Could you be addicted to food?

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

Health and beauty advertisement feature by Helen Mumby-Croft of Aspire Health and Wellbeing Spa, The Crescent, Spalding

Do youend up eating more than planned, especially when you start eating certain foods?

Do you keep eating certain foods even if you’re no longer hungry? Do you eat to the point of feeling ill?

Do any of these situations apply to you:

* You avoid places and get togethers where foods you really like might make you eat.

* You have problems because food and eating affect how good you are at your job.

* You find yourself eating secretly or hiding sweet wrappers or crisp bags from friends.

* You eat before you get home so family don’t see you eat?

Have you answered YES to some or all of these questions? Don’t worry – you’re not alone.

The idea that a person can be addicted to food has recently started to be more widely recognised.

Experiments show, for some people, the same place in the brain which is triggered by addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin is also activated by food, especially foods high insugar, fat and salt.

Like addictive drugs, certain foods trigger chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, that make us feel good. Consequently we can quickly feel the need to eat again and as a result, people keep eating, even when they’re not hungry.

The ‘happy’ signals override other signals of fullness and satisfaction and the pleasure we get from eating these foods is not only starting to be recognised as physically addictive but also psychologically addictive.

Food is commonly used as a quick “pick-me-up” and we often over-eat in order to make us feel better about difficult feelings.

People who are addicted to food will continue to eat despite putting on weight and risking their health. Like people who are addicted to drugs or gambling, they will have trouble stopping their behavior in the long term without the proper help.

At Why Weight we recognise for many people food can be an addictive substance. We know being over-weight is not only about what we are eating, but also why we are eating it.

Traditional diets focus only on treating the ‘weight’ – they don’t address the underlying reasons for being over-weight – and therefore are unlikely to be successful in the long-term.

Why Weight launched weekley weight loss support groups at Aspire in The Crescent, Spalding recently. For more information visit www.whyweightukorg.uk or call Hayley on 07961 001616.