Are You a Junk Food Addict?
Do you know that you can become addicted to junk food? Foods high in sugar, fat, and sodium tend to taste better. Tasty foods may trigger addictive behaviors in the same brain regions that drugs and alcohol stimulate. Like how drugs produce feel-good dopamine chemicals, junk food triggers the same release of dopamine when you consume it.
After experiencing pleasure from junk food, you may crave it more and more or shortly after a meal. Junk food addiction can lead to multiple health issues if left untreated. Here are five possible symptoms of junk food addiction.
1. Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is when you consume food to make yourself feel better. For example, do you find that you eat when you get angry or when you feel sad? Most often, people tend to reach for the types of foods that make them feel better. Highly palatable foods are usually the go-to when someone is trying to push down their feelings. If you think you may eat junk food to overcome negative emotions, you may have a food addiction.
2. Hiding Your Eating Habits From Others
Are you eating in the bathroom? Do you have a stash of junk food under your bed or in a drawer that no one knows about? Most people who struggle with food addiction tend to hide it from others. This is especially true if you have repeatedly tried to cut back.
You may feel some guilt if you continue overeating junk food in front of the people closest to you. Also, if you eat in your car often, on your way to work, or alone, you might have a food addiction.
3. You Can’t Stop Overeating
Have you tried to stop overeating and discovered that you can’t? When you become addicted to food, your ability for self-control is significantly reduced. Junk food can trigger you to eat more, and you may continue eating even after developing negative consequences. For example, you may have a food addiction if you gain too much weight but still can’t stop the impulse to overeat.
4. If You Are Still Hungry After You Eat a Meal
If you feel hungry after eating a full meal, you may need to consume healthier food. You will fill full if you eat a well-balanced diet with fiber and protein. If you are consuming processed foods or sugary foods, they tend to leave you still feeling hungry. Junk food will leave you hungry because it has low nutritional value to help your body feel full.
Let’s say you eat a fast-food meal but still want more. Junk food doesn’t provide enough energy for your brain to establish “feeling full.” While junk food might be tasty and induce cravings, it will help you to become addicted but not leave you feeling satisfied.
5. Eating Snacks in the Middle of the Night
If you wake up in the middle of the night and grab doughnuts or chips to eat, you may have a food addiction. If your cravings are waking you up and interrupting your sleep, you may want to reach out to someone for help. Getting enough sleep at night is crucial to your health and well-being, and most people sleep through the night without having to eat something.
Get Help With a Food Addiction Today
You should reach out if any of the above symptoms sound like you. Sober On Demand offers a confidential treatment approach to food addiction. We can come to you anywhere you need us to, or you visit one of our several beautiful locations. We can help you with your food addiction and get you back to living a healthy and happy life.