3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support Give and get support here!

Food Addiction

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-17-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
Geeky Member
 
Shadowcat1978's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Los Angeles county, California
Posts: 42

Height: 5'4"

Default Food Addiction

Hi everyone, I think it's been several years since I've posted in the forum. I'm taking a class in college about drugs and society, and I had a moment of insight. We are learning about different drugs and how they affect the body and the chemicals in the brain. Is it possible to have a chemical addiction to food the same way a person can be addicted to a drug?

I have been trying to read as much info as I can get, but I can't find alot. I have had a weight problem all my life (since I was a teenager), and it just keeps worsening. I'm not trying to find an excuse for it, but figure out a way to take care of it.

I've realized that there are many many times when I feel like I "need" certain foods. I physically crave certain foods, even when my stomach is not hungry. I think about food way too much, what I want to eat, what I "should" or "shouldn't" eat, when to eat, how much, when I can eat next, etc.

Does anyone else have this kind of experience? Does anyone have any info on food addiction and how it affects brain chemicals? Does anyone have any advice that could help me?

I was looking into Overeaters Anonymous, but feel uncomfortable with having a "higher power" as a central focus.

I also purchased a book titled "Food Addiction: The Body Knows", but haven't started reading it yet.

I've gotten to a point where I want to focus on being healthy, not on being a specific size or weight.
__________________
Shadowcat1978 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2009, 10:38 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In La-La Land
Posts: 3,666

Height: 5'8"

Default

Hi Shadow Cat,

Try the book Overcoming Overeating, by David Kessler. He goes into a lot of detail about why we overeat from a chemical/biological standpoint.

I found it really helpful and interesting and I think you will too.
__________________


End of 2014 Challenge

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.--Winston Churchill

SUCCESS WITHOUT KRYPTONITE!
First Mini-Goal: 260 by vacation.
met 7/25/14
Second Mini-goal 240.5 Half of regain gone.
Third mini-goal below 230 by the end of 2014
ubergirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 01:40 AM   #3
onedayatatimer
 
luckymommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,221

S/C/G: 224/ticker/145-155

Height: 5'9.5"

Default

I don't have any studies, nor do I know the facts....however, I can completely relate to the food addiction part. I actually did go to several OA meetings and I found them to be somewhat helpful. However, I didn't stick with it.

I am a food addict for sure and what I find helps me is the following:

1. Separate food from emotions. If I want to eat and I'm not hungry, I tell myself it's emotions and I go do something else. Or, I have a piece of gum or a cup of frozen grapes. I have to know what to do because when this happens, I have no sense of logic.

2. County my calories. I keep a food log and a calorie count. This way, I am in control, instead of feeling out of control.

3. Exercise. It helps me keep my mind focused on my goal.

4. Examine why I need to fill a void with food. Of course I love the way food tastes, but that is not why I'm fat. There are plenty of thin people who love to eat good food. I am constantly trying to analyze this part of myself. I think it's a lack of feeling in control in my life. It's as if some part of me is a rebel/child and wants to have what it wants and wants it now!!! However, I must be the adult in the body and realize that when I binge, I am depriving myself of the life that I want...rather than thinking that I'm depriving myself of the food I want.

5. Finally (sorry this got so long!), I take it one day at a time. I try not to think too far into the future. When I used to binge on foods, nothing was good enough...I kept searching for the perfect binge food and I could never find it and truth be told, I didn't really enjoy my food because I ate everything (in mass quantities) in secret. It was horrible. I gained 70 lbs. in less than one year. I remind myself of these things every single day. With my history, I cannot allow myself to ever think that I"m cured of my obsession with food. However, now...I can channel it into something that works for me. I am still constantly thinking about food, but now, I'm the boss of my thoughts about food.

Again, I'm sorry this got so long. I just relate to this a great deal and it pains me to have had to endure it and I hope you will find a way to help yourself because it is not a fun way to live, to say the least!
__________________

First goal: under 180:
Second goal: 175 or below:
Third goal: 168 (no longer overweight):
Fourth goal: 161 (what I weighed before I fell off):
Fifth goal: below 160:
Final goal: 145-155:
luckymommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 07:30 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Stella's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 477

S/C/G: 74.4kg/58.8kg/54kg

Height: 161cm/5ft 3 1/2 in

Default

I don`t think you can be addicted to food in general, but I`m convinced you can be addicted to certain substances in food - sugar, salt, additives.

If we have a binge problem, we always binge on things which contain those, it`s never apples or other wholesome foods.
__________________
Stella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 08:34 AM   #5
always full of hot air
 
TamiL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 829

S/C/G: 190/114/125

Height: 5'3"

Default

I guess food can be an addiction, just like drugs, alcohol and sex. I do not have a food binge issue, quite the opposite, I avoid food unless I am starving. On the other hand I am addicted to smoking, I have to avoid alcohol because I can't stop once the bottle is open and I have other odd addictions as well. Our brains are fascinating organs and I really think there is something in our brains chemical balance that causes us to behave the way we do.
TamiL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 12:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
QuilterInVA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Yorktown, VA USA
Posts: 5,166

Default

If you don't feed the cravings, they will stop. A craving lasts about 15 minutes. Get busy and do something and you'll find it is gone. The less you eat that food, the fewer cravings you will have. I think some of what we think are cravings or addiction are really habits - we always get a candy bar in the check out long. Pretty soon we say we crave chocolate. We've just trained ourselves to expect it.
__________________
Susan

HW 356 pounds - CW 131 - GW 137


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
QuilterInVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 12:25 PM   #7
onedayatatimer
 
luckymommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,221

S/C/G: 224/ticker/145-155

Height: 5'9.5"

Default

I think that we are all here for a similar purpose, but for a variety of reasons. For example, I truly believe I am a food addict, while one of my best friends is an over eater. She'll eat too much of this and too much of that, but it's not the same level of desperation that I feel and she agrees with me.

Here is some information on food addiction...there is a lot more, but here's a sample:

Research has shown that food addiction is a biogenetic condition. Dedicated to understanding the biological/genetic basis of alcohol addiction, Dr. Ernest Noble and colleagues at UCLA have linked dopamine receptor D2 A1 to addiction. Previously linked to alcohol, cocaine and nicotine addiction, the A1 form of the reward/pleasure gene DRD2 has also been linked to carbohydrate craving and compulsive eating. Noble and his team found that a deficit of these dopamine receptors would cause subjects to be reward or pleasure deficient. To compensate for this deficiency, they discovered that alcohol activated the fewer D2 dopamine receptors stimulating the dopamine reward or pleasure system. According to Dr. Noble, “It is well established that food (particularly carbohydrates), like alcohol, when consumed, increases brain dopamine levels.” He and his team conducted and published a study in 1994, where they found the DRD2 A1 allele to be associated with obesity. “Thus,” he says, “individuals with the A1 allele, having a paucity of D2 dopamine receptors, have a deficiency in their dopamine brain reward system. To compensate for this state, they consume excessive amounts of food which eventuates in the development of obesity” (Noble, 2009; Noble et. al., 1994).

Using brain imaging techniques, neuroscientist Gene-Jack Wang, MD, observed that overeating behavior in morbidly obese individuals is similar to the loss of control and compulsive drug use seen in drug-addicted subjects. He and his team used PET scans to see if obese subjects had similar brain deficits. They measured brain dopamine reward/pleasure receptor levels in subjects with body mass index more than 40. They found these morbidly obese subjects had reductions in dopamine receptors, which were similar to those they observed in drug-addicted subjects (Wang, 2009).

I found this information to be interesting. It's very easy to dismiss the possibility of food addiction, unless one has experienced it themselves. In our society, we are so quick to blame a fat person for their predicament. That is not to say that all overweight people are food addicts. Not at all. But, there are some who truly are and my sympathies are with them and anyone else who struggles with weight, addiction, etc. I'm doing my best to overcome this problem, but if for one second, I convince myself that I don't have a food addiction (which I have tried to pretend many times before), I am going to be in biiiig trouble.
__________________

First goal: under 180:
Second goal: 175 or below:
Third goal: 168 (no longer overweight):
Fourth goal: 161 (what I weighed before I fell off):
Fifth goal: below 160:
Final goal: 145-155:
luckymommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 01:32 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
kuhrisuh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,011

S/C/G: 249/175/149

Height: 5'8"

Default

I have those same thoughts on a daily basis.. I do believe it's possible to be addicted to food. And I think for people that are, it's really scary. I also know that any addiction can be overcome. Just like quitting smoking or using some drug.. it's gonna be hard, but it's possible. Keep your head up!
__________________


Mini goal -




Ultimate goal -

kuhrisuh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 01:38 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
kuhrisuh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,011

S/C/G: 249/175/149

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckymommy View Post
...However, I must be the adult in the body and realize that when I binge, I am depriving myself of the life that I want...rather than thinking that I'm depriving myself of the food I want....
Very well said.
__________________


Mini goal -




Ultimate goal -

kuhrisuh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 01:49 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Stella's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 477

S/C/G: 74.4kg/58.8kg/54kg

Height: 161cm/5ft 3 1/2 in

Default

I really don`t think that you can be addicted to genuine (e.g. natural whole-) food although I quite believe that you can be addicted to eating.
__________________
Stella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 05:29 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
ringmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,326

S/C/G: 198/155/140

Height: 5'9"

Default

yes, I've read a few times cheese has a drug like effect..it's probably why pizza is a big binge trigger food for some people. And carbs do release feel good chemicals.

I'm not sure about natural whole foods not being addictive,.. chocolate is natural, but maybe chocolate is just addictive in it's processed and sugared up form?

I couldn't find the past articles I read..but I found this

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?f...ogId=511999919
ringmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 05:51 PM   #12
Losing the baby weight
 
StephanieM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Prince George, British Columbia
Posts: 1,696

S/C/G: 224/183/140

Height: 5"4

Default

I'm addicted to eating. It's a big problem for me.

I always want to taste something good, so if I'm not occupied with something, I eat, and eat, and eat. The highlight of my day after work is coming home, having a smoke, and making a nice meal. And I eat the meal. And then I eat other food, then I'm making a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich and eating it in bed before I go to sleep.

I'm trying to combat that by finding a good natural appetite suppresent, something to make me feel full quicker and not think about food. Though feeling full hasn't stopped me from eating before.

It's definately an uphill battle.
StephanieM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 02:36 PM   #13
Geeky Member
 
Shadowcat1978's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Los Angeles county, California
Posts: 42

Height: 5'4"

Default

Thank you everyone for all the info and advice, I really appreciate it.

ubergirl: I did a search on David Kessler and found a book called "The End of Overeating". Is that the one you meant? Anyway, I picked it up and have started reading it. I'm only on the first chapter, but it is really interesting so far.

luckymommy: It's great to find someone who can relate to what I am going through. Thank you for sharing with me some of the things that have helped you, and the info on the DRD2 gene. I wonder why this info isn't more widely known?

stella: What you are saying makes sense. The book I just started reading says that eating sugar fat and salt causes us to want to eat more sugar fat and salt.

tamil: Yes, our brains are so fascinatingly complex. Even though there is so much we have learned over the years about it, there is much more that we still don't understand about how it works.

quilterinva: What do you do when the craving keeps coming back, even after ignoring it? I've had cravings that occur on and off for several days.

kuhrisuh: Thanks for the encouragement. Even though I always knew I had a weight problem for most of my life, I never even thought that it could be a food addiction until just recently.

ringmaster: Cheese is definitely one of my favorite foods. And the ingredient in cheese that the blog mentions, casein, is an ingredient I've seen listed in other foods too.

stephaniemuirhead: Yeah, it's really hard. I hate having my mind often consumed with thoughts of food.
Shadowcat1978 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 03:14 PM   #14
Maintainer since 7-3-2009
 
Lori Bell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: A Nebraska Farm
Posts: 3,087

S/C/G: 333/160/145

Height: 5'6"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowcat1978 View Post
I was looking into Overeaters Anonymous, but feel uncomfortable with having a "higher power" as a central focus.
Just an FYI

OA as well as the other Anonymous 12 step programs are nondenominational. You do not have to believe in "God" to become a member, you just need to admit that you are powerless over your addiction and that you need help.

A "higher power" is anything you feel is greater than yourself. I've never known an atheist to be kicked out of a 12 step program.

Last edited by Lori Bell : 10-20-2009 at 03:19 PM.
Lori Bell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2009, 03:25 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Stella's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 477

S/C/G: 74.4kg/58.8kg/54kg

Height: 161cm/5ft 3 1/2 in

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowcat1978 View Post

stella: What you are saying makes sense. The book I just started reading says that eating sugar fat and salt causes us to want to eat more sugar fat and salt.
Is it Jason Vale`s "Slim for life" that you are reading? My diet was always healthy (apart from the quantities I ate...), but this book really made a difference to my life!! As I started to eat even more wholesomely, the quantities I need have lessened so much!

Stella
__________________
Stella is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:12 AM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2