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Food addiction is when you eat for a change in your emotional, and keep eating in an obsessive way in the face of harm from it. I’ve written about my own struggle with food addiction in my new book, The Hormone Reset Diet (which you can order right here), and in my last blog on food addiction, I outlined the ways that “Big Food” hooks you into food addiction and conditioned overeating through the targeted design of foods that combine sugar, flour, fat, and salt into a hyperpalatable combination that you can’t resist. (If you have a family history of eating issues or high stress levels lead you to emotional eating, you’re even more vulnerable). Processed food seems to play an especially bad role in overweight and obese women (1) and there are new indications that body mass index (a ratio of weight and height) may also trigger loss of control over eating.
I pinkie swear that if you do this one thing for a week, your food cravings will subside.
- emotional state
- moral code
- sensory information
- hormones including cortisol, insulin, leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin, plus others
- brain chemicals, such as dopamine and/or the endocannabinoid system
- past conditioning
- and stress – or more accurately, allostatic load (2)
- Reset your neurohormonal dashboard.
- Interrupt your pattern.
- For many of us, overeating may be tied to some kind of emotional distress; that is, a deeply ingrained behavior or a reaction to something that happened to us a long time ago. We may not be aware of what that is at a conscious level, especially if we’ve been carrying it around for years.
- Gearhardt, AN, and TA Treat. "The Association of Food Characteristics and Individual Differences with Ratings of Craving and Liking." Appetite 79 (2014): 166-73.
- Sinha, Rajita, and Ania M. Jastreboff. "Stress as a Common Risk Factor for Obesity and Addiction."Biological Psychiatry, 2013, 827-35.
- Davis, Caroline, Claire Curtis, Robert D. Levitan, Jacqueline C. Carter, Allan S. Kaplan, and James L. Kennedy. "Evidence That ‘Food Addiction’ Is a Valid Phenotype of Obesity." Appetite, 2011, 711-17.
- Davis, William. Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health. Emmaus, Penn.: Rodale, 2011.
- Levine, A.S., J.E. Morley, B.A. Gosnell, C.J. Billington, and T.J. Bartness. "Opioids and Consummatory Behavior." Brain Research Bulletin, 1985, 663-72.
- Zioudrou, C., RA Streaty, and WA Klee. "Opioid Peptides Derived from Food Proteins. The Exorphins." J Biol Chem. 254, no. 7 (1979): 2446-9.
- Cottone, P., V. Sabino, M. Roberto, M. Bajo, L. Pockros, J. B. Frihauf, E. M. Fekete, L. Steardo, K. C. Rice, D. E. Grigoriadis, B. Conti, G. F. Koob, and E. P. Zorrilla. "CRF System Recruitment Mediates Dark Side of Compulsive Eating." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009, 20016-0020.