Am I Addicted to Food?

Do you:

  • Regularly crave foods that are high in sugar and/or fat?
  • Have a hard time stopping once you’ve given into a food craving?
  • Turn to the same few kinds of food for comfort, stress relief, etc?
  • Find it impossible to abstain from certain foods no matter how hard you try?

If so, there is good news: In today’s world, where foods are labeled good and bad, and eating and body size are judged by rules that don’t work for most people, your behaviors are perfectly understandable.

There are evolutionary explanations for why certain types of food appeal more than others. And the truth is, there is not sufficient scientific evidence to label any food item, ingredient, or nutrient “addictive.”

Let it be a comforting thought. Because while many, many women struggle with feelings of food addiction, the first step to overcoming them — once and for all — is realizing that you are in charge. You may not feel like you are now, but you can be.

Green Mountain at Fox Run is our residential program exclusively for women who struggle with overeating and weight. Join a supportive community of other women just like you, guided by eating behavior specialists, who can help you find the roots of your food struggles and teach you how to move past them.

.Contact Us and Start Regaining Control Today

what should i eat

Why Do I Struggle With Feelings of Food Addiction?

Feelings of food addiction, and the behaviors that fuel them, usually come from one of two places: emotions or habit.

Emotional Overeating

Eating in response to a strong emotion — whether it’s joy, boredom, anxiety, or depression — is normal. Emotional overeating often occurs because we’re trying to adhere to misguided notions of what we should or shouldn’t eat and when.

When we attempt to completely abstain from a particular food, the restriction increases the desire. Eventually, we give in, and either “all-or-nothing” thinking — or feelings of failure — kick in, and lead to overeating.

Habitual Overeating

Overeating can also become a habit. Sometimes emotional eating becomes the norm, as we turn to the same types of food to help manage strong emotions. Other times, we overeat certain foods because that’s how we’ve always eaten them. (Two words: movie popcorn)

Repetitive behavior patterns create grooves in the brain that drive our habits. Overeating out of habit means your brain is literally stuck in a rut.

5 Steps to Overcoming Feelings of Food Addiction

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Our 40+ years of experience at Green Mountain has demonstrated that you have more power than you think. We’ve met countless women who believed they were addicted to food, and have been able to help them learn how to eat previously-feared foods — or how to live free of feelings of deprivation if they choose not to.

Our experience is reflected in five steps we recommend for overcoming feelings of food addiction:

  1. Stop calling it an addiction. When we don’t believe we can do something about a problem, we usually can’t. Let go of all-or-nothing thinking, stop labeling certain foods “good” or “bad,” and remove the word “should” from your vocabulary as relates to food.
  2. Explore whether emotions or habits are at the root of your eating habits. Start paying attention to what triggered your eating, if it wasn’t hunger. Keep a journal and look for patterns so you can develop other ways to address those emotions or situations.
  3. Experiment with how you eat. There are several ways to do this, but the idea is to mindfully change the way you eat — introduce or banish a meal schedule, for example — and simply observe the results without judgment. How do those changes make you feel, and how do they change your relationship with food?
  4. Experiment with what you eat. Again, make changes and measure the results. You might add a small portion of a previously “forbidden” food as part of a meal, or temporarily abstain from something specific. Be mindful of the effects of those changes.
  5. Frontload self-care. Get enough sleep, enough physical activity, and enough of the nutrients your body and mind need to function well, so you’re not setting the stage for emotional overeating.

For a more detailed discussion on overcoming feelings of food addiction, including specific ideas for experimenting with how and what you eat, download our free whitepaper, 5 Steps to Overcoming Food Addiction.

Take Charge and Get Your Life Back

Changing any behavior is hard, but you can do it. We know what it feels like to be staring down this seemingly impossible task — to try and try and feel like you’re not getting anywhere. But we also know how to help you reframe the challenge and overcome it.

When you’re ready to escape from the endless cycle of ineffective diets, and find lasting freedom from feelings of food addiction, contact us to get started.

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“There is no other program like this out there in the world. It was the best decision of my life to attend and find peace around food and my body. I am enough. I highly recommend Green Mountain at Fox Run for women dealing with binge eating disorder or over eating.”

– CAM, Boston 2017

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