Addiction of any kind should never be taken lightly. However, when it comes to food addiction, many in today’s society would jokingly pass it off as an over exaggerated craving. The truth is food addiction can lead to serious side effects including: obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Yet, like any addiction, food addiction can be overcome.
What follows below will give you some insight into what may be causing your food addiction, and, three tips on how to beat your food addiction habit.
What Causes Food Addiction?
You might ask yourself: what causes addiction? Well, like all human behavior, it comes from the brain. When you enjoy something, your brain releases a powerful chemical known as dopamine. When dopamine (also known as the happiness chemical) is released into your brain you will experience a euphoric state that can best be described as a pleasure spike.
Pleasure spikes are not a bad thing. In fact, pleasure spikes are important. Without them it would be impossible for you to tell what you like and what you disliked. However, like all good things too much of it can be bad for you. Certain food flavors (such as sugar, salt and fat) cause massive pleasure spikes. Because these foods are so easily accessible we often become hooked on eating them.
However taste only accounts for half of the problem. Your food addiction might also be a result of chronic overeating. From this perspective it makes sense to shift focus from taste alone to an individual’s relationship with food and how they make food choices.
Good Food Habits.
Getting over a food addiction can be difficult, but, by replacing old bad habits with new good habits (and patience) you can beat your junk food addiction.
1. Eat More Natural Food.
This step might seem to be easier said than done, but, by eating foods that are naturally sweet you can begin to overcome your sweet tooth. Sugar is food that can be very addictive but by replacing refined sugars with more naturally sweet foods, like fruit, you can beat this aspect of your junk food addiction.
To mix it up, try seasoning your fresh fruits with some complimentary spices like cinnamon. Then grill the fruit to bring out and enhance its natural sweet flavor.
2. Cut The Fat With Seasoning.
Fat adds a lot of flavor to food. However, fat is not needed for good taste. By replacing fatty meats such as pork, sausage and cured meats with seasoned lean meat you can cut out large part of your food addiction.
Seasoning foods with spices and herbs is start. However, to bring out the delicious flavors of a lean meat, try marinating it overnight.
3. Cook At Home.
Unlike eating out at a restaurant or grabbing fast food, cooking at home allows you to control what goes into your meal. When you cook at home you not only get to control what ingredients go into your meal, you also get to control how much of an ingredient goes into your food.
Try experimenting with antioxidant-rich herbs, salt-free spice blends, vinegar, and garlic to find a flavor blend that satisfies your taste buds and decreases your salt intake.
Although cravings will inevitably occur, by making these small changes in your diet you can begin to overcome your bad food addiction.