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How Food Addiction Works (and What you should Do About It)

How Food Addiction Works (and What you should Do About It)


Individuals are likely to have cravings when the brain begins calling for many food items – often prepared foods which are not considered nutritious or healthy.


Although the conscious mind knows they are unhealthy, some other component of the brain appears to disagree.


A number of individuals do not encounter this and can easily manage the foods types they consume, while others cannot.


This is not because of an absence of willpower – it is a more complicated situation.


The point is junk food stimulates the incentive system in the mind within the exact same fashion as habit forming drugs, like cocaine.


For people that are susceptible, eating unhealthy foods is able to result in full blown addiction, that shares similar natural time frame as drug dependency (1Trusted Source).


How Food Addiction Works

Share on Pinterest How does foods dependency succeed?

There’s a process inside the brain known as the reward system.


This product was created to reward the mind when an individual is doing things which promote survival. This comes with primal actions like consuming (2Trusted Source).


The mind sees that when an individual eats, they are doing something right, and also it releases feel good chemical substances in the reward phone.


These substances are the neurotransmitter dopamine, that the brain interprets as enjoyment. The mind is hardwired to seek out actions which put out dopamine in the reward phone.


The issue with contemporary unhealthy foods is which it is able to trigger a reward that’s way better than any reward the mind is able to buy from foods that are whole (3Trusted Source).


Whereas eating an apple or maybe piece of steak could result in a reasonable release of dopamine, consuming a Ben & Jerry ‘s cake is very gratifying it emits a bigger volume.



Eating junk food causes a discharge of dopamine inside the brain. This reward encourages susceptible people to consume a lot more bad foods.

Withdrawal and tolerance – the hallmarks of bodily addiction When an individual consistently does one thing which emits dopamine in the incentive system, like smoking a cigarette or even consuming a Snickers bar, dopamine receptors are able to begin to downregulate.


If the human brain observes that the quantity of dopamine is pretty high, it starts removing dopamine receptors to preserve everything balanced.


When you will find fewer receptors, extra dopamine is necessary to attain the very same impact, which causes individuals to begin eating much more junk food to arrive at the same degree of reward as before. This’s called tolerance.


If you discover fewer dopamine receptors, anyone is going to have not much dopamine activity and begin to feel unhappy whenever they do not obtain a junk food “fix.” This’s called withdrawal.


Tolerance and withdrawal were connected with addictive disorders.


Several scientific studies in rats indicate that they are able to be physically addicted to unhealthy foods within the exact same method in which they get fans of medicines of misuse (4Trusted Source).


Naturally, all of this’s a drastic oversimplification, but this’s essentially the way in which food dependency (and any dependency) is thought to do the job.


This can lead to different characteristic consequences on conduct and thought patterns.



Regular consumption of junk food could result in dopamine tolerance. What this means is that someone is going to have to eat a lot more junk food to stay away from going into withdrawal.


Cravings are a major element of addiction

A craving is a psychological state characterized by a need to drink a particular food. It shouldn’t be wrongly identified as basic hunger, which differs.


Cravings occasionally appear to appear out of air that is thin.


An individual could be doing mundane things like seeing a favorite Tv show, strolling the dog, and reading. Then abruptly a craving for something as ice cream appears.


Although the cravings sometimes appear to come out of thin air, they are able to be turned on by specific triggers, that are referred to cues.


These cues can be as easy as walking past a cake parlor or even smelling a pizza.


Nevertheless, they’re able to in addition be caused by some mental states, like being depressed or perhaps lonely, a behavior recognized as emotional eating.


A genuine craving is about fulfilling the brain ‘s demand for dopamine. It’s nothing to with all the body ‘s need for nourishment or energy.


When a craving happens, it is able to begin to dominate an individual’s interest.


A craving makes it difficult to think of something different. It also causes it to be difficult to think about the impacts of eating unhealthy foods.


While it is not uncommon to have cravings (most individuals purchase them in a few form), repeatedly giving in to cravings and also feeding on unhealthy foods, despite having made the decision to not, is purpose for concern.


For all those with food dependency, these cravings could be extremely effective they result in individuals to break rules they set on their own, like merely consuming food that is unhealthy on Saturdays.


They may frequently overeat, despite knowing it is causing actual physical harm.



Regularly providing in to cravings for junk food may be an indication that a person is experiencing emotional eating or food addiction.

Cravings could certainly occasionally become binges When acting on cravings, the mind receives a reward – a sensation of enjoyment regarding the discharge of dopamine. The reward is exactly what cravings and food addiction are about.


Individuals with food addiction get the “fix” of theirs by consuming a certain food until their mind has gotten the dopamine it was lacking.


The more regularly this particular cycle of desire as well as gratifying is repeated, the better it gets and the higher the amount of food that is required every time (5Trusted Source).


While 4 scoops of ice cream had been plenty of three years ago, these days it may take 8 scoops to experience similar degree of reward.


It can be nearly impossible to consume in moderation when satisfying an addiction driven craving.


That is why it is usually impossible for individuals to just have a little slice of cake or maybe a number of M&M’s. It is like telling a cigarette smoker to only smoke one-fourth of a cigarette to chop back again. It just doesn’t do the job.



Cravings along with food addiction is able to result in overeating, binging, & being overweight.


This is able to lead to complicated, addicting actions Over time, food dependency could result in serious physical and psychological problems.


Many individuals who’ve been experiencing food addiction for a very long time keep their eating practices a secret. They might also be living with anxiety or depression, which may contribute to addiction.


This’s compounded by the simple fact that many people are not aware they are experiencing food addiction. They might not recognize needed help to conquer food addiction which getting treatment for anxiety and depression could also assist with addiction treatment.



People experiencing food addiction usually hide the behavior of theirs from family and friends. Anxiety and depression usually be involved in addictive behaviors.


Overcoming food dependency Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution to addiction. There’s simply no health supplement, mental trick, or perhaps magical remedy.


For most, it could be best to stay away from trigger foods completely. Food addiction could require expert help to overcome.


Psychologists and psychiatrists are able to help. Additionally, there are businesses as Overeaters Anonymous (OA), that anybody is able to join for totally free.


Binge eating disorder, that is linked with food dependency, is now classified as a feeding as well as eating disorder within the Statistical and diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5), the recognized handbook that psychological health professionals utilize to explain mental disorders.