All About Food Addiction and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling


What is a Food Addiction?

A food addiction is typified by eating more food than you actually need and often masks an underlying emotional problem.

While food is necessary for health and life, you may have developed an emotional dependence on eating as a way of coping with unresolved problems.

Because of this dependence, the boundaries between healthy eating and addictive behaviour can become blurred.

Indeed, whether or not a person can truly be addicted to food is a matter of ‘hot debate’.

Overcoming your food addiction is about changing the way you think and your attitudes towards food, rather than changing your diet.

Counselling can help you to cope when times get tough.


Food Addiction Symptoms

Some common symptoms of food addiction include:

  • Cravings: A strong desire to eat certain foods, even when not hungry.
  • Eating in secret: Eating alone or in secret to avoid judgment or feelings of guilt.
  • Loss of control: Feeling unable to stop eating, even when feeling full or experiencing physical discomfort.
  • Preoccupation with food: Constantly thinking about food, planning meals, or obsessing over calories.
  • Continued eating despite negative consequences: Continuing to eat even when it leads to weight gain, health problems, or negative social consequences.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: Feeling irritable, anxious, or depressed when attempting to cut back or stop eating certain foods.
  • Eating as a coping mechanism: Using food to cope with negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, or depression.
  • Needing more and more food to feel satisfied: Developing a tolerance to certain foods and needing to eat more to experience the same level of satisfaction.

If you suspect you may have a food addiction, it is important to seek help to manage your condition.

binge-eating-woman-stuffing-food-in lavatory

Food Addictions Are Not All About Food!

Living with an eating problem can be a difficult, lonely experience, but it is important to understand that you are not alone.

Eating problems aren’t just about food – often they are about difficult feelings or situations that you are unable to cope with.

For many people, focusing on food can act as a coping mechanism for other life problems.

Food addiction is defined as a compulsive ‘disorder’ that can, in some circumstances, lead to overeating, low self-esteem and eating disorders.

It may be anxiety or stress related and if left untreated, the disorder can break down a person’s self-esteem.

Psychology & Psychotherapy can work to overcome the addiction.

It can rebuild the client’s relationship with food by changing the associated behaviours and negative thought patterns. It can enable clients to recognise the problem.

As with overcoming any other form of addiction, the individual must be ready to make a change.

What causes a food addiction?

While there is no known cause of food addiction, there are many factors that should be considered.

Some studies suggest addiction is genetic, although environmental and emotional factors are also thought to increase the risk.

For some people, an addiction is a way of coping with difficult issues.

This may include stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and unemployment.

Therapy aims to identify the triggers and work with the client to overcome the issue using scientifically based tools and techniