No, You are probably not addicted to food😬
You “trained” your body to create this bad habit because you have been manipulated by a food industry and your emotional state (stress, sleepless nights, depression, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, sadness, anger, mourning a loss, the discomfort of travel, the discomfort of awkward social situations, and so on. Each of these might be tied to one type of food, or several)
Image from: https://www.health.harvard.edu
Let me explain this in more detail🤓🤓
Addiction-like behaviour is not caused by a lack of willpower but results from a dopamine signal that affects the biochemistry of our brain.
Our 🧠 are designed with reward centre and when we are exposed to a rewarding stimulus, the brain responds by increasing release of the fascinating molecule -dopamine.
DOPAMINE is the brains teaching signal!
Image from: https://www.quora.com
We often hear that dopamine is the “pleasure chemical” responsible for causing the neurochemical rush that makes us feel really good as we eat chocolate or win a race.
This idea is common in popular science writing but it’s out of date long within scientific community.
Yes, our brain is seeking a pleasure/enjoyment from eating but pleasure is more related to chemicals called endorphins that are often released with dopamine.
Dopamine gives us FALSE promise of a reward and is involved in encoding memories about a reward:
…how to get it? …Where it was obtained?
and attributing importance to environmental stimuli that associated with that reward!
This is happening because when dopamine is released in the brain, you will feel WANT not much of pleasure!
Example: When you are feeling down or stressed, you turn to the food for a comfort. Next time the bad feeling comes up, you do it again, because last time you did feel better for 5 min after eating the food. Through repetition, each time you get the bad feeling, you start to get a strong urge to eat the food — so strong, you can’t resist, even if you’re on a diet.
Image from: https://www.hixic.com
This neurotransmitter is about “learning/liking experience” rather than the “pleasure” and it plays really important role to forming habit or addiction-like behavior!
Dopamine turns us into go-getters!🏃♀️🏃♂️🚶♂️
Naturally the 🧠 is programmed to repeat activities that will sustain life. As the reward center is “rewarded”, it will store that information for the next time!
Image from: https://www.cheezburger.com
When the same activity is used again, the reward center is activated; it recalls the use from the previous time and motivates us to continue to abuse and receive the “pleasurable reward”.
💡This cycle will repeat itself time and time again, creating a habit which can be mistaken for addiction💡🆘
It kind of looks like we are setting our subconscious mind to work on "autopilot mode" because that requires less energy!
Of course there is so much more to this then just Dopamine! 🤯🤯 There are also hunger hormones and other parts of the brain to play big role in this party but I could not possibly write about this in one post🤓
....so let’s move to food now....
To understand “food addiction” more,we need to learn about the types of foods that trigger addiction –like behavior.
Why we are not addicted to 🥦,🥑,🥕?
“Food that brings us pleasure when we eat it is described as PALATABLE.
The most palatable foods tend to be dense in easily digested calories and combine multiple innately preferred food properties in highly concentrated form:Sugar,salt and fat.
soda- not diet version,
🍰🎂, breakfast cereal,
cheeseburgers and more🍩🌭🥟
Those foods likely provoke a larger release of dopamine than the human brain evolved to expect, leading to destructive addiction- like behaviors.They are reinforcing,motivating and pleasurable.
Most of us aren’t literally addicted to food, ADDICTION IS SIMPLY AN EXAGGERATED VERSION OF THE SAME REINFORCEMENT PROCESS THAT HAPPENS IN ALL OF US. It is a nonconscious process, explaining why it isn’t very intuitive, but it associates with a process that we know quite well: Pleasure “ (Source: The Hungry brain book by Stephan J. Gujenet,PHD)
This books explains it all👌👌
Of course, its ok to look for pleasure and enjoyment but choose wisely, ensuring it will not become a bad habit.
If you lasted to this point I hope you can see that fighting bad habits it’s not just about the willpower!
Its a lot to do with being conscious, being mindful of every decision we make, pay attention, practice self awareness, relax, meditate, do yoga. Ignore those reinforcing adds in tv!
Big business and retailers go to great efforts to trigger the "promise of reward"by visual cues like food image or videos.
The bottom line is:
1.We’re being manipulated by a powerful industry! They know how to make us eat!
2.Temptations are everywhere and living In “fast moving world” doesn’t help. We are busy, stressed,tired and overwhelmed which makes overeating easy. Most of us are on “autopilot mode”.
Unless you make a conscious decision to deal with it, chances are your addictive behavior will worsen over time😔
3.Choose foods closer to their natural state such us fruit,veg,fresh meats,eggs,yogurt,whole grains,beans or lentils.
Did you find this helpful? Let me know your thoughts👇