Can food be addictive?

Is there more to my eating habits?

Have you ever kept going back for more ice cream, or did those crackers in the pantry keep calling you? Is it difficult for you to pass by the candy aisle in the grocery store? These may be signs that there is more to your relationship with food than meets the eye.

First of all, food can be addictive. Well, yes, it certainly can. And food manufacturers knew this and made food to be addictive with something that is called the Bliss-Point. Food manufacturers made food with just the right amount of sugar, fat, and salt to make you want “more”. This picture from the New York Times article about The Bliss Point illustrates the concept, developed by food chemists in the 1960s clearly:

Now you say, “Well, I can just eat one or two chips.” But science tells us something different. Science tells us that sugar is what ice cream, chips, popcorn, crackers, and candy break down into. Even those smoothies that are made with 16 ounces (about 473.18 ml) of juice and a whole banana, plus a cup of berries, that is 105 grams of Carbohydrate or pure fructose. What science tells us, is that sugar goes to the same pleasure receptors in the brain to which alcohol and drugs go. These are the dopamine receptors, so you can see in the picture below that the brain, which is obese or has an excess of sugar, and the “cocaine brain” does not have the “red” active area like the normal weight person. This is how food becomes addictive.

So how do you know if you have a problem? Take the Binge Eating Disorder Questionnaire:

Within the last 3 months, have you:

  • Did you have any episodes of excessive overeating (i.e., eating significantly more than what most people would eat under similar circumstances)? Yes/ No If you answered “No” then you do not need to answer the next questions. If you answered “yes”, go to the next questions:
  • Do you feel distressed about your episodes of excessive overeating? Yes/No
  • During your episodes of excessive overeating, how often did you feel like you had no control over your eating (i.e., not being able to stop eating, feel compelled to eat, or going back and forth for more food)? Never/ Sometimes/ Often/ Always
  • During your episodes of excessive overeating, how often did you continue eating even though you were not hungry? Never/ Sometimes/ Often/ Always
  • During your episodes of excessive overeating, how often were you embarrassed by how much you ate? Never/ Sometimes/ Often/ Always
  • During your episodes of excessive overeating, how often did you feel disgusted with yourself or guilty afterward? Never/ Sometimes/ Often/ Always
  • During the last 3 months, how often did you make yourself vomit to control your weight or shape? Never/ Sometimes/ Often/ Always

Now if you answered “Yes” to these questions and you realize for the first time that you may have an unhealthy relationship with food, do not be alarmed, be relieved, because you have found the place that understands this dysfunctional relationship with food. Call us at 941-787-3525 or fill out the contact form on our site. 

Nutegra stands for nutrition integrity

In this program, we will teach you about what food does in your body, how you have had the “wool pulled over your eyes” in buying into FAD diets, and will teach you just what your individual body needs to lose weight and sustain that weight loss. We help you set realistic goals and focus on the percentage of body fat and not just scale weight. Do you know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It is time to try something different, something professional, something scientifically proven.

The best part, we are licensed professionals, and we can bill your insurance. Currently, we accept Cigna, Aetna, United Healthcare, Oxford, and Oscar insurance. Call for an appointment 941-787-3525 or fill out the contact form.