If you find that you are constantly craving food filled with sugar and fat, you may have a fat addiction. Keep reading to learn more about this type of addiction and to get tips on how to get the help you need to beat it once and for all.
Fat Addiction Defined
There has been a lot of information about fat addiction in the news lately. While this could be due in part to the growing problem of obesity in the US, UK, and other countries, the main reason for the coverage stems from the number of recent studies that have been devoted to this very specific addiction.
Researchers have increasingly begun to study the effects of fat and sugar consumption on both animals and humans. Some of these studies have shown that it is possible to become addicted to sugar and fat. Evidence shows this could be due to chemicals in the brain known as opioids, which are released when certain types of foods are consumed. These chemicals also play a part in drug addiction and alcohol addiction.
Reactions to these studies have been mixed, as some experts debate whether or not the term "addiction" is applicable to the consumption of food. However, there are others who point out that fat addiction is similar to some of the other problems people experience with food- anorexia, bulimia, etc.
What everyone needs to understand about fat addiction is that it is not a matter of being weak-willed; it is a biochemical issue and can be treated. If you suffer from this problem or know someone who does, there is help available.
The treatment option that you choose should be based on your individual needs and the level of your addiction. Not every treatment is right for everyone, as the addiction can be caused by different things. This is why it is very important not to grow discouraged during the process.
A few professional treatment options to consider include:
If you are looking for specific ways to fight fat addiction on your own without seeking professional help, here are a few suggestions:
- After making the decision to address the problem, don't do anything different for the first week. Instead, keep a diary of exactly what you eat, when you eat it, and the way that it affected you. This will give you a clear understanding of your responses to fat and the level of your fat addiction.
- Try to scale back on the amount of fat and sugar that you eat in a gradual fashion. Cutting it out altogether all at once can be jarring to you both physically and mentally. A gradual slowdown could lessen cravings and double your chances of success.
- Avoid following diets right away. You will be much further ahead concentrating on eating within the guidelines established by the Food Pyramid. This means all fat and sugar in moderation.
- If you are having a hard time eliminating fat and sugar from your diet, work instead on controlling your portions. Substitute "fun-size" candy bars for regular candy bars, mini bags of chips for big bags of chips, small fries for large fries, etc.
- Beating fat addiction isn't easy. Be sure to celebrate your accomplishments and find little ways to reward yourself.
Other Fat Addiction Resources
If you are interested in learning more about fat addiction, there are several different books and publications on the market that can provide you with information on the topic. Here are just a few of those resources:
- Why Can't I Stop Eating: Recognizing, Understanding, and Overcoming Food Addiction
- Anatomy of a Food Addiction: The Brain Chemistry of Overeating: An Effective Program to Overcome Compulsive Eating
- The Hunger Within: A Twelve Week Guided Journey from Compulsive Eating to Recovery
- Eating Disorder Treatment: Interview with Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel