Food addiction

chocolate, photo by Salina Hainzl, Sydney, Australia, overeating, undereatingFood addiction sounds so harmless, yet the obesity plague is affecting many nations. Whatever the reason, whether we need comfort food in a stressed lifestyle, or whether we are overeating compulsively because of hedonistic reasons such as trying to maintain the feelings of fun, it is a major problem with children as well as adults. Obesity is killing us. At the other end of the food addiction continuum, anorexia gives its victims a feeling of power and control by not eating, which is life threatening too. It all spells food addiction – undereating or overeating and recovery cannot be achieved without help.

as she sat it the self help meeting
every story had elements of her own life
food had been her friend in the same way as
chain smoking had once been
at least she got free of that 18 years ago
but overeating was a different story
people joke about things like chocolate and chips
yet she knew her diabetes was so aggravated by that!
she used to binge and fast and that helped
but nothing worked any more, so
joining others and listening to their stories
was proving more helpful for her
recovery from food addiction
already she had identified her trigger foods
and keeping to her food plan was much easier

7 thoughts on “Food addiction”

  1. Hi,

    I have been reading the comments here and can relate to the feeling of not being able to stop eating.

    I do not know if I have a food addiction/ compulsive eating problem. I know I eat more than other people and think about it more, but the first type of food I i go for are salty foods. Not sweet. I just ate three packets of potato chips, in addition to my lunch (within 10 minutes)and I was going to try avoiding this. I constantly think about food. I plan on eating 2 large pizzas to myself. When I go to a fast food place I always order enough for a family and eat it all (for four large burger meal deals). I look forward to being alone so that I can eat large amounts of food.

    I’m not really sure if this is a real problem or if i’m just complaining. I was 72kg and did lose 22kg about five years ago. I’m starting to put weight on again and am very angry at myself. I don’t know what to do.

  2. @Renee: your are right to worry because for a 10 year old to reach that size and stash food away is not healthy. I have written a post on this topic so check it out. It’s called ‘Obesity and young girls’.

  3. Was wondering if anyone could help on an issue that my partner and I are having with his daughter. We have custody of her week on/week off. She is 10 years old and a beautiful girl but her weight is beginning to spiral out of control. She is now in a size 14 and around 50 kilos. We give her nothing but healthy food and we walk together but she has begun to steal food. It started with occassional pieces of chocolate leftover from celebrations to taking chocolate that was for a friends son for Xmas. It is only getting worse. She now rarely eats her dinner, preferring to sneak food into her room to eat. Her mother is not a great help as she often sends whole large bags of chips or lollies with her. My partners daughter will not talk about anything instead getting angry at us for finding out, she will not admit to what she has done. We really just want to help her! What can we do?

  4. Hi Mandy and Tiffany,
    You are not alone, there are options to help you be free of the compulsion.

    First make a plan for what you want to achieve and make sure it has a healthy outcome.

    Then look at these options and find more for yourself to choose from.

    1. an addictions therapist to guide you and support you on your journey
    2. attend Overeaters Anonymous meetings (based on AA program)
    3. attend Smart Recovery meetings (based on CBT & REBT model)
    4. look at Carbohydrate Addicts Centre program (see link on my home page)
    5. If you live in Sydney – contact me on 02 9214 7529 for an appointment (I am also available via Skype for phone appointments)

  5. Hi,
    I was reading mandy’s comment, and I so understand. Since having my third child, I can’t seem to find my off switch – I cupboard eat, and am eating when tired, angry, emotional, etc. I know all the right things to do but I can’t seem to maintain it for longer than a day. I need help. I am 10-15 kg overweight and can only see it getting worse if I don’t work it out now. I don’t fit into any clothes and I look very ordinary in the ones that do fit. How do I find my self control again?
    Yours hopefully,
    Tiffany

  6. Hi,
    I am wondering if you could give me some advice on weight loss. I was very frustrated with being overweight a couple of years ago. In november 2005 I stopped eating all junk food, and only ate wholegrain and low GI foods. I didn’t eat bread or cheese for 4 months, and lost a lot of weight. I went from a size 12-14, to a size 8-10, and from approximately 75kg to 55kg. I thought I looked fantastic, I had so much energy, I was fit and my body was healthy – I could feel it. It lifted my confidence with myself. However, my family was worried that I was too thin. When I went shopping, I used to hate trying large and size 14 clothes on. Once i lost the weight, I could fit into small and size 10 with no problems. I hadn’t tasted chocolate for over 6 months, until my family really encouraged me to eat it again. I didn’t want to, because I knew it would be the start of the end – and it was. Every time I saw my mum and dad’s family’s they would comment about my weight, “too thin”, “don’t you eat”, etc. Out of about 60 people, 2 said I looked good. Anyway, about two months after I ate that first piece of chocolate is when the problem really started. I was buying packets of biscuits and tim tams, and just sitting at a table eating them, sometimes eating a whole packet of tim tams in 15 minutes. I knew what it was doing to me, but couldn’t seem to stop it. I did the same with cakes, donuts, muesli bars, ice cream, chocolate bars, biscuits, bread, and the list goes on and on. By november 2006 I was approximately 65kg, and am currently 75kg. Sine July 2006, I haven’t been able to go more than 2 weeks without overeating some sort of junk food or carbohydrate. That’s another thing, I went so long without eating bread, and then was eating up to 3/4 of a loaf in a day.
    None of my family has commented on my weight since I started putting it on.
    I haven’t spoken to anyone about it, I’m not really sure how to. I want to be beautiful again, it didn’t seem that hard to do at the time, but now it seems like it’s almost impossible.
    Like today, I was pretty determined to eat well. However finding out the slightest bit of news that might dampen my spirits, and I’m straight to the junk again. I went out and bought a packet of tim tams (ate them all), 2 muesli bars, a chocolate bar, yoghurt, and a pasty.
    I know this is meant to be a comments section, and not a confession sort of section, but I thought maybe you could help somehow? Once I started typing I couldn’t stop. I would prefer to be in contact with someone via e-mail, I don’t know how I’d go in a one-on-one situation.
    Well, I’m sure you have a headache from my complaints, and I really hope you can help.
    Thanks,
    Mandy

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