Food addiction is something that may not be taken as seriously as a drug or alcohol addiction, but it is a real condition that may lead to devastating health effects. Not only can food addiction lead to feelings of shame and self-loathing, as well as anxiety and depression, but the resulting obesity it causes may lead to heart disease and diabetes. Finding an addiction rehabilitation program can help you get your food addiction under control before it destroys your health. 

Understanding food addiction

A true food addict develops a biochemical dependency on certain foods, especially foods that tend to be unhealthy, such as high-fat foods and foods high in processed sugars or sodium. Often mistakenly compared to binge eating disorder, the difference between the two conditions is the chemical dependency food addicts have. Where binge-eaters may overindulge in large amounts of food at random times, they do not have a true chemical dependency on food.

Symptoms of food addiction

Being unable to stop thinking about food throughout the day is a key sign of food addiction. For instance, you may find yourself focusing on what you are going to eat constantly or making special trips to the store to purchase your favorite snack foods. You may long to be alone so you can indulge in snacks you have hidden in the house or in your car.

You may not be able to follow through with a diet program when you are a food addict. You may also find you feel a tremendous sense of relief when consuming food but often feel guilty afterward regarding the amount of food you ate.

Dangers of food addiction

Eating constantly leads to weight gain. This can make you more susceptible to developing heart disease, strokes, diabetes, or other major health problems. Feelings of intense guilt can also affect your mental health and may even lead to suicide in severe cases.

Treatment for food addiction

Food addiction rehabilitation programs can help you by using cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with nutritional counseling. Other treatments may include holistic methods, medications, and group therapy or counseling sessions. 

Food addicts often suffer in silence due to feeling embarrassed about their lack of control over food. Fortunately, enrolling in an addiction rehabilitation program can help. Your counselors understand your struggle with food addiction and will work with you to find the best treatment to help you break free of your food addiction.