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What makes food an addiction

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Old 06-02-2014, 10:31 PM   #1
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Default What makes food an addiction

ok...this is a broad question but i was having a craving and just thought..hmmm.. what makes food addicting to people like us??? what or why.
some foods are more comforting or addicting than others... so...?
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:24 PM   #2
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I'd suggest reading The End of Overeating by David Kessler (former FDA chief). He'll answer it very thoroughly and succinctly. It's eye-opening and empowering. A lot of foods are designed to make you want more so that you'll buy more. The food industry has done enormous amounts of research into what makes food likable enough to buy again and again.

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Old 06-03-2014, 12:16 AM   #3
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For me, the point was to stuff myself to the point of being uncomfortably full so I couldn't feel any thing else beyond the fullness. Any sadness, any loneliness. That's what made it so addicting for me. I'm trying to train myself to eat according to physical hunger only and I've noticed that since I've been doing that, my emotions feel more raw and strong to me.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:34 AM   #4
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Hi, it is the combination of fat and sugar that gives a nice feeling to our brain. This does not happen only to overweight people but to everyone the difference is that we dont stop at a little buzz we go all the way.

This nice feeling that we get is often used to fight loneliness, boredom, sadness, etc. It is easier to grab comfort food than doing something about those feeling.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:50 AM   #5
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I agree with what mars735 said. Certain foods are designed to make you crave them. This has been my own personal experience when it came to junk food. Once I start eating it, I can't get enough of it no matter how much I eat. I had to cut it out completely to rid myself of the addiction to it. I try to stay away from foods with chemicals/preservatives and eat only whole natural foods. It has definitely helped me combat my food addiction.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:13 AM   #6
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In addition to what others have said, Certain flavours that are in our food so magnified that most other types of food are bland and unappealing. think about how many sugars are in the large coke you buy at the movies. 50 teaspoons apparently. That stuff is very sweet, and you've just eaten a ton of sugar. So this has an effect on your blood sugar levels. Its sends your blood sugar whacko which makes you want more even when you are full.

This is why find it most useful to quit the crap food when i am on a diet. Its the only way i can make healthy food enjoyable again. I need to be sugar free to enjoy my fruit and vegies, especially my vegies.

highly salted foods also seem to mess without tastebuds and fat is known to make food flavourful. So salt, sugar and fat are all the most obvious flavours and the industry has just increased the quantities of these flavours in junk and processed foods. So if you get used to them, nothing else can seem really tasty enough.

I mean i've probably over simplified the truth of the palate. But its also a habit thing. People who've eaten that bad food for years on end, have got deeply ingrained habits that can be hard to break. Some people appear to even not know how to make and eat and enjoy healthier foods.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyPetite View Post
For me, the point was to stuff myself to the point of being uncomfortably full so I couldn't feel any thing else beyond the fullness. Any sadness, any loneliness. That's what made it so addicting for me. I'm trying to train myself to eat according to physical hunger only and I've noticed that since I've been doing that, my emotions feel more raw and strong to me.
This ^^^

I reject the idea that food is addictive. I think we can be swayed to believe that it is, and by merely accepting that idea it takes strong hold in our minds. I think it's the placebo effect. As long as I believed that food was addictive I was addicted to "those" foods. Ever since I've rejected the idea I'm no longer addicted to "those" foods. Shrug.

People say the same thing about a lot of substances that don't apply to me personally. They say alcohol is addictive, but I drink it and I'm not an addict. They say cigarettes are addictive, but I smoke socially on occassion and am not an addict.

