Definition of food addiction
We all need and like to eat. But, how much do we eat? How often? What type of food do we eat? Food addiction is overeating, very often and the wrong food. The Free dictionary defines overeating as ‘eating to excess’, ‘eating too much food too quickly’. The condition is called overeating disorder, compulsive overeating or food addiction.
Someone who is suffering from compulsive overeating engages in uncontrolled eating. During this time, she or he feels out of control and consumes huge amount of food past its necessity. The person will feel guilty and may experience depression because they gain weight and they can become obese.
People who fall in this category will eat when they are not hungry. Their food obsession is confirmed in spending their time thinking of food and eating alone. This is a disorder which can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol, depression and heart problems.
Healthy cooking gadgets
Types of overeating disorders
There are a few types of overeating disorders. These are:
Binge eating is eating huge portions of food in a very short time frame. People are out of control and they cannot change their eating habits without help. Binge eaters eat anything and they eat even if they are not hungry. They think about food all the time and sometimes they eat secretly so nobody can see them how much they eat.
Emotional Eating is very common in women and less common in men. People in this category eat when they are unhappy or depressed due to maybe a relationship break-up, unfulfilled dreams, poor self-esteem, loneliness or anger.
Stress Eating is caused by anxiety. This type of eating is triggered by heavy work commitments, too many tasks to perform in a short period of time,
Eating snacks between meals is recommended, but snacking constantly especially unhealthy snacks can cause health issues.
Fast food can be addictive. Fast food has a lot of sugar and fat, ingredients that are harmful to our health.
These types of eaters use food to deal with emotions.
Social eating is good if you do it in moderation. We all invite friends over dinner now and then, we have to attend meetings or visit family. But if social eating is in excess of normal behavior, then it can cause health problems. People who have to attend business dinners constantly, dine and wine regularly could become overeaters.
This eating disorder is characterized by eating because “I do not have anything else to do”. It is a way of spending the free time you have on your hands.
How to get rid of overeating habit?
There are a few things you can do to overcome overeating. You can:
- Exercise regularly
- Talk to someone, friend, relative, your cats (it does help, I did try it)
- Go for a swim
- Clean the house ( I can go without food for a whole day)
- Do gardening
- Put together jigsaw puzzles
- Listen to your favourite music
- Watch a good movie
- Read an interesting book
- Take up dancing (very enjoyable way of losing weight!)
- Have a healthy snack instead of a meal
- Portion out what you are going to eat
- Eat slowly and let your mind accept that your body has consumed enough food needed by your body
- Drink a glass of water before your meal to get the sensation of fullness in your stomach
- Have a support group
- Seek professional help if anything else fails
Kathy from The beautiful Napa Valley, California on November 11, 2011:
Hi Magdalena55...you've touched on a very important subject...that of over eating and unhealthy indulgence. I think most people share in this phenomenon. You've listed several types of ways this problem is manifest as well as kinds of foods which seem to encourage it. I must admit that there are several foods I CANNOT have in my home....peanut butter, triscuits, corn or tortilla chips or a big big loaf of crusty french bread....because I'd EAT THE WHOLE THING in one sitting! Well, not ALL of it...I'd leave "a little on my plate" as I was raised to do. (That, in itself, is a crazy idea..."waste not, want not.") Anyway, I do have to be careful of those huge crunchy jars of peanut butter! While in college, my room mates and I would eat it right out of the jar w/big soup spoons....yikes!!! Thank you for an educational hub.