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How to overcome Food Addiction| CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

How to overcome Food Addiction| CBT Kenya

So it can be difficult for people to take “food addiction” seriously. We spend our days thinking about when and what we are going to eat or not eat. Binging, purging, and dieting are a way of life. The bottom line is that we can’t stop thinking about eating. Food addiction is just like drug and alcohol addiction. The most common addictive foods are foods high in sugar, flour, fat, grains and salt or some combination of these. This form of addiction can take many forms. Symptoms include obesity, under eating and bulimia. People often think of the term “eating disorders” when describing the disease of food addiction. Food addicts are obsessed with food, body size, and weight.

Symptoms of food addiction

The human body needs food to provide energy and nutrition. However, people can feel addicted to food when they become dependent on certain types of foods. Any food can make a person feel addictive tendencies.

  • It’s not uncommon to get cravings, even after eating a fulfilling, nutritious meal. A craving occurs when you experience an urge to eat something, despite having already eaten or being full. These cravings are not about a need for energy or nutrients. It’s the brain calling for something that releases dopamine, a chemical in the that plays a role in how humans feel pleasure.
  • When giving in to a craving, someone with food addiction may not stop eating until the urge is satisfied. They might then realize that they have eaten so much that their stomach feels completely stuffed.
  • People who are addicted to food will continue to eat despite negative consequences, such as weight gain or damaged relationships. They will have trouble stopping their behavior, even if they want to or have tried many times to cut back.
  • People with a history of rule setting and repeated failures often start hiding their consumption of junk food from others. They may prefer to eat alone, when no one else is home, alone in the car, or late at night after everyone else has gone to bed.
  • You are using the addictive foods to regulate your mood and energy. For example, you need sugar to bring you up in the afternoon, and you need pasta or carbs to help you calm down at night

What you can do

Food addiction is a problem that rarely resolves on its own. Unless a conscious decision to deal with it is made, chances are it will worsen over time. Overcoming the addiction is difficult enough. Adding hunger and restrictions to the mix is likely to make things harder. After taking these preparatory steps, set a date in the near future. Like the coming weekend, from which point onward the addictive trigger foods won’t be touched again.

  • Trigger foods. Write down a list of the foods that cause cravings and/or binges. These are the trigger foods to avoid completely.
  • Fast food places. Make a list of fast food places that serve healthy foods and note their healthy options. This may prevent a relapse when hungry and not in the mood to cook.
  • Pros and cons. Consider making several copies of the pro-and-con list. Keep a copy in the kitchen, glove compartment, and purse or wallet.
  • Several lifestyle changes can also help a person manage uncontrollable urges to consume particular foods. For example, allowing time for a food craving to subside, which can be 2–5 days or longer. Simple, achievable changes are the most likely to support long-term, healthful eating habits.
  • The journey to break free from food addiction can be challenging, for sure. But going within to uncover the circumstances related to your addiction will bring new self awareness that leads to true transformation. Be patient and kind to yourself through the process.

Bottom line

If you have repeatedly tried to quit eating or cut back on your consumption of junk food but can’t, it could be an indicator of food addiction. Fortunately, certain strategies can help you overcome it. As with all addictions, acknowledgment is the first step. Recognizing that the food is impacting your behavior and health means you are waking up and getting ready to do the work. Be kind to yourself, and understand that this is not about willpower. Changing your compulsion requires a literal reprogramming of your neural pathways.

At CBT Kenya, we have friendly yet professional psychologists who are ready to have a talk with you. We encourage you to find out more about our services. We welcome any questions. Any questions related to psychotherapy, counselling, and psychology services are welcomed. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or info@cbtkenya.org.


Author: cbtkeadmin
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