Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Food Addiction

We all have our bad habits. Those things that we do despite knowing that they're not exactly the best things to do. Yep, we do them regardless, perhaps thinking that we're granted some sort of amnesty for cumulative good behavior in other areas, or perhaps because we don't care about the ramifications. Either way, we all have them in some way, shape, or form. Be it alcohol, gambling, sex, recreational drug use, or food. This being a food, health and wellness blog you should already know where I'm going with this ;)

I have a theory when it comes to food addictions. Let's face it, most people aren't addicted to salads, it's the fries, pizza, soda and nachos that call our name overall, moreso than the fruits and greens. But why is that? There are many published studies charting the reasons why we are addicted to the foods that we are. Refined sugar creating subtle to severe dependencies, causing similar cravings to carbohydrates (which in turn eventually break down to become sugar as well), even pathogenic yeast tricking our body into feeling the need to consume exactly what it needs to survive, these scientific findings are fascinating stuff. But let's break down the food addiction into simpler terms.

A whole lot of people are addicted to junk food. I love the term emotional eating because it describes the behavior of so many. We're upset, we eat, we're stressed, we eat, we're bored, we eat. But like I said, it's usually the salty, sugary, starchy items that top the food craving list. 

My theory is that these foods provide the greatest sensory diversion. Strong, bold and heavy flavors, of which no salad can match (not initially at least lol). Unnatural of course, but mentally grabbing nonetheless. We become consumed in these moments of eating with the food and food alone. If we're hurting, we momentarily feel soothed. If something is bothering us, we temporarily find reprieve. That food is so good to us in the beginning, hence the term "comfort food".

I'm not even going to go into why this practice is detrimental. I think we all know that this is a temporary fix and only clouds the true issue that we're trying to suppress. But it does help to discuss the causes of our various food fixations and to go within and find your own personal reasons. 

Without investigation of the "why's", we will never arrive at the "how's" (i.e. how to change our current habits into something better). 

So everyone's off the hook today lol. No big spiel, just some more food for thought ;) 

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