Cravings have multiple causes. They can be brought on by an actual need that your body has, an emotional stressor, or a restriction. If a person is thirsty does that mean they are addicted to water?
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:15 AM   #8
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Ditto "The End of Overeating". Most illuminating book I've read in a long time - hard science but very approachable.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mars735 View Post
I'd suggest reading The End of Overeating by David Kessler (former FDA chief). He'll answer it very thoroughly and succinctly. It's eye-opening and empowering. A lot of foods are designed to make you want more so that you'll buy more. The food industry has done enormous amounts of research into what makes food likable enough to buy again and again.
I found this book at a used bookstore and I grabbed it quickly! $4 for a hardcover!
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:01 AM   #10
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The End of Overeating does it quite clearly. Nobody can tell me that they get the same rush from broccoli that they do from their favorite junk food. Certain foods are designed to be addictive. And just like so many of us can have one beer and say no, some drink themselves to death slowly. It really is a fascinating read.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:12 AM   #11
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The End of Overeating does it quite clearly. Nobody can tell me that they get the same rush from broccoli that they do from their favorite junk food. Certain foods are designed to be addictive. And just like so many of us can have one beer and say no, some drink themselves to death slowly. It really is a fascinating read.
I found it a fascinating read too. It's amazing what lengths the food industry will go to give us the optimal combination of ingredients.

I can distinguish the difference between a rush - which is artificial in most of these foods - and an enjoyable eating experience. And that CAN include broccoli or whatever. Just recently I made a fresh ceasar salad to accompany some BBQ ribs that we grilled outside and I'm stillllll thinking about that salad. The combination of the salty anchovies, the spicy raw garlic, the nuttiness of the parmesan and the crisp coldness of the romaine was thrilling! I've yet to have a similar experience with broccoli but I've had numerous rushes from cauliflower
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:34 AM   #12
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I think alot of it is just habit. I have it so ingrained in me to do X when Y happens that it is very hard to change that. Kindof like how smells trigger memories but the reverse of that perhaps? lmao

The other day I had this beautiful amazing meal waiting for lunch. It tasted amazing, it was soo healthy. I had been waiting to have it. But that morning I took some really bad self esteem hits. Like nonstop crying my eyes out. All I wanted was to stuff myself with really bad greasy food. Because that is what I would do. I get upset I sit and watch a movie and eat pizza until I am stuffed. And it would make me feel slightly better in that moment.

So my brain now just says u r upset do this. I just have to retrain myself that being upset means doing something else instead.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:52 AM   #13
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Someone here once said that foods that are perfectly engineered to brainwash your tastebuds just taste like "more" to them. That was a lightbulb moment for me that really helped me reframe some things-- some foods just DO taste like "more." No amount will ever be "enough," so why start?

A lot of that stuff I just never eat, but for the rest, my brain now has a giant blinking "proceed with caution" sign.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:00 PM   #14
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My two cents from a life lived for 47 years with hunger 24/7 to no hunger at all a year later: carbs and processed foods.

Carbs from most anything other than leafy vegetables, above ground veggies, and berries activates insulin. The carbs break down into glucose which insulin has to get out of the bloodstream. It can put some into liver and muscle but not a lot. It then starts storing calories as fat. So for instance I eat high fat now and some protein and 'good carbs'. None get stored. But if I had starchy carbs and the protein and fat I'd have stored a lot of calories.

So after your blood glucose goes down and you get hungry again. Also you can become a 'sugar (carb) burner'. You have effectively shut down your ability to burn fat. Your body constantly needs carbs to burn because it also has to get them out of the blood stream. So you get hungry and often. So it is hard, virtually impossible to not only miss a meal but not snack between meals. This is totally normal if you are a carb burner, no willpower weakness or anything. I was exactly this way.

I heard someone compare being 'fat adapted' ie burning fat for fuel as having a nice big log on a fire. You can eat a high fat meal and just go for hours. But when you are a carb burner you are using twigs and small branches and have to keep adding more and more very frequently.

So I believe from my own lived experience having a high carb way of eating with grains and starches will keep you hungry as your default state.

Then the second thing is the highly scientifically engineered foods designed to be as addictive as possible.

Once I got past a (not fun) transition period and made high fat low carb whole foods my WOE my hunger disappeared. A wonderful thing. I know for me without going low carb I would have remained addicted to carbs and hungry for every single day the rest of my life.

Last edited by diamondgeog : 06-03-2014 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:01 PM   #15
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I never get addicted to anything, not even alcohol or cigarettes. I could take it or leave it with no problem as long as I wanted to leave it. IMO addiction is mostly mental. Depends on the person too.
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