Food Addiction, The Cause Of Obesity?

Healthy Meal Prep Made By The From Obese To Beast Kitchen
Healthy Meal Prep Made By The From Obese To Beast Kitchen

Hi, I’m Adam from Obese To Beast and I’m here to tell you that Food addiction is real, although many people don’t talk about this; it runs rampant in our community and around the world. Before we tackle the the psychological, social, and other causes of food addiction, I’d like to discuss one that’s probably the number one reason why people develop food addictions and obesity: Eating food relieves stress through the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain.

Many people stress eat, but everyone has different genetics and body types, some of us are more sensitive to glucose and will gain weight easier, while others have a hard time gaining weight no matter what they do. But regardless, the issue is the same for everyone; we eat more when we are stressed or depressed. The unfortunate part about this is, if you’re sensitive to glucose like I am, this turns into a nasty web of problems. The more weight we gain, the less self confidence we have, the more we’re abused by others, and we even develop co-morbidity (other health problems that are related to our morbid obesity, a direct cause of it). The longer this goes on the more depressed we get, and the more food we eat, and the more obese we become, this will continue going until we can make a decision to take our lives back into our own hands; but is the mere willingness to change enough? It’s a great first step but sadly it really isn’t enough by itself. Remember the title of this blog post? “Food Addiction, The Cause Of Obesity”, you likely googled that to find this page, this means you’ve probably come to terms with the fact that it’s a food addiction, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you eat gigantic quantities of food and can’t stop, that’s not what I’m saying, it simply means you’re addicted to the types of foods which are causing the onset and progression of your obesity; so to overcome this powerful force, we need to make some adjustments in our lives. The difference between success and failure is how we approach this journey, diets fail while lifestyle changes succeed.

Lifestyle changes don’t just end with eating healthy, it’s a battle that involves a multitude of actions including tackling the social aspect of eating. Many obese people, including myself, have had friends that eat similarly as we do, which was pretty much anything we loved, that tasted good, and we ate those bad meals until we were full. Nobody wants to feel alone, let’s say you were addicted to drugs or alcohol, you’d likely be in a social circle of people who supported that lifestyle so that you wouldn’t feel alone.

Food is the most powerful drug in existance. This is true because we need food just to survive, we can’t function without eating, and it’s easy to eat the wrong things, or too much / too little of things we need or don’t need. Eating also improves our mood, helps us concentrate, and gives us the nourishment we need to live our lives, there’s no other drug like it. So does that mean we’ll always be food addicts? Sort of, but in a different, healthier way. It does involve a little educating ones self on how to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat, but it will definitely be a worth-while change to the rest of your life.

The alarming statistic is, 1 out of 1300 morbidly obese males who try to lose weight will ever succeed to become their normal weight, and only 50% will ever even lose 5% of their total body-weight. I’m not saying this to get your hopes down, hey, if I did it so can you! I’m writing this post to share the seriousness of the situation, it’s more than just “oh I ate bad foods for a long time and now I’ll stop”, it’s not that easy. You need to make lasting and meaningful changes in your life that are sustainable, and keep you happy.

Here are 10 ways to beat food addiction

  1. Remove temptation. Throw away all the bad food you have in your fridge and pantry, right away and don’t buy any more, don’t worry about waste, don’t save it for someone else to eat,  if it belongs to you, just throw it away right now! Replace all that food with healthier options, and experiment until you find stuff that’s healthy that you really love eating.
  2. Make Yourself Accountable If you’re in a tough financial spot, and can’t hire a weight loss coach, you can try to find a friend who’s into fitness and healthy lifestyle and see if you can schedule times to meet up. In all honesty though, if you can do it, putting down a financial commitment to your health is the best thing you can do, having professional assistance really helps, and the financial commitment keeps you even more accountable. Nobody wants to waste money.
  3. Learn the meaning of food, and how to eat. Food is fuel, it’s to keep our bodies healthy, strong, and to prolong a healthy lifespan, not to treat depression or make us happy when we feel sad. Try not to use food for those reasons, but if it’s something you find yourself still doing, try to do it in a healthier way, by modifying what you eat, you can find foods that still make you feel good but are healthy at the same time.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people. If anyone talks to you about your weight loss, or new eating choices, or new lifestyle in a negative way, that’s cancerous, you need to move away from those people or try to avoid them at all cost. Tempting you to always have a “cheat meal” is equally as bad. When someone truly cares, they will support you in your journey to a healthier life, and trust me, there are plenty of people who will support and cheer you on, I guarantee you that; you just need to go out there and meet new people, or associate more with the people you already know who are supportive and less with the people who aren’t. People might try to tempt you to eat the way you used to, what will you do? Well for me, I simply shut most of them out, made new friends, and created a support group for myself. After a while, I became adjusted to my new lifestyle and I could be around anyone who ate anything and refuse the foods I used to eat, not because I couldn’t, but because I no longer wanted to.
  5. Move your body more. Working out produces an endorphin that give us a natural high and makes us feel good, this counter balances the depressed feeling we might get sometimes, also, people who workout more are less likely to cheat, due to feeling guilty wasting their efforts. But this goes beyond the gym workout, yes, you should ideally get a dedicated one hour workout 4-6 days a week, but this bullet point is more complicated than just that. If you work at a desk job, or at home, and sit down for 8 hours, try to get up once an hour for 1 minute, go grab a cup of water or something, move your body, don’t stay seated. Take the stairs instead of the Elevator when you go out, obviously you won’t always do that, depends on the situation, but when you can do it, do it! Have extra time before you start work? Park further than you usually do and walk, just take those extra steps everyday whenever possible.
  6. Live your life, have fun. Do things that make you happy that aren’t food related. Maybe it’s activity based like hiking with your friends, or going out dancing at clubs like I did while I was losing weight, or maybe it’s just something simple like going to watch a sports game with buddies or a live show, but keep yourself happy, it’s really vital to your mental health and keeps you away from using food as the coping mechanism.
  7. Stay Committed: There’s a period of adjustment, in my opinion about 90 days where if you stick to your new eating habits, make it fun, healthy and taste good, workout 4-6 days a week, stay committed and you won’t want to turn back because of all the amazing progress you’ll make.

I tell people this all the time but, the 15 minute food high does not compare to the amazing feeling of being in perfect health and having an amazing body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the difference between tasty healthy food and the old stuff you ate isn’t that big, or at least it doesn’t have to be if you found the right way to eat healthy that suites your palate. When you do this, really do it, and you’ll beat food addiction like I did.

If you have any questions or want to inquire about healthy lifestyle coaching, email me: adam@fromobesetobeast.com