Food Addiction: Here’s how your clever brain tricks you into it

How your brain tricks you into a food addiction

A lot of people do not realise the extent of the struggle of somebody who is suffering from a food addiction. It is commonly seen as a lack of self-control, people willingly feeding themselves to excess despite the obvious negative side effects. The truth is that for some, they are fighting a daily struggle against their own brain.

Food addiction is akin to drug and alcohol addictions. Using these substances while in a negative mindset can lead to your brain associating them with good times. Since alcohol, drugs, and even food raise your mood by releasing dopamine, consuming them when you are down makes the dopamine hit feel more impactful. Your brain then pushes you towards these activities to feel better when you are feeling low. This is the chemical definition of addiction.

If you are asking yourself, “Why am I addicted to food?”, you should first look to when you are most driven to eat. If the urge comes up when you are sad, it means you have a dependency on dopamine release caused by the food. To avoid this, try other dopamine inducing activities to shift the focus from food. This could be anything from regular exercise, being in nature, meditation, or even just listening to music to name a few alternatives.

If you find you are constantly yearning for food irrespective of your mood, you may need to get more sleep. Sleeping at least eight hours a night, at a regular time has had proven results in raising dopamine and lowering addictive personalities. Everyone is different, so even though eight hours is the suggestion, some people require more to maintain a healthy mind.

How to overcome a food addiction

If you are looking for a way to overcome food addiction you need to first look at your sleeping habits, and when you crave food. When you notice the cravings, try going for a walk while listening to music. If you can’t leave the house, do some simple exercises while watching your favourite shows. If you find yourself struggling to get through your addiction there are always support options to help you. At Anti-Dose we offer a wide range of aid to not only support you through your struggles, but to also teach you techniques to better handle them going forward.

The key to avoiding all addictions is a balanced and healthy life, we at Anti-Dose want to help you find that balance.

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I have 10 years personal and professional experience with addiction and I'm one of the counsellors available here at anti-dose. I work extensively in the community, running workshops and educational presentations for clients and staff of community probation service, cads and professional organisations.
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