2 Basic Principles for Food Addiction Treatment

2 Basic Principles for Food Addiction Treatment

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Food addiction treatment is a pretty broad term that can apply to a lot of things.  In particular, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia might fall under this sort of treatment, but most of the industry has shifted into helping people to control binge eating and treat the root causes of whatever food addiction that they have.

In the old days, anyone who was addicted to food was thought to be weak in willpower and had a problem with the eating itself.  Today we know that this is not really true, and that the poor eating habits of the food addict are but a symptom of their disease, not the cause of it.  It is much the same as how drug and alcohol use was but a symptom of drug addiction, they are not the real cause of the problem.  There is a deeper problem going on inside of the person and the drug use or the binge eating is but a mechanism to try and cope with this inner turmoil.

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting
Creative Commons License photo credit: Veganbaking.net

Because of this new knowledge, we have slowly changed the way that we approach food addiction.  It used to be the case that someone would have to rigorously measure out and portion out all of their food in order to treat their addiction.  This only fed into the addiction and the stigma that the person felt and made things worse in most cases.  The real solution has been to focus instead on healthier eating habits.  In addition, people are now taught to identify what their trigger foods are–those foods that they eat that set them off on an eating binge, much in the same way that a drug addict or alcoholic could take a single drink or drug and be “off to the races.”  It also seems to be a universal principle with eating addiction that pretty much any compulsive eater is going to be triggered by sugary processed foods.  So essentially the person recovering from food addiction would come up with an eating plan to help them avoid their trigger foods and all of those dangerous processed foods as well.

The whole goal is to eat when the body really needs to eat, and nothing more.  Pretty much every food addict has eaten for many other reasons than to satisfy real hunger, such as when they are bored, or angry, or frustrated, or emotional in any way.  Eating as a response to anything other than body hunger can eventually lead to problems.

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As part of an holistic approach to life in general, anyone who struggles with this type of addiction should probably:

1) See a nutritionist and start working hard on shifting their diet over to one that is much healthier.

2) Get extremely motivated to exercise on a regular basis and start getting into better shape.  Healthier eating can stem directly from healthy exercise habits.  Push yourself to engage in vigorous exercise on a regular basis and you will notice a change in your food consumption.  You can’t fill up on junk all day if you are working out hard enough.

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