Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Am I a Food Addict?

I have heard the term food addict all around the blogoshpere and often wondered if I was a food addict? I did some further research and found this information on food addiction:

What is Food Addiction?

Food addiction is a pathological disorder involving the excessive craving and compulsive consumption of food. People with a food addiction put themselves at great risk, not only because of the amount of food consumed, but the type of foods themselves Research continually shows that food addiction is in many ways similar to alcoholism and drug addiction. When a person abuses a substance to the point of being physiologically and mentally dependent on it, they are said to be addicted. This is what happens to people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or in this case, food. If you suspect that you are exhibiting food addiction symptoms, ask yourself the following questions

- Do you eat when you are not hungry or when you feel depressed or low?
- Do you consume inordinate amounts of food and then purge later with vomiting or laxatives to get rid of the excess?
- Do you eat in secret or eat differently in front of others than when you're alone?
- Are there foods that you know are harmful to you, but you eat them anyway?
- After eating, do you feel guilty or shameful?

If you can answer yes to a few of these questions then you may be suffering from a food addiction. Like other addictions, food addiction is about a loss of control. People with a food addiction realize that their eating behaviors are destructive, but they continue the harmful cycle. Food addiction has both physiological and psychological components. Food addiction can affect men and women of all ages and races. Surprisingly, people addicted to food are not always obese or overweight; they can be underweight or normal weight. What they all share in common is an unhealthy obsession with food. Food addiction can accompany eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating. Food addicts are obsessed with consuming food. They are preoccupied with their body weight and image. Food addiction can have dire health consequences, so early detection and treatment is vital. Here are some early warning food addiction symptoms and signs to look for:

- An obsession with thoughts about food.
- Eating food as a way to relieve stress or worries.
- Consuming large quantities of food to the point of being sick
- Anxiousness during or after eating, resulting in more eating.
- Overeating simply because food is available.
- Eating fast so they can eat more
- Eating large quantities even when they feel full.
- Guilt and shame after overeating.
- Hiding food so they can later eat alone in secret
- Bingeing on food after dieting.
- Views food as something to be avoided or as harmful

I have exhibited a number of the symptoms and confirmed that I am in fact have an addiction to food. I suppose that is the 1st step to take is admitting that you have the addiction. Then seeking treatment for the addiction which I suppose in some respects I have. Seeing a nutritionist, working with a dietitian and dealing with the emotional aspects of the addiction. I think I would benefit from counseling as well but at this time it is not conducive to my schedule (Only have 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. appointments) and I don't have any vacation time available. Definitely something to think about for the future. As with any addiction, close monitoring is important but also trying not to be obsessive.

In discovering my familial roots, I have identified there is a lot of addiction surrounding my biological background. Both of my biological parents were drug addicts, maternal grandmother was an alcoholic and other family members also face other addictions. I am not pointing blame but studies have shown that children from addicted parents are 4x more likely to go down that road themselves. I have dealt with other areas of addiction in my life but have overcome them so I am hoping with the right support and tools I can fight this evil addiction monster. Until next time...


  1. I happened upon this post through a few twists and turns in the blog world and what a timely post for me. I've been considering that this is the case for me, so this was a good post to read.

    I am glad that I happened upon your blog. Congrats on your progress so far!!

  2. Good, interesting and honest post, Katie. I definitely fall into the category and am trying to negotiate it without having to get radical and rigid. It's tough. I wish you the very best on the journey. You've come along way, baby!

  3. I've attended Overeaters Anonymous meetings before. They are 12-step meetings based on the Alcohol Anonymous program. They are free and are available at all times and even on-line.

    I feel very lucky to have ended my own cycle of addictive food behavior. There is light on the other side. Recovery is possible!

  4. Hi Katie, Thank you so much for posting this. I have recently been asking myself "Am I a Food Addict?" This was a great post with lots of helpful information.

  5. I don't know of anyone who doesn't do something to extremes. I know I am an addict....for sure! It is true about the genetics of the whole thing. I would suggest O.A. too.

    Great Post!

  6. I believe that I am an addict and my addictive personality can be applied in several areas, food being one of them. It's in my family hx as well. Great job just confronting it and kudos for being brave enough to post about it. You are awesome Katie!

  7. I am a sugar addict. When I finally gave up sugar (took me many years to make that step) the addictive behavior went away. Just like that.

  8. Great post Katie, definately a food addict. working on it, not letting it work me as much anymore. keep up, you have learned alot about your biological family. take care. hugs.

  9. Wow Katie- thank you so much for directing me here today. I have alllllloootttt to think about. Thank you. :)

  10. Great post. I have many of the symptoms. It is very much a loss of control thing. However, I know somewhere deep inside me I have the strength to overcome this addiction. It may require extra help, maybe in the form of conseling. I'm working on it though.

    Good luck!


  11. I didn't admit to being a food addict -- I just went on the kind of diet that food addicts do (no sugar, no wheat, no flour). It has been wonderful.

  12. Hang in there Katie! Knowledge is power. Knowing your biological background is a big help I think. Since I know alcholism & sucide runs in my bio family I don't drink at all and I pay careful attention to my depression and treat it appropriately...I think addictions are managed and not cured.

  13. Wow-strong post-I'm going to link to it today and talk about it.


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