My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou

Can Food Be Addictive? |


~Tomorrow is race day!~

ice cream crack pipe NYTimes

Can Food Be Addictive? –

I absolutely believe food can be addictive.  I’ve gotten a lot better since I’ve been running, but I used to (& okay, sometimes still do) used food like an alcoholic would drink.  If I was sad or had a bad day, I ate.  If I was happy & had a good day I ate to celebrate.  The binges were always for sadness, loneliness, nervousness, the bad days.  I would eat till I was sick, & keep eating.  I ate things I knew were horrible for me.  Sometimes I would actually think to myself, “I wish I could eat till I exploded.  I want to eat myself to death.”  Regular exercise helps your body regulate sugar & I think that’s why the running helps so much with my eating, along with just generally making me feel better so I don’t need to eat that way as much.  I have far less cravings & binges.

Part of this uses a rat research finding I’ve blogged about before, but they’ve pulled in a few other articles.  A big take-home point for me is how deprivation affects us, which is how traditional dieting works.

…sugar-binging rats show signs of opiatelike withdrawal when their sugar is taken away — including chattering teeth, tremoring forepaws and the shakes. When the rats were allowed to resume eating sugar two weeks later, they pressed the food lever so frantically that they consumed 23 percent more than before.

I would say in my own experience that’s true.  One thing that really made sense for me, which is the opposite of the usual thinking, is from When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies.  They suggest that instead of restricting your access to the foods you crave, your trigger foods, you give yourself a plentiful supply.  Think about how much you could possibly eat at once & keep three times that much around at all times.  When you get over the initial spree of having it around all the time, it becomes mundane & loses its power.  It worked very well for me when I was able to do it.


Author: despitemyself

A person in flux.

2 thoughts on “Can Food Be Addictive? |

  1. I don’t think I was ever a food addict, but I totally understand the cycle of restrict-then-binge. I never understood how my boyfriend could keep so much snack food around his house and never eat it– when I was dieting, if I brought snack foods into the house they were usually gone fast, so I never bought them. Now that I don’t restrict, sparklefoods are just like other foods, and I can have snacks around without guilt or compulsion and eat some when I want (which isn’t all that often, surprisingly).

    • Sugar has always been my DoC, & I still have issues with it. I usually only buy it when I want something & just a single serving, like getting a candy bar or McD’s sundae. At times though, that small bit is fine at first, but then I find myself having full blown cravings the next day & if I’m not feeling particularly strong it can lead to a binge. I’ve tried to stop eating sugar all together, but it never ends well. I made it 6wks once.

      Sugar free candies & such help, because they take care of the sweet without the sugar cravings, & if I eat too much I shit my pants so that really curbs the issue of overindulging.

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