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food addiction Archives - Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic
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Signs You May Be a Food Addict

Signs You May Be a Food Addict

Do you struggle to control your intake of food, especially junk food or sugary foods?

Have you tried different weight loss programs but have been unsuccessful?

Food Addiction is real and this is evidenced by more and more research in both animals and humans.

Food Addiction is a complex issue and involves highly palatable foods such as ice cream, chocolate and burgers.

Food Addiction is complex as it involves many factors including:

  • Senses – sight, smell etc.;
  • Brain chemistry;
  • Brain wiring;
  • Body chemistry;
  • Palatable Foods;
  • Genetics, and
  • Psychology – Numerous psychological aspects including emotion, stress, memories, and impulsivity.

Symptoms of Food Addiction

Addiction to food and eating disorders is becoming more common throughout the world.

It affects both men and women.

Many adolescents, teens, young people and adults suffer from food addiction and eating disorders, and so many suffer in silence.

Like every addiction there are several aspects, and for everyone, the symptoms and signs will be slightly different and can include:

  • Physical;
  • Behavioural;
  • Emotional, and
  • Social.

Physical Symptoms

When you think of a Food Addict, you may think they will be overweight or obese but this is not always the case.

Most Food Addicts will be obese or overweight, but some may be a normal healthy weight.

Food Addicts may have these physical symptoms:

  • Overweight or/ Obese;
  • Metabolic health problems including high cholesterol, pre-Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes;
  • Crave foods that are highly palatable e.g. junk food, soft drink, chocolate;
  • Eating when not hungry;
  • Bloating or digestive issues;
  • Feeling exhausted and hungover in the mornings (difficult to get out of bed);
  • Decreased energy or fatigue;
  • Sleeping issues;
  • Difficulty thinking and concentration –‘ foggy head’
  • Signs of withdrawal when highly palatable food or drink is unavailable e.g. headaches, shakes, irritability etc..

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Inability to control intake of food;
  • Eat large portions;
  • Eating until over full or until feeling sick;
  • Choose unhealthy or junk food over healthier options such as fruit and vegetables;
  • Sneaking and/or hiding food;
  • Spending a lot of money on food;
  • Planning when, what and where to buy the next ‘hit’;
  • Numerous unsuccessful attempts to quit or give up junk food, and/or
  • Constantly looking for “fast fixes” i.e. latest weight loss programs and diets.

Emotional Symptoms

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A Food Addict usually has underlying psychological issues that have led to them seeking fulfillment and satisfaction from eating.

A Food Addict might have certain feelings about their eating habits and behaviours, and also their weight.

There is a distinct cycle related to feelings and eating.

The cycle starts with using food to ‘feel good’ and provides a temporary high and can be for either reward (e.g. having a good day, getting through a stressful day, ‘cheat day’ when on a diet) or to dampen negative feelings.

After eating the following negative feelings may be present:

  • Guilt;
  • Shame;
  • Worthlessness;
  • Depression;
  • Helplessness, and
  • Hopelessness

Social Symptoms

A Food Addict’s social life is affected by intense obsessive thinking about food.

Due to the emotional symptoms of Food Addiction an addict may start to avoid social interactions and become less outgoing.

When they do go out they tend to eat in private, or be more interested in the food than the actual event they are at.

Food Addicts often hide and eat in secret.

Could You Be a Food Addict?

Take this FREE 3-minute QUIZ to Find Out What’s Triggering Your Sabotaging Patterns and Keeping You Stuck in Yo-yoing Cycles

Whats Your relationship with food, Food Addiction therapy, food addiction psychologist brisbane, food addiction statistics, food addiction and disordered eating, do I have food addiction, why am I addicted to eating, Im addicted to food, why can't I stop eating

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In the last two (2) weeks have you experienced any of the following:

  • Felt sick from eating too much food?
  • Gone out of your way to obtain certain foods?
  • Eaten in secret?
  • Felt a decrease in your energy?
  • Had difficulty concentrating?
  • Headaches if you didn’t eat junk food (including sugary drinks)?
  • Had digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea?
  • Felt guilt, shame or depressed about your relationship with food?

If you answer yes to 4 or more of these questions you may have Food Addiction.

We recommend seeking help from a professional to overcome your Food Addiction and create long-term success.

