi, I’m Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Today’s topic: Food Addiction Made Super Simple.
Food addiction is one of the hottest topics in the nutrition and eating psychology universe these days. And for good reason. It’s an important concept to understand, and it has an impact on a fantastic number of eaters.
• The foods you’re addicted to are likely making you gain weight
• If the foods you’re addicted to aren’t making you gain weight, they may very well be limiting your ability to lose weight
• The foods you’re addicted to are likely setting you up for diabetes
• Addictive foods wreak havoc on your appetite – they de-regulate it and make your body want more, even when you clearly don’t need more
• The foods you’re addicted to are likely impacting your mood and your brain function
• Addictive foods are likely causing inflammation in your body – an underlying cellular condition that’s a precursor for numerous unwanted diseases
• Addictive foods will fool you into believing that you have a willpower problem – somehow your character is weak because you can’t stop eating
• Addictive foods will distract you from eating life giving, nutrient dense food. The result is a greater probability of unwanted symptoms and disease
This all sounds a little scary, doesn’t it?
Well, it ought to, because it is.
Let’s define an addictive food – or any addictive substance for that matter:
An addictive food is one that hijacks the brain’s chemistry and biologically drives us to consume more despite their detriment to the body.
Think of it this way: nobody needs a cocaine addiction, an alcohol addiction or a crystal meth addiction. But when a substance is powerful enough – or correctly engineered – it can capture brain circuitry and command the body to compel us towards consumption – even if it kills us.
That’s how powerful an addiction is.
Now, here is the most important point I want you to take home about food addiction – and one that most experts fail to point out:
Food addiction means addiction to a group of very specific foods.
Food addiction does NOT mean that someone is addicted to eating in general.
Can you see the distinction?
What I notice happening far too often is that people are calling themselves food addicts as if they are addicted to eating food, and need to find a way to rid themselves of their appetite or desires. They see themselves as being defeated by the enemy called food. If only they can control their need for food – then they would be happy, have the perfect body, and have their real life.
Here’s the fallacy in this:
Saying you’re addicted to food, or worse still – calling yourself a food addict – is like saying “I’m addicted to breathing,” or “I’m addicted to blood flow,” or “I’m addicted to sleeping.”
We cannot be addicted to that which is natural and necessary for biological survival.
Calling oneself a food addict is a 100% false diagnosis that does not exist in nature.
Once again – we can be addicted to specific foods for sure.
But we need food to live.
Labeling oneself a food addict is a recipe for lifelong pain and suffering.
Now – what are the foods humans can be addicted to?
Sugar is arguably the number one food/drug.
That’s what all the current research is showing.
And so many foods contain sugar.
Next up for addictive foods are the highly engineered food products that the big companies literally and purposely engineer to access your “bliss point” to create your intense attachment to those foods.
I’m talking about potato chips, corn chips, breakfast cereals, cookies, prepared snacks, breads, canned soups, commercial macaroni and cheese, many frozen foods, many dairy products, fast food chicken, burgers and fries, and a number of commercial and highly processed luncheon meats, hot dogs, and more.
In a way, the big food companies are guilty of food terrorism. They spend millions figuring out how to hack into your brain chemistry via our taste buds.
Their methods are fantastically elaborate – and effective. They are the legal drug pushers.
Of course, the same neural circuitry that’s activated when we consume cocaine is activated when we ingest sugar and sugar-containing foods.
That’s a mind-blowing discovery.
The remedy for food addiction is quite simple:
Cold turkey. Not the food, but the act of letting go of all sugar and sweets and juices and even fruits, along with all processed foods for at least 10 days. The body needs time to unwind.
But what’s on the other side is experiencing your natural appetite, reclaiming your real taste buds, and liberating yourself from food that’s killing you and stopping you from your highest self expression.
Consider this a powerful experiment.
Consider this a practice in taking back your power.
We are more powerful than the food we eat.
We are more powerful than the corporations that attempt to addict us.
And we’re more powerful than we ourselves have likely imagined.
I hope this was helpful.
In the comments below, please let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you and we read and respond to every comment!
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