Monday, August 5, 2013

Am I Addicted to Food?

As a counselor intern clinician at Southshore Counseling & Wellness, I've been ask to start blogging there.  Faithful readers, you'll likely see it here first!  They aren't owning my posts, so some blogs you see will be indicating elsewhere, not just here at #BariatricCounselor. (Little useless hashtag'n)  I'll probably continue to post very random, less than orderly thoughts that provoke me and information I find, but when I said re-haul of this blog, I realize it must become more refined, less rough and tumble if I seek to put on that professional counselor image. But really, what am I, if I am not human, raw and unrefined, from at times?  The following will appear in the "Ask Dr. Andre" blog for Northshore & Southshore Counseling & Wellness. 

Am I addicted to food?
Food Addiction is often overlooked as a substance abuse issue, and logically so; how can one be addicted to something they need to survive?  It is not a strange as it sounds. Humans seek to find pleasure in consumption, and research shows that sweet, salty, and fatty foods activate the same sensors in your brain as drug and alcoholic addiction.  The first step is recognizing the social, emotional, and cognitive thought processes and environments that trigger abuse of food.  No one can deny the fact that the New Orleans area has some of the best eating in the world, but…

how can one establish healthy eating behaviors and portion control to find lifetime success in weight loss?  

Many people struggle with the idea of “giving up” certain food groups. Telling someone they can't have something makes them want it more, especially with food. The mentality of an addict is, "I want, what I want, when I want it."  No one will get in my way until I have it.

Cravings for certain foods trigger similar obsessive thought processes that often can't be let go until the desire is fulfilled. While eliminating problem foods from one’s diet is an excellent approach to positive habit development, gaining control over and expelling thoughts that are not beneficial to success must be practiced and analyzed frequently until the new behavior becomes automatic. Some foods trigger people to eat more, outside of a regular serving size, and cause one to become susceptible to loss of control.  
Like any addiction, “one is too many and a thousand is not enough” for some when it comes to cookies, cakes, candy, chips, bread, and sweets. If they cannot be had in moderation, it might be wise to not keep it around for a time, and learn to live without it while working through understanding control. 

A key is to undoing unhealthy food behavior is to develop a plan of action to address how one will handle situations when temptations are present.  Establishing a relationship with someone TRUSTWORTHY and TALKING about what causes binge eating, helps to gain awareness; and as a plan is executed when faced with these difficult situations, one will realize that control can be had over the decisions made from hand to mouth.

Everyone fails to follow through on their own goals sometimes, and everyone is tempted at times by what is not good for them, but having the COURAGE to talk to someone about it and address the problem is a BIG step.  Be BRAVE enough to articulate what it was that triggered eating an entire pint of ice cream on a Friday night: loneliness, boredom, anger, anxiety, negative thoughts or impressions throughout the day, even happiness.

Counseling can help develop the appropriate coping skills and positive behaviors to pave the way to recovery from food addiction, binge eating, depression, anxiety, body image, self-esteem and weight related cognitive stressors. Good news! Now available at Southshore Counseling and Wellness in Metairie is Nanette Wilson Adams, Counselor Intern and National Certified Counselor. Nanette specializes in food consumption issues. Call for an appointment to discuss your weight-loss and food relationship issues and concerns with her today!

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