So much of losing weight is about food addiction. Time and time again we fail at our weight loss attempts because of strong physiological and emotional cravings. Food is comfort. Food makes us happy. Food stimulates the reward center of the brain. To succeed at our weight loss goals, we first need to discover our relationship with food, and then outline a plan to overcome those bad habits.
Why is Food Addicting?
Food is addicting for many reasons, and the reasons are going to differ from person to person. Physical addictions tend to remain the same, however. High blood sugar, insulin, and chemicals in our food stimulate the feel-good chemicals in our brains. Neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin get released and make you crave those foods over and over again. The urges are real. They are strong. They can be debilitating.
The emotional addiction to food is much more complex and individual. There are a million different reasons for why we seek comfort in food. Maybe it’s out of boredom, sadness, social acceptance, depression, anxiety, or some other reason. Whatever the case, you need to think long and hard about why you eat the things you do.
What is Your Relationship With Food?
We all want to be healthy. Given the choice, we would all eat nothing but healthy food if we knew we could be happy and satisfied. Why then is it so hard to let go of the food choices that cause us physical and emotional harm?
I write this article out of personal experience. Fitness and healthy eating in particular have been lifelong journeys for me. After years of going through the motions, I’m just now truly discovering my relationship with food, the cause and effect it has on my body and mind, and what actions I need to take to overcome my processed food addiction. I want you to be able to skip through years of suffering so that you too can start making a lasting positive change in your life.
The next time you feel yourself reaching for unhealthy food, ask yourself why. Why are you doing this? Why do you think you need this? Is this going to make you feel better? For how long? How will you feel tomorrow after you’ve made this decision?
I know that for me, making that unhealthy food choice is going to give me instant gratification. I’m going to feel great – for a while. However, after a few hours, I’m going to have feelings of regret, and once I get on the scale tomorrow, I’m going to beat myself up for that decision, and swear to never eat it again.
Easier said than done though, because when I’m faced with making that food choice again, the addiction is so strong that I’ll make the wrong choice once again. The downward spiral continues, and the negative consequences build on themselves. Feelings of depression and hopelessness creep in, which leads to more harmful eating behavior.
But that’s me. Your relationship with food might be totally different. Whatever the case, you have to pinpoint the reasons for why you continue to make harmful decisions. Once you accept that you have a problem, you can start working on the cause. Fixing the root of the problem instead of focusing on the symptoms is key for long-term weight loss.
Overcoming your food addiction is all about making the right choices, however tough they might be in that one single moment. A single right decision can change your life forever. You have to break that negative cycle. It only takes one right choice to turn things around. What choice are you going to make the next time you’re faced with a tough decision?