Is food addiction a real thing? It’s a pretty hotly debated topic. I don’t have an answer, all I have is my personal experience. Based on my experience I would definitely say food addiction is real. I feel like it is something I have battled my entire life and I will continue to fight it for the rest of my life.
For me, my biggest issue is being addicted to sugar. Even sugar replacements are dangerous because your brain still responds to the replacements in a very similar manner. Any time I have sweet things, I just can’t stop. Some people are lucky and can stop at one, but not me. If it’s there in front of me or in the house it plays on my mind constantly until I’ve eaten it or thrown it in the bin. The longer I go without eating something sweet though, the easier it is to stay away from it.
In the past, I would say I have been addicted to food, all food, however no my biggest demon is sweets. The foods I once loved, the carb loaded savory food no longer interests me, and I’m so grateful for that, however I still love a sweet treat. If that’s all it is, a treat, then that’s ok however it’s become more than that over the holidays.
I've read that if you can’t go more than a couple of hours without eating then you’re addicted to food. This was totally me for all of my life. Going keto and feeling satisfied changed all of that for me. Pre-keto I was constantly worried that I would be hungry and so when there was food around I would eat to the point of feeling uncomfortable. Or I would be worried about missing out or not getting my fair share. Food literally dominated my life. It was pretty much torture to go a day without having something sweet and it was constantly on my mind. If I got it into my head that I wanted a certain type of food, I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it until I had it. Even if I could resist for a day or two, generally it would stick on my mind until I had it. It seriously was torture.
I know it isn’t the same, but I do feel like I can relate to people with other addictions like drugs, alcohol or smoking. I have a minor insight into what it is like to not be able to get something out of your head, for it to be the only thing on your mind until you satisfy that craving. The not being able to resist it no matter what is at stake or what is on the line for you. I’ve read that sugar is as addictive as drugs and it changes the chemicals in your brain. I’m not using this as an excuse, but I think that it can be hard to understand unless you have been there. Finding what works for you to overcome this is crucial. Willpower alone will never be enough. Even when you do find what works for you, like any other addict there will be relapses. No one is perfect all of the time, but knowing you have the power to stop that behaviour again is so helpful.
For various reasons, I haven’t been feeling strong over the Christmas and new year period. During this time temptation is everywhere. I’ve given in more times than I would like to admit of late, however it’s a new year and a good time to start fresh. During this time my downfall has been chocolate and sweets. Either non-compliant chocolate or too many compliant sweets. I know I have a tough battle ahead to get this back under control, but I also know I can do this. I’ve done it before and from a much harder starting point, so I know I’ve got this. My plan is to take it one hour, one day, one week at a time. Set myself small goals, and after two weeks I know I’ll be back on top of it. For me, being back home and in my own environment will make this process a lot easier, I’ll be more removed from temptation.
For me, the answer to this sugar addiction was, and continues to be keto. Feeling satisfied and not riding the highs and quick lows of being carb fuelled, makes it easier to stay away from the food that I know doesn’t work for my body. When I was eating a high carb diet, I would feel full after a meal, but that would only last about an hour and then I was looking for food again. When I would eat sweets, I would be satisfied for a little while but then want more and more and I couldn’t stop until I felt sick. Now when I do get a craving I know that I can feed it with fat and that trick really does work. If it’s really bad, an iced coffee as a treat is amazing.
Starting tomorrow I will be setting myself a challenge, no sweets for the next 2 week. I need to kick this habit that has crept back in. I know I will feel amazing once this is back under control. In the meantime I’m reminding myself of how far I have come and how much I have achieved. It’s a new year and time for a fresh start. If you’ve been considering giving keto a go, now is the perfect time to jump on board. Check out lowcarb world on facebook or at lowcarbworld.uk for all the information you need to get started.