When a person repeats an action that causes stimulation and pleasure signaling in the brain, it can become addictive as the pleasure receptors desensitise over time. When an emotional or chemical dependency develops, it turns into a habit and then finally an addiction. The severity of these habits and addictions can be measured by the effort required to stop them. Chemically and emotionally speaking, almost anything pleasurable and or stimulating can become addictive at some level. What makes some addictions more harmful is when a person's health and their environment is negatively affected.
How does food addiction compare to other, more well-known addictions? For example drugs, tobacco and alcohol?
Drugs, tobacco, alcohol and all foods are chemicals. Addictive chemicals cause two main things to happen. Number one, pleasure response in the brain and number two, reduced sensitivity to these chemicals. What we call an "addictive loop" manifests.
To reach the same level of pleasure response compared to the time before, one needs to consume more each time. The rate at which this occurs depends on a few significant factors:
- Mental state
- Chemical or action in question
How to recover from addiction? It takes time. Time for the pleasure receptors to regain their sensitivity. This recovery happens if the addictive activity is halted for a period, suited to the addiction severity and type of chemicals in question. Unfortunately this is difficult when dealing with chemicals such as Methamphetamine, that permanently damage pleasure receptors. With food addiction, it is much easier to recover if the approach is correct and you have a support structure.
Things that differ.
Food has a less aggressive chemical reaction than other drugs and activities. This is only half the story though. Addictive foods are advertised aggressively, are more affordable and easier to come by. They are not illegal or stigmatized. They also have “BIG” money and government backing. All these factors turn a chemically "softer" addiction into a socially and emotionally unique habit, that is extremely difficult to kick. Combine this with mixed messages and arguments on the validity of these claims and you find most sufferers are not even aware of their addiction.
Are you suffering from food addiction?
Foods that cause a high pleasure and or stimulating response are more addictive. Here is a brief list of traits that mark addiction to food.
- Inability to distinguish between hunger and cravings.
- You crave food more when bored or tired.
- You use food for comfort.
- Certain foods make you happier than others, irrelevant of hunger levels.
- You can't stop at just one.
- You want to eat again soon after a meal.
- After a meal, hunger stops but cravings continue.
- You see food as a pleasure rather than a source of health and fuel.
- You feel guilty after a meal.
- You think about certain foods for a significant portion of your time.
- Hunger levels do not match your energy exertion levels. In other words, you don’t feel less hungry when you are less physically active.
For an interesting thought, compare these symptoms to other common addictions. You will notice that they are very much the same.
Some good news! Do not worry if you are amongst the many that have said yes to most of these items. In our experience, if you follow the HealthSync guide, the addiction can be kicked in as little as a few weeks.