Food addiction is much like any addiction. For those living in its grip, it presents as an ongoing emotional struggle. Although all individuals are different, respond differently to addiction and have different emotions attached to their internal struggles, there is one psychological behaviour that usually is always present.
Cognitive dissonance is defined as ‘the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitude, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change.’
Let’s relate this to food addiction!
An example of what this would look like in someone who is a emotional binge eater :
- 1st Thought – Knowing that eating huge amounts of high calorie food is detrimental to their health and will make them put on weight. This creates feeling of stress, anxiety, self-loathing, body hatting ect….
- 2nd Thought – Whilst eating the person will initially like the feeling of eating. Perhaps even feel soothed, relaxed, distracted, comforted ect….
The battle between the 1stthought and the 2ndthought creates mental discomfort because the person holds 2 or often more contradictory beliefs.The feelings created from the 1stthought (stress, anxiety, self-loathing ect) feed directly into the need to soothe / eat which works in the short term but ultimately just feeds back into the vicious cycle!
To make matters worse if your food choices is an addictive substance like sugar and refined carbohydrates (containing hidden sugars such as high fructose corn syrup) the internal battle and addiction becomes physiological as well as psychological and can leave clients feeling completely powerless to their over-eating and bingeing. Anyone battling this problem will tell you that the more they focus on avoiding food the worse the problem becomes and the more they are compelled to eat.
It may seem overwhelming but food addiction can be treated and cured. Contact me at my solution-based clinic on 0466 810 183 to find out how I can help you end the vicious cycle and get your life back.