September 16, 2016 @ 2:26 PM

By Jane Wakefield

fat girl eating ice creamFood addiction is a disease characterized by obsession with weight and body image. Food addiction is similar to drug and alcohol addiction. Very often for a food addict, refined sugar, flour and fats become what alcohol is to the alcoholic, or cocaine to the cocaine addict. When eating food in this group, the addict sets the phenomenon of "craving" into motion. Like the drug addict, the food addict experiences withdrawal when attempting to cut down on foods that trigger cravings. They can experience both physical and emotional withdrawal such as tremors, cramps, depression, teary periods and self-hatred, which leads to self abuse.

Binge Eating Disorder

(Compulsive overeating) Binge eaters are part of the eating disorders continuum. They are unable to control their food intake and repeatedly attempt to lose weight by dieting. While there may be some initial success at weight loss, the weight is ultimately gained back, plus additional pounds. Fluctuations in weight and medical complications are the characteristics of this disease. Individuals with binge eating disorders often find that their eating or weight interferes with their relationships, their work and their self-esteem. Due to the repeated failures to control their food intake, they may also give up all dieting efforts, thus becoming depressed and anxious.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimigirl with eating disordera Nervosa is a potentially devastating disease which is characterized by periods of binge eating followed by attempts to prevent weight gain through purging behaviors. If addictions do reappear in the form of food obsessions and cravings, you're probably indulging too much in the foods that got you into trouble to begin with.

The vicious cycle of hyperinsulinism and low blood sugar levels—combined with the possibility of specific food allergies or intolerances—can create an addictive situation. When you go back to bread, fruit, or fermented foods, you may suddenly discover that you must have these foods, that no day or meal feels right without them. Observe yourself carefully. You are engaged in a real battle for self-control as your defenses crumble. You'll notice that the need that develops is genuinely physical. It isn't simply that you know pasta tastes good, and you'd like to have it. No, your body absolutely roars with anxiety and passion for that pasta. You are under its spell.

Such addictions aren't shameful; they're physical, biochemical, metabolic—and that's precisely why you must avoid them. Most of you already know that for a significant portion of your life, excessive quantities of carbohydrates have been stronger than you. What other food cravings or addictions do you have?

healthy,food,plateIt is  really hard to admit that you may be suffering, maybe in silence, that you suspect that you are addicted to food. Unlike tabacco or alcohol, it is not obvious to those around you since we all need to eat food to survive.You may have been sitting across from someone, possibly a loved one, and thought, "why is he/she still eating?" Out of politeness we dare not say anything to offend or hurt the other person's feelings. Believe me, people who are fat know it, and people who are skinny know it.

We sometimes know a food is "bad" for us and we eat it anyway! It may seem rather simple, but being addicted to food is a serious problem. We've all heard about the dangers of being over or underweight. If you think your food choices are out of balance, then please visit our Daily Healthy Food Plan to get on track and eliminate those cravings, which could lead to a full blown eating disorder.