Addressing Food Addiction Can Dramatically Improve Other Areas of Your Life
Although our bodies need food to survive, an unhealthy or excessive dependence on certain foods could be a sign of food addiction. Members of the science community are still split on whether food addiction is an actual disorder or a consequence of other behavioral disorders, but the parallels between food addiction and substance abuse disorders are clear.
In order to overcome a potential addiction to food, men and women need the help of a knowledgeable, board-certified psychiatrist like Dr. Daniel Bober. By determining the cause of your addiction and developing a custom treatment plan at his Hollywood, FL, psychiatry practice, Dr. Bober can help you overcome unhealthy eating habits, improve your overall health, and start living life to the fullest.
What Is Food Addiction?
The term "food addiction" was first introduced to the scientific community over 60 years ago. Over the past several decades of research, scientists have found that food addiction shares many characteristics with other types of addictions and substance abuse disorders including drug and alcohol addiction. A food addict is defined as someone whose body has become chemically dependent on certain foods or excessive eating habits. When a food addict is unable to eat their preferred foods in copious amounts, they are unable to behave normally or feel normal.
Unfortunately, food addicts are rarely addicted to healthy foods. The most commonly addictive foods are typically high in:
When food addicts consume these foods, their brains become flooded with dopamine, triggering a similar response to drug or alcohol use. The regions of the brain that are affected by rewards also react to high-carb, high-fat foods in the same way they do to drug use. As the brain becomes tolerant to these floods of dopamine, it needs more and more food to experience the same level of satisfaction, causing food addicts to engage in unhealthy habits like binge eating.
By helping you control and overcome your behavioral addiction, Dr. Bober can help you gain self-control, achieve your goals, and live a longer, healthier life.
Negative Consequences of Food Addiction
When food addicts binge or routinely eat highly palatable high-calorie foods, there can be several negative consequences on their physical and emotional health, including:
- Digestive Problems
- Poor Nutrition
- Chronic Fatigue
- Trouble Sleeping
- Heart Disease
- Low Self-Esteem
In spite of the negative side effects of this behavior, food addicts continuously engage in unhealthy eating patterns because of the pleasurable feelings they get from indulging.
When food addicts "detox" from their preferred foods, they also experience similar withdrawal symptoms to those detoxing from a substance addiction, including:
- Intense Cravings
Why Do Food Addictions Develop?
Like many eating disorders, food addiction can develop due to biological, psychological, or social influences. Food addiction can also occur alongside an eating disorder. A study by the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior found that "food addicts" showed an increased prevalence of binge eating disorder, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and impulsive personality. The best way to treat the underlying cause of your addiction is to visit a psychiatric professional like Dr. Bober. During a visit, he can evaluate your unique case at our Hollywood office and provide helpful recommendations.
How Does Treatment Work?
As with other addictions, there is no surefire cure for food addiction. Treatment requires hard work on behalf of the patient and doctor. Depending on your needs, Dr. Bober may recommend:
- Medication: Certain medications can suppress the feelings that cause cravings. As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Bober can prescribe a safe and effective dosage tailored to your needs.
- Counseling: In some cases, therapy may be a part of your treatment plan. Certain therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can teach you coping mechanisms so that you can better control your thoughts and feelings surrounding food and eating.
- Support Groups: By visiting a food addiction treatment center with other patients experiencing the same difficulties, you can also reduce your tendency to overeat, overcome side effects like obesity, and enjoy a healthier, more positive outlook on life.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Bober
Dr. Bober is a renowned, board-certified psychiatrist in Hollywood who can provide safe and effective solutions for patients suffering from an eating disorder or food addiction. As a proponent for increasing awareness around mental health and addiction, he is highly sought after by patients whose day-to-day lives and overall health are affected by their mental wellness. By providing the tools you need to control and overcome your behavioral addiction, Dr. Bober can help you gain self-control, achieve your goals, and live a longer, healthier life. To get started and learn more, call us at (954) 994-1115.
- Is food addiction a disorder? - Psychology Today
- Parallels between food addiction and substance abuse disorders - Food Addiction Institute
- Introduction of the term - Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
- Consequences of food addiction - Eating Disorder Hope®
- Withdrawal symptoms - American Addiction Centers
- Prevalence of comorbid conditions - Science Daily®