Kurt Salquist

Does Food Rule You?  You may be addicted.

By Jessica Dingwall

Do you plan every special occasion and every celebration around food?  Do you base your holidays and vacations with the best part of it being the meal or food? Do you go on vacation or it’s the weekend and think “free day” or “free week?” If this is you then it’s time to rethink your priorities and what is most important to you when celebrating your favorite holiday and going on your vacation.

By deciding to have that cheat day or cheat week you have opened up a potential domino effect.  How many times have you attempted to have a cheat meal or cheat day and found yourself completely going off your healthy eating plan and feeling guilty and unhealthy after?  It is like a vicious cycle repeating itself over and over and you wonder, “why can’t I lose weight?”

It is ultimately our choice to put the food in our mouth but it’s not just lack of will power that can sway the battle, it is commercial and processed foods with added chemicals and preservatives that keep you coming back for more.  Wouldn’t it be nice to take just a bite and be able to say “that was enough, I’m satisfied.”  Junk food, high-sugar foods, salty foods, heroin and nicotine all have something in common – each substance has a chemical reaction within your body that will leave every cell effected searching for more as soon as the substance begins to where off, welcome to chemical addition.

Yes it is true; food can be addicting and can have the same negative consequences as drugs.  The cravings, withdrawals, agitation, weight gain/obesity, fatigue, highs/lows, increased tolerances are consequences of addiction just like heroin and nicotine. If you have already found yourself doing battle with these demons or you want to avoid future problems that can be associated with poor food choices, here’s some advice that can tip the scale in your favor:

1. Eat raw/whole foods.

2. Find out if you have food allergies or sensitivities? (Dairy and wheat could be the culprit.)

3. Know where you food is coming from.

4. Grow your own food.  Have a garden.  You can even have a small garden on a patio in your apartment.  Be creative.

5.  Raise your own meat or find someone who does it right.

6. Limit or stop eating gluten/wheat.

7. Do not eat or at least limit processed foods thus avoiding dyes and chemicals created in a lab somewhere.

8.  Check out the Yale Food addiction scale at Rudd Center for Food Policy.

9. Don’t take that first bite if you know it could lead to more.


My Body is my Castle,

I Sit Upon my Throne

and RULE!

Therese Martinez, MS, RD, CPT

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