Many of us are addicted to food and we don’t know it.
According to Food Addicts Anonymous
“Food addiction manifests itself in the uncontrollable craving for excess food that follows the ingestion of refined carbohydrates, primarily sugar and flour substances that are quickly metabolized and turned into sugar in the bloodstream.”
Now it wouldn’t be so bad if we could eat that chocolate chip cookies or Ben and Jerry’s Utter Peanut Butter Clutter Cookie Core without consequences, but:
“Due to those uncontrollable cravings, a food addict’s quality of life deteriorates when he or she eats sugar, flour or wheat. It can deteriorate physically, emotionally, socially and/or spiritually.”
Am I a food addict?
I eat healthy, mostly vegan and exercise at least 30 minutes a day, but often more. I do YouTube-Yoga (perfect classes for mums with kids around, no need to go out of the house) a couple of times a week, cycle to school and to my horses, walk while listening to my friend sharing about her life (amazing form of therapy, having Whats-App voice message sharings with your bestie) and have a house with stairs between the kitchen and the living room.
But oh, that chocolate. Let’s take that quiz.
Do you think you cannot control your intake of food, especially junk food or high sugar foods?
Yup. Once a piece of chocolate goes, the whole bar goes – no matter the size of that bar.
Do you find yourself feeling depressed, hopeless, sad or ashamed about your eating or your weight?
Not so much the weight, but my body image is still something I feel insecure about, especially my belly.
Do you find yourself eating when you are upset or reward yourself with food when you do something good?
Hell yeah. Or when by boyfriend is gone, or when he needs a reward, or when I’m tired, or because it’s eight o’clock. Basically there’s always a reason to eat.
Have you ever noticed after eating sugar, flour, or wheat that you become more irritable?
Hmmm. And then eating more because I feel bad.
Do you eat in private so no one will see you?
How do they know about my secret stash?
We are all food addicts
And no, I don’t throw up, use laxatives or steal food. But I believe food addiction can be much more subtle than that. And I believe most of us are addicted to food. You believe you’re not? I challenge you to stay off any kind of refined sugar or wheat. No chocolate, cookies, bread or candy. How do you feel?
I know I crave for anything sweet for the first days, having headaches and feeling irritable. Those feelings diminish after some days, but come back as soon as I eat something sugary immediately.
Food manufacturers know how our brains work, and design food in such a way that we keep craving for more – at the cost of our health and to the benefit of their turnover.
Our average weight has increased quite drastically over the last decades. Modern Health Monk writes:
“Why? Doesn’t the body naturally want to maintain its own weight? Aren’t there built in mechanisms to prevent over-eating, since it’s damaging to the body’s health long-term?
Yeah, but the system only works well when you eat real food.
But the food industry has cleverly exploited three things that haywire our biology: Sugar, Fat and Salt.
These three things take advantage of the reward system of the brain which, when triggered, stimulates us to keep eating – and eating – and eating – and eating.”
My plan to break with my food addiction
I’ve always loved eating and I was never the skinny type although I wasn’t fat either. I’m tall (1.83m/6ft) and not the broomstick type, so to speak. At school kids bullied me for being different in this way. For some reason I lost 10kg after giving birth three times. But that weight puts back on very gradually. Maybe even more frustrating, is that my skin shows so much. When I eat a lot of sugar, my rosacea (a chronic skin disease) becomes worse, creating pimples and redness in my skin. Besides that I experience other things I don’t like, like feeling tired all the time and having little focus.
For some months I have had the feeling I need to clean up my body. I plan to do a metabolism diet, starting next week. This diet is supposed to reset the hypothalamus (the part of the brain amongst others responsible for hormonal balance, blood pressure, immune system, fat metabolism AND it’s the part of the brain where food addictions reside), intensely detox the body and burn adipose fat. The diet starts with two days of eating a LOT, telling the brain that this is ‘normal’. Then you will eat little calories for three weeks while using homeopathic drops, causing your body to not go in survival mode, but burning fat. After that, there are some weeks of going back to your normal diet. During the whole diet you use the drops and nutritional supplements, making sure you get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
No sugar, no glutes, no fat, no dairy… mainly veggies, some fruits, mushrooms and protein shakes (I do the vegan version; there’s also a meat-version).
Working towards the start of this diet, I notice how many food addictions I actually have. It’s like my brain switches to stocking-mode, as a bear preparing for hibernation. Crazy! Food is on my mind all the time, especially when I want to distract myself (often).
I’m sharing this now to commit to this diet. There will probably be intense moments, not being able to hide in food. I will make a daily video-testimonial and put it on my YouTube Channel for you to follow me throughout this process, and to provide future participants in this diet to find some support.
By the way, if anyone feels like joining me in this challenge to let go of food addictions and get healthier; let me know and send me a message. I’d love to share the experience!