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Food addictions: guidelines to identify it and how to fix it

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Food addictions consist of the need to compulsively seek out and eat certain foods. The addicted person eats large quantities in a short time, even if they are not even hungry.

It is a psychological disorder that leads to a loss of control over consumption and a pathological dependency relationship. In the following, we will go more deeply into its causes, symptoms and the appropriate treatment to overcome this problem.

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Causes of binge eating disorder

Binge eating disorders can have a variety of causes and can be caused by several factors. However, people who are overweight or obese are even more likely to suffer from an addiction to food.

In any case, a common trigger is a behaviour learned in the family. We acquire it by repeating intakes we find pleasurable or by using it as a strategy to cope with personal problems. Here we refer to loneliness, sadness or anxiety.

These emotional states make us more psychologically vulnerable to food addictions, although there may be others: dysphoria, depression, lack of affection or affection and even a sense of personal failure. There are also difficulties in family, social and work relationships.

On the other hand, if we do not tolerate certain physical stimuli (such as pain, fatigue or insomnia) and mental stimuli (worries, dislikes or responsibilities) well, the likelihood of developing a binge eating disorder increases.

Symptoms of food addiction

  • Having urges or desires to eat, without our body asking us to do so, is the first sign.
  • Observing a loss of control over food or certain foods, especially those considered fast food, is another clear symptom.
  • The obsession with eating is present at all times.
  • Resorting to food to relieve our psychological tensions or negative feelings.
  • Denial of the seriousness of the problem is also a common symptom in addicts.
  • Feeling guilt precisely because of these food addictions, after having experienced a binge.
  • As a result of the feeling of guilt, there is a desire to eat in secret or in secret from other people so that they do not see us.

Negative consequences of the disorder

  • Irritability and mood swings, due to the psychological state we are in.
  • Feeling a rejection of our physique or body image.
  • High blood pressure or hypertension due to frequent consumption of unhealthy foods.
  • Increased risk of diabetes, as most of the foods we eat are high on the glycaemic index and spike our blood glucose. 
  • High cholesterol, is also due to overeating and not eating properly.
  • Cardiovascular problems, muscular problems and even the possibility of gastroenteritis.
  • Finally, digestive disorders logically appear as a result of maintaining such a high and unnecessary rate of ingestion. Food addictions significantly affect the digestion process.

Overcoming food addiction

Overcoming this compulsive eating disorder is possible. First of all, we must focus on the origin of the food addiction. Ideally, we should get help from a psychologist to initiate the most appropriate treatment. He or she will use various therapies, relaxation or mindfulness sessions and nutritional support.

It will start with an assessment of the patient with cognitive-behavioural therapy. This will identify which stimuli (emotional or relational) lead to a loss of control over food intake. The practitioner will then try to modify those automatic thoughts or feelings that lead to overeating. The EMDR technique, which consists of desensitisation and reprocessing through eye movements or other stimuli, could also be used to treat the effects of past traumatic events at the source.

The specialist will aim to seek and find more appropriate alternatives for the addicted person. How? By working on emotional and impulse control, self-esteem, inadequate coping with problems, body image and the management of anxiety about eating, among other aspects.

They should adopt healthy habits, through the establishment of regular eating patterns and also by developing skills to plan meals properly. At this point, having the help of a nutritionist and/or endocrinologist who can guide us in the process of maintaining a healthy diet can be very useful. 

As a complementary aid, you can also choose to take a natural supplement to help regulate your psychological function. G7 Neuro Health, for example, helps the nervous system to function properly, thanks to its supply of organic silicon and biotin.

In conclusion, if you follow these treatment and supplementation guidelines, it is possible to overcome food addictions. We would like to stress here the importance of general well-being, both mental and physical, to avoid this type of disorder. Prevention is always better than cure, take care of your health!

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