Am I a Food Addict?
We are often asked, “How do I know if I am a Food Addict?” This is a great question and one for which I wish there was a clear answer. Unfortunately, unlike with other diseases, there is not a simple blood test that can determine if we are Food Addicts or, for that matter, if we are addicted to anything. First of all, if we are asking ourselves this question, then perhaps we are already having some sort of struggle with eating, food(s), weight, body image, etc. One of the simplest things we can do to gain some clarity is to ask ourselves a series of questions:
- Do I think about food or my weight all the time?
- Have I lost weight over and over only to gain it back and more?
- Do I obsessively calculate the calories I’ve burned against the calories I’ve eaten?
- Do I have physical problems resulting from the way I eat – or don’t eat?
- Do I eat large amounts of food in a short period of time?
- Do certain foods trigger binges?
- Do I weigh myself once or twice (or more) a day?
- Do I eat differently in front of people than I do when I’m alone?
- Do I have emotional problems resulting from the way I eat – or don’t eat?
- Do I find it difficult to stop eating after one or two sweets?
- Have I done serious work in psychotherapy only to find my “food problem” was unaffected?
- Have my eating and/or eating behaviours caused negative consequences in my life?
- Has a family member or medical practitioner said they are concerned about my health due to my eating?
Answering Yes to one or more of these questions could indicate that you are struggling with food addiction. Ok, great, I may or may not have food addiction…but now what can I do? The next step to figuring out the answer to this question is to try the treatment given to food addicts – and see if it helps.
There are many differing ideas as to what the “proper” treatment for food addiction is. However, there is one very common theme in successful treatment of any addiction…and that is to abstain from the substance/behavior that we are addicted to. So, for food addicts, this means abstaining from eating the foods or doing the food behaviors that our bodies have become dependent upon. The task of figuring out what food(s) we are personally addicted to – and how to go about abstaining from them – can be a tough one, and we often need support with this. There are many types of support out there from the plethora of 12 Step Food Groups, to therapists, recovery coaches and treatment facilities. Sometimes we may need to enlist the support of all of the above, and, sometimes, we find everything we need to be free of this addiction within a 12 Step group such as Overeaters Anonymous. Click here for a partial list of 12 Step groups that deal with food addictionhttps://foodaddiction.com/resources/.
If you want to try and figure out what foods are addictive for you, you can start by writing a list of all the foods you have binged on or have started eating and found you couldn’t stop. Also, think about the foods you think you couldn’t live without. The most common ingredients of addictive foods are sugar, flour, grains, high fat and salt. Take a really honest look at your eating history to determine what the foods are. Once you have identified your binge food list, then completely abstain from all of them and see what happens. Do you find this really hard? Are you able to abstain completely from those foods? Are you experiencing any detox symptoms (headaches, foggy brain, fatigue, irritability)?
If you are able to continue abstaining from these ingredients for a week or so, your cravings and food obsessions should slowly start to diminish. If this happens, then there is a good chance you are food addicted.
If you think you are food addicted, we strongly suggest you get support. It has been proven over and over again that people with the strongest recovery have enlisted support – and usually lots of it. Click here to read more about different treatment options available at ACORN https://foodaddiction.com/programs/.
The upcoming dates for ACORN’s food addiction recovery programs are:
- April 26 – May 1: Primary Intensive, Monsey, New York
- May 5 – 7: 3-Days in Florida, Bradenton, Florida
- May 26 – 31: Primary Intensive, Bradenton, Florida
- June 12 – 16: Primary Intensive, Vancouver BC, Canada
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Weekly Teleconference “Nuts & Bolts”
Please join us Wednesday evenings for recovery support.
This no-cost abstinence support group is open to all. Led by Sherri Goodman, professional trainee. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesdays at 7 pm (EST.)
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