Services Food Addiction

Food addicts may also be termed overeaters or binge eaters. Food addicts find themselves in a vicious cycle where the utilize food intake in an attempt to control or suppress some emotional reaction or response: anxiety, depression, disgust, shame, guilt, body image issues, or low self-esteem.  Food has become a coping skill to deal with painful emotions and experiences.  Food is often used to numb their feelings.  The food intake only temporarily relieves the underlying emotional pain.  Once the food is consumed, the relief is only momentary before feelings of despair over their behavior sets in.  Thus, the cycle becomes self-perpetuating.  Food addicts recognize the unhealthy patterns of their behavior and often jump from one diet to another in an attempt to control their food intake.  If the behavior is compulsive and continues for an extended period of time, serious medical complications may result.

Behaviors of food addiction may include but are not limited to:

  • Eating to control or escape emotions
  • Eating when depressed or feeling low
  • Hiding, hoarding, or stealing food
  • Eating habits are different when alone compared to eating in the company of others
  • Feeling guilty after eating
  • Eating food that is harmful to you
  • Purging, vomiting, or use of laxatives
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Continuously thinking about food
  • Want to cut down food intake but feels it is impossible
  • Move from one diet to the next
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating in secret
  • Strong efforts to restrict food
  • Feeling hopeless about controlling food

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