Any form of addiction, including binge eating disorder (BED), crushes the victim to the core. But how does one get addicted to food? Preliminary studies have shown that you are likely to get addicted to palatable foods rich in salt, fat, and sugar.
Food addiction has a way of playing with the brain, stimulating “feel good” effect hormones such as dopamine to take control. The more you eat, the more you crave for more; before you know it, obesity is calling.
What are the Symptoms of Food Addiction?
Here are the top six symptoms which will help you know that you are addicted to food:
Craving for more food even when you are full
You have just completed a full-course meal and are full. However, the urge to get dessert pushes you back to get some more. If it happens once or twice, that’s normal, but if the craving overrides your decision-making, that’s a symptom of addiction.
Coming up with excuses
Like drug addicts, food addicts have a way of playing a losing psychological game where excuses become a part of them. When food addict fails to control their appetite, they could say that a large appetite is genetic and they can do nothing about it.
Sneaking away to eat
If you ever find yourself hiding from your colleagues to go and eat, not once but in several days, it is time you start looking for nutritional counseling. The addiction pushes them to hide the food in the car, in the dark, or far away from people who know them.
Feeling guilty about the behavior
Guilt sets in when you vow not to eat some type of food but still find yourself unable to stop the behavior entirely. Feeling guilty means that taking the inability to stop taking the meals is a symptom of addiction to food.
Eating more than you planned
At some point, you might just crave junk food that you find hard to stop, which is normal. However, when you are in this situation, you should be worried about your health and look for ways to tame the addiction.
Difficulty in stopping despite getting physical issues
Binge-eating junk foods lead to short-term effects such as poor dental health, acne, weight gain, and fatigue. In the long run, you might suffer from type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart problems, and obesity. If you find yourself unable to reduce the intake of foods despite suffering from these challenges, it is high time you get CBT therapy for food addiction.
Why Do People With Food Addiction Hesitate to Seek Help?
Food addiction is like any other addiction; some people frown upon eating. Thus, when someone finds out that they are addicted to food, they feel guilty. They might also feel ashamed of this addiction, and their self-esteem is crushed.
Food Addiction Therapies
You can overcome food addiction by using different strategies and therapies which are available online/ The strategies include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT focuses on one’s psychological wellness, which influences one’s eating habits. A CBT would come in handy in helping you track down your eating habits and any underlying psychological issue and manage it effectively.
Nutritional therapy is one of the best recovery strategies for food addicts. A nutritionist walks the addict through the recovery journey and helps them solve both short-term and long-term effects of the addiction. The most impressive thing about nutritional therapy is that the certified nutritionist knows what would work best for you.
The 12-step program is effective for people who struggle to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle alone. In this program, a sponsor volunteers to help them come up with an effective diet plan. Once the diet plan is in place, the food addicts can create social support avenues for encouraging each other to manage the addiction.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
DBT is a very effective way of managing eating disorders by focusing on their emotions. When some people are stressed or depressed, they indulge in various lifestyles to distract their thoughts, including binge eating. By using this therapy, the root cause of your addiction is managed effectively with minimal side effects.
Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)
The IPT strategy was first developed to manage depression but is currently used to manage food addiction for several reasons. First, it solves interpersonal problems which might push you to food addiction as a coping mechanism for stress and depression. Second, the therapist keeps you on track with the progress toward beating the food addiction.
Efficacy of Online Food Addiction Therapy
What makes online food addiction therapy the most is that it offers you the convenience of attending sessions in the comfort of your couch. Additionally, it is effective for introverts and people battling low esteem who still need the services. You don’t have to worry about the lack of face-to-face interactions since video sessions give you a personal touch.
How to Choose the Best Online Therapy for Food Addiction
Choosing the right online therapy for food addiction should not be a challenge, provided you use the following factors:
- Insurance coverage
When choosing an online therapy for food addiction, it is advisable to go for one that accepts insurance coverage. This is the best approach, especially if operating on a small budget.
A good online food addiction therapist should be flexible enough to allow you to schedule appointments. The convenience allows you to recollect yourself and only appear for sessions when ready.
Food addiction is a special addiction that an ordinary joe should not handle. When choosing an online therapist, go for a specialist trained to handle food addiction for the best results.
Before you settle for a particular food addiction therapist, it is prudent to consider their pricing. Go for a specialist who offers optimal value without necessarily stretching your finances.
Food addiction is more of a mental issue than an appetite issue and requires careful diagnosis. Several online therapists can help you overcome this addiction without financially exploiting you. Look for one and follow their recommendations fully for optimal results.