No, you can’t be addicted to something that is essential to life like air, food, or sleep. Calling yourself a food addict will continue to drive an unhealthy relationship with food.

Of course you can be strongly habituated to certain foods but it’s not helpful to use the word ‘addicted’. Here’s why. The most common strategy used for addiction is abstinence, you cannot be abstinent from food. When we label ourselves a food addict, food becomes the drug that you must somehow avoid.

This creates an impossible to solve conundrum that can leave you feeling powerless and hopeless. It’s important to understand that addiction is a behaviour, it’s about your actions, it’s not who you are. If food is the enemy, the brain perceives it as a threat, which means our nervous systems go into fight/flight mode around food. This bathes your body in stress chemistry causing dysregulated appetite and digestive issues.

This of course will be likely to have you reaching for food if you already use food to regulate your emotions. Labelling yourself a food addict or referring to food as addictive will only lead to more of the same.

There are many reasons why you might feel like you have become habituated to food, it can be due to nutrient deficiencies, poor gut/microbiome health, hormonal issues, poor quality diet and you may be over using food to experience joy or regulate you emotions. It can be a complex issue, hard to figure out alone.

I work with many clients to heal their relationship with food. You can book a one to one consultation or free strategy chat here.

I chatted to Stephen Cenatiempo on 2CC Talking Canberra on the topic of food addiction, you can listen here.

I also cover this topic in our group program, the Mind and Energy Reset, find out more about it by clicking here.

 

Fiona Kane is a Nutritional Medicine Practitioner, Mind Body Eating Coach, Holistic Counsellor, Professional Speaker and writer on Health and Nutrition and the founder of Informed Health.
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