Food addictions are very common and this is an unfortunate part of modem life. Diet is the most important thing in the world to some people. To others, anything goes as long as it tastes good. But this shouldn’t be the mentality that people have. We literally are what we eat. If we fill our bodies with processed foods and saturated fats, we’re cruising for a few too many health problems when we get older. The earlier we start caring for our body, the better we’ll feel in the short, and long term. Food addictions can be cured but slowly, over time.
Once you get into the routine of snacking on chips and chocolate, it’s hard to get out of it. It is even harder to get into a routine of eating only clean foods. It could be time to realise the dangers of the foods you are eating. Today is the day to try and fix up your diet a little. Here’s how to go about it.
The dangers of food additives and preservatives
Preservatives – they are in almost everything we eat in the modern world. Anything that isn’t naturally grown is going to have some form of chemical, preservative, or other substances added to it in order to make it last longer. Obviously, this is not ideal, and many people believe that preservatives are the reason obesity has been on the rise since the 1980s all over the world.
Some research has shown that preservatives and additives are more harmful for us than we might realise. We’re still putting things into our bodies that shouldn’t be there. Yet a lot of people’s diets still consists of things that might be causing us harm. High amounts of sugar, salt and fat in our diet could eventually lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, heart attacks, heart disease, and other problems.
Food addictions can vary from person to person
Some of the foods we eat are essentially poisoning our bodies, yet we still continue to eat them. Why is this though? It’s the simple fact that these elements taste good, are cheap to include by manufactures and are easy to overeat – and they’re slightly addictive.
Sugar addiction is common. The sugar contents in the processed foods we eat cause a slight addiction, or a serious one. This has been the subject of countless books and websites in the last 5 or 10 years, including I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson.
Sugar addiction might be the reason that you’ll sometimes find yourself craving chocolate, and a fat addiction might lead you to want to snack on chips or buttery bread. “Like many pleasurable behaviours (including sex and drug use) eating can trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain,” explains Scientific American. “This internal chemical reward, in turn, increases the likelihood that the associated action will eventually become habitual through positive reinforcement conditioning.”
How to change your diet over time
The good news is – this can be altered over time. Some experts say that to break the cycle of food addictions you need to go around two or three weeks without your addictive food. Other people claim it might be much longer; like this man who ate nothing but potatoes for a year to cure his food addictions. Two or three weeks is really not that long in the grand scheme of things.
Some people can’t help the foods that they eat. Comfort eating is such a huge thing; it can be one of the causes of obesity, and could even be a sign of a mental health problem, such as an attachment. Perhaps there is something going on in your life that you are trying to “cure” with food. Could it be possible to “eat yourself happy” with food, and improve your mood and mental health?
The trap of emotional eating
You can see what they say about emotional eating here, and you can look for help online if you feel you fall into this category and want to try to alter your diet for the better. Some people physically don’t like the taste of healthy foods such as green veggies or certain fruits. There are still ways of making healthy meals and getting the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. But the health risks someone who actually can’t stomach healthy foods is rising. With it comes the same issues as someone who is intentionally eating rubbish foods.
Balance your diet, balance your life
To try and maintain a balanced diet experiment with foods you have previously avoided and find a way that you like eating them. For example, you might not like carrots or broccoli on their own, but in a stir fry with sauce mixed in they taste sweet and lovely. You need to find something that works for you. Be brave and eat widely, enjoying a rainbow of colours. Getting the vitamins and nutrients you need from food is one way to instantly enjoy more optimal health.