Food addiction is becoming an ever increasing problem in our country. As more people turn to food as a coping mechanism and unhealthy foods remain extremely accessible, more people will suffer the effects of food addiction. To determine if your overeating is actually an addiction to food, consider the following questions about the signs of food addiction.
Signs of Food Addiction: The Lingering Questions
Do you constantly think about food?
One symptom of addiction is a strong compulsion. Do you find that your desire to eat is so strong that you can’t avoid it? Do you wake up thinking about food and focus on it throughout the day? This focus on food could be a sign of an addiction.
Do you continue to eat, even after recognizing that you’re full?
To maintain a healthy diet, an individual should stop eating when they begin to feel full. However, an individual suffering from a food addiction may find that they cannot stop at a certain point. Even after finishing a meal and recognizing that there isn’t a need for more food, someone with an addiction may not be able to control the compulsion to continue eating.
Are you suffering from an emotional situation or extreme stress?
Emotional eating is one of the most common causes of food addiction. Individuals who find that they are dealing with very emotional situations such as the death of a friend or family member or loss of a job, often find themselves turning to food as a source of comfort. The same is true for those who are under a lot of stress. When everything seems to be out of control, food can serve as a source of stability.
Do you find yourself getting tired or suffering from headaches in the afternoon?
Even after receiving the proper amount of sleep at night, an individual with a food addiction may find that they become lethargic in the afternoon. Some refer to this as the 3:00 slump. When an individual relies on sugary foods as a source of energy to get going, he or she may find that that energy fades throughout the day. When this occurs, the individual will feel tired and may suffer from headaches and irritability. The obvious answer will seem to be more sugar to offer a jolt of energy, leading to the same results a few hours later.
Have you tried to make dietary changes, without success?
One of the signs of food addiction is the inability to successfully make lifestyle changes. After recognizing an increase in weight, many individuals will try to make changes to their diet. However, for a food addict, it may not be that simple. It can be extremely difficult to cut back on the substance that your body has become dependent on, in this case, food.
Have you built up a tolerance?
As with any substance, increased use leads to a tolerance. With food, an individual may find that he or she is continually eating more and more. They will continue to take in more calories without feeling any negative effect.