Food Addiction treatment needs to follow a similar method as do other addictions, using a combination of therapeutic approaches, to attain a successful recovery.

Food Addiction – How Does It Start?

Food Addiction – How Does It Start?

Food addiction is literally being addicted to food!

Addictive foods are those comprised of high levels of refined carbohydrates, sugar, salt and fat.

When you eat sugary foods, the parts of your brain associated with reward and pleasure activate.

Research on rats has also found that high fructose corn syrup (which is an ingredient in many processed foods) causes similar addictive behaviour as cocaine.

Much like with drugs, only some people seem to be susceptible to food addiction even though most people are exposed to the same foods.

Food addiction may also be more common than you think – a study found 5.4% of people surveyed met the criteria for a food addict.

Food addicts have a need to consume foods throughout the day that are considered junk food.

With a high proportion of sugar, fats, salts and/or refined carbohydrates, the foods have low nutritional value and contain few vegetables or fruits.

Some food addicts may only consume 3 meals a day.

While others constantly eat to obtain their ‘high’.

The foods can cause bingeing, therefore large amounts are eaten in a short period until the person is excessively full.

How does Food Addiction start? 

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Addiction to food and Eating Disorders is becoming more common throughout the world and affects both men and women.

Many adolescents, teens, young people and adults suffer from Food Addiction, Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders, and so many suffer in silence.

People who have a food addiction usually have one or more underlying issues that contribute to the addiction.

This could include:

  • Anxiety,
  • Trauma,
  • Grief & Loss,
  • Bulimia,
  • Binge Eating,
  • Depression,
  • Family history of substance abuse, and/or
  • Personal history of substance abuse.

A food addict is most likely to be more susceptible to eating sugary, high in salt or fatty foods as they release the “happy hormone” dopamine, which causes the person to seek the high.

People that are addicted to food may have the following symptoms or signs:

  • Inability to control intake of food;
  • Eat large portions;
  • Eating until over full or until feeling sick;
  • Choose unhealthy or junk food over healthier options such as fruit and vegetables;
  • Sneaking and/or hiding food;
  • Spending a lot of money on food;
  • Planning when, what and where to buy the next ‘hit’;
  • Numerous unsuccessful attempts to quit or give up junk food, and/or
  • Constantly looking for “fast fixes” i.e. latest weight loss programs and diets.

Childhood Food Addiction

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Addiction can be developed and triggered in childhood or adolescence. 

Research suggests that children’s attitudes and beliefs surrounding food, dieting and weight management are associated with their level of overweight/obesity.

These attitudes correlate with that of their parents.

Other underlying causes of food addiction within childhood or adolescence may include:

Stress or Trauma

If a child experiences a stress or trauma, they may be given food to soothe or may turn to food to soothe their emotions.

Overindulgent Parenting

Allowing a child to eat unhealthy foods and/or lots of food without boundaries.

Food Scarcity

Not having enough food and when it becomes available, a child over-indulges.

Food restriction

Being told that certain foods are not allowed, and this makes the child want them more and seek them out.

Poor Nutrition

Many families are time-poor and have lost the art of cooking, so packaged foods, takeaways etc. are easy. Instead of these foods being an occasional treat, they become everyday foods.

Parent with an Addiction/Mental Health Issue

Parents are a child’s role model and provide nutrition. If they won’t eat healthy and provide unhealthy foods to satisfy their own issues, then a child suffers the consequences.

Adulthood Food Addiction

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In adulthood, addiction may start as a reaction to extreme stress.

Signs of stress eating that leads to food addiction can be:

  • Eating when you’re not hungry;
  • Eating to self-sooth;
  • Using food as a reward;
  • Eating until you are over-full or stuffed, or
  • An inability to control food amounts.

The constant cravings and need to search for non-nutritious food is an addiction, no different than the cravings and seeking out behaviours in any addiction such as alcohol, tobacco, or cocaine.

For food addicts the cravings are triggered by the “feel-good” brain chemical Dopamine.

The desire to cure one’s self of the addiction may be strong, but in the end professional support is often needed.

The good news is that food addiction can be cured! 

Unlike drug addicts who will need substitutes like methadone for the rest of their lives, or tobacco addicts who have to resort to patches, food addicts can use their drug as their recovery tool.

They can find healthy, balanced and delicious foods that will not overexcite their brain chemicals and allow them to eat normal portion sizes, without bingeing.

If you need help breaking free of Food Addiction, help is available!

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic will help you break free of negative behaviours that support Food Addiction and build a life filled with balance, satisfaction, happiness and purpose.

8 Easy to Prepare Healthy Snacks

8 Easy to Prepare Healthy Snacks

 1. Veggie Sticks and Hummus Dip

Eating raw vegetables provides you with vitamins and minerals that benefit your health.

Hummus is made from chickpeas and they are high in antioxidants and healthy fibre 

2. Baked Sweet Potato Fries with a sprinkle of melted cheese.

Sweet potatos are a healthy carb option and can subsititue white potatoes in many meals.

Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin B6, and are a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. 

3. Ham Cup with Baked Egg

Eggs are an inexpensive and high quality protein.

The egg whites are rich in selenium, Vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper.

4. Apple chunks, chopped walnuts (13 halves) and cinnamon

Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fibre.

Apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Walnuts are a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids and are rich in antioxidants, as well as Vitamin B.

5. Greek yogurt and berries

Get your hit of antioxidants with seasonal berries mixed with Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is a fantastic source of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc and vitamins.

It contains probiotics and has twice the protein content of regular yogurts.

6. Reduced fat Ricotta cheese with chopped Pear and Cinnamon

Pears mixed with naturally lower in fat ricotta cheese and cinnamon which is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Pears are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and dietary fibre.

Pears have a positive connection with weight loss.

7. Chia Pudding – chia seeds and milk (of your choice) with cocoa

Chia is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and also includes protein, Omega-3 and dietary fibre, without the high calorie count.

Two teaspoons of cocoa contains 25 calories and 1.5g fat.

Along with these benefits cocoa is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, copper and manganese.

8. Baked Zucchini chips with feta, paprika and sea salt

Packed in this snack is all the goodness from zucchinis which includes Vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and protein.

Also the health benefits from feta cheese which includes supports bone health, boosts immune system, maintains gut health, prevents headaches and natural treatment for anaemia.

With any healthy eating plan for every day, or for weight loss, you should aim for two snacks per day – one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon.

By planning your snacks ahead for your busy days, you will reach for healthier options and give the junk food a skip. 

If you suffer from Disordered Eating it is important to maintain a healthy combination of carbohydrates and protein to balance the nutrients and reduce cravings.

When eating snacks, it is important to ensure you eat until you are slightly satisfied and not reach over-fullness.

 

Take the quiz to find out your relationship with food today! 

Take this FREE 3-minute QUIZ to Find Out What’s Triggering Your Sabotaging Patterns and Keeping You Stuck in Yo-yoing Cycles

Whats Your relationship with food, Food Addiction therapy, food addiction psychologist brisbane, food addiction statistics, food addiction and disordered eating, do I have food addiction, why am I addicted to eating, Im addicted to food, why can't I stop eating

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Diet Food – Not So Healthy Food

Diet Food – Not So Healthy Food

Australia’s leading nutritionists and diet experts tested the nutritional value of diet foods produced by weight loss companies.

The findings were surprising!

It was found that pre-packaged weight loss foods have poor nutritional quality!

This finding comes soon after another study that was released that found that, some Weight Watchers packaged products actually contained more kilojoules, when compared with other brands.

The Weight Loss Industry is worth $650 billion per year with 2.3 million Australians buying into the messages and marketing hype.

Could these programs and companies really be helping you lose weight or getting you ‘hooked’ on their foods, so you come back again and again?

So What Exactly is in Those Pre-Packaged Foods?

The Australian Women’s Weekly essentially dissected frozen meals, produced by the ‘big’ weight loss companies in Australia like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.

The basic components were broken down, identified, weighed and then sent off for analysis.

These are promoted as diet foods to help you to lose weight and be healthy however, the results debunked the claims promoted by the packaging and marketing claims, as well as the nutritional panel.

For example, the Jenny Craig’s Crumbed Fish & Wedges meal was found to have potato wedges as the biggest component in the meal at 38%, which is not an indication of a balanced main meal.

The same meal also has beef tallow or beef fat (a source of saturated fat) as its second biggest component.

Jenny Craig Responds to Women’s Weekly

Jenny Craig responded to questions about their pre-packaged frozen diet meals. 

This is in response to a test finding that discovered that Jenny Craig’s meals, are not conducive to a well-balanced meal and contain saturated fat.

The responses by Jenny Craig tend to skirt around some of the issues.

See what you think about their responses and determine if you think that they are a positive or negative influence in the weight loss industry.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic specialises in helping people with Disordered Eating & Weight Issues including Food Addiction.

Dieting and diet foods actually makes the issue worse.

Stop the negative cycles of dieting and find out how to empower yourself to change for long-term health and happiness.

If you would really like to know what your relationship to food is and recommendations to suit your situation – take the quiz today! 

Take this FREE 3-minute QUIZ to Find Out What’s Triggering Your Sabotaging Patterns and Keeping You Stuck in Yo-yoing Cycles

Whats Your relationship with food, Food Addiction therapy, food addiction psychologist brisbane, food addiction statistics, food addiction and disordered eating, do I have food addiction, why am I addicted to eating, Im addicted to food, why can't I stop eating

Your Information is 100% Secure And Will Never Be Shared With Anyone.

I’ll Be Happy When…

I’ll Be Happy When…

On some level, does a part of you which secretly believes that when you reach a particular goal that life will improve or the burdens of the past will just disappear?

This is the ‘Fairytale’ Syndrome . . .

When we were children, we believed in fairytales with a happy ever after ending.

As we grow up we still hold on to this same belief or fantasy.

We want a happy ever after ending amongst the true reality of life.

Even though we may not consciously believe in this or purposefully put our lives on hold until we reach a happy ever after, we do.

It is like watching a movie when it gets to an exciting bit and you hold your breath, urgently anticipating what is going to happen next.

This is what many people tend to do in their own life.

There seems to be a period of holding your breath or not living life to its fullest in anticipation for the ending or end result.

The focus is on the goal and everything hinges on the end result and many people either:

Reach their goals and find that:

  • Nothing has changed;
  • They are exhausted and they relax, or
  • Return to old habits out of disappointment, exhaustion and grief.

OR

Never reach their goals as the reality of the goal is so unrealistic that they:

  • Can only maintain the rigid lifestyle or program for a limited time;
  • They return to their existing habits feeling like a failure, and
  • Become disillusioned with life and depressed.

This all results in the yo-yo effect which pulls down our:

  • Self-esteem;
  • Confidence;
  • Efficacy;
  • Belief in ourselves, and
  • It begins to alter our identity.

5 Tips to Avoid Fairytale Syndrome

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To avoid the Fairytale Syndrome and yo-yo effect you can follow these five (5) simple, yet effective tips:

Tip #1 – Know Your End Goal and Reduce It

Most of the time we set unrealistic and unachievable goals which leads to disappointment and loss of motivation.

Know what your outcome goal/end result is and reduce it by at least 20%.

If you have a weight loss goal of 20kg – your new weight loss goal is 16kg.

Tip #2 – Set Realistic Goals

By setting unrealistic goals we set ourselves up for failure from the start.

Set a realistic deadline and add 30% e.g. if your deadline is 3 months (90 days)  – your new deadline is (90 + 27 = 117) = almost 4 months.

Tip #3 – Focus on the Journey

Look at the process and stop looking at the end result – LIVE LIFE NOW!!!

Find fun ways to help you achieve your goals.

Things that are going to get you excited about moving closer to your goal.

If you do fun and exciting things, your goals don’t feel like a chore and you may even achieve them ahead of schedule!

Tip #4 – Measure your progress

Look for progress – at least 8 different ways that are not the ways you have previously gauged progress.

Have fun with this too!

Tip #5 – Achievement charts

Create an achievement chart with lots of bright colours, stars, quotes and things that have been achieved.

Even the smallest thing can be an achievement and needs to be celebrated.

This will help when times are tough or you feel as though you have made no progress or feel like falling off the wagon.

It is a real motivator!

By using these guidelines to make small and achievable goals, instead of focusing on the end result, you will see improvements in your body and your mindset.

If you are struggling and feel like you would like guidance moving towards your health and happiness goals, why not get in touch and book an appointment.

Booking an appointment with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you:

  • Live in the now;
  • Have fun with reaching goals;
  • Create an exciting and fun process for true change, and
  • Help you enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the end result.