Are You Addicted to Food? How to Fight the Cravings

Just Food Cravings or Addicted?

Seen a decadent dessert or walked by a pizza delivery guy and all you can think about is that food for hours on end?  I hate to break it to you, but the reality is that you may be conditioned to be addicted to food.

Food addiction is statistically getting worse and worse every year and much more common than you might think.

As obesity rates in North America continue to grow, we’re literally confronted by the problem on a daily basis. And whether you’re overweight or not, cravings for salty and sugary foods are difficult to avoid.

What is Food Addiction?

Real food addiction is characterized by serious, constant cravings, uncontrollable spikes in hunger, and difficulties controlling your intake of food on a regular basis.

On top of cravings, people who are seriously addicted to food will actually experience tolerance and withdrawal as a result of their addiction. Tolerance refers to needing more and more of the food, whether it’s sugary foods or salty junk foods (or both), in order to feel satisfied.

Withdrawal, on the other hand, refers to the negative feelings and depressed mood that occur when you go with the food for a little while. Combined, these tow symptoms suggest a pretty serious food addiction.

How Does Food Addiction Work?

Whenever we consume foods of any kind, our brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s related to feelings of pleasure. The more dopamine our brain releases, the better we feel.

When it comes to junk foods, fried foods, and sugar, however, a problem occurs. What happens when we eat these kinds of foods is our brains release even more dopamine than normal, resulting in greater feelings of immediate pleasure.

Over time, this reward system can result in a food addiction, and we start craving all that bad stuff in order to get those quick feelings of pleasure.

How do You Know if You’re Addicted to Food?

The biggest signs of a food addiction problem are constant and repeated cravings. If you’re feeling preoccupied by food most of the time, or are constantly thinking about your next snack or meal, you’re probably experiencing some kind of food addiction. Some people are addicted to food in general, and others to specific kinds of foods or foods with a lot of sugar.

How to Fight the Cravings…

If you want to fight your food addiction and beat those annoying cravings once and for all, there are a number of things you can start doing today. Here are some of my best tips to fight the cravings:

  • Drink a tall glass of water.  The first thing you should ever do as soon as you are craving the culprit to your 6 pack abs is drink a tall, and I mean very tall glass of water.  It’s amazing what just a tall glass of water can do to cut right into your cravings because not only may you be dehydrated but just that filling feeling in your tummy has incredible power to reduce the craving.
  • Avoid the foods that you crave the most. Over time, the negative feelings associated with the withdrawal will diminish. In most cases, the cravings subside in just a couple weeks, so hang in there!
  • Eat foods that fill you up. One of the most effective strategies is to eat more healthy foods that keep you satisfied longer. Junk food satisfies the craving, but it doesn’t last long before you’re hungry again. So go for foods that are high in protein, fiber, and healthy carbs. These will give you the longest satisfaction.  Some of the best examples are veggies which especially take up a lot of space but are mostly composed of water like Kale, cucumbers or green peppers.
  • Have a protein shake. Because protein is so good at filling you up and preventing cravings, a protein smoothie is a great replacement for a junk food binge. Try Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion – the chocolate flavor is amazing and only has 120 calories or as much as two oranges!
  • When you crave sugar, go for fruit. Eating fruit is a better alternative to junk food, because you get the fiber and other vitamins and phytonutrients to keep you healthy and fit. You can’t go overboard with it, and fruit juice is not a good option for beverages, but fruit is better than candy. Bananas actually make for great hunger-suppressing snacks, and they’re easy to have on hand.
  • Get your vitamins. One reason you might get addicted to junk food is that your body may be lacking other essential vitamins and minerals. So load up on the vegetables, and if that sounds like too big of a step right now, try supplementing with a plant-based food product like Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Powder or NOW Spirulina Powder.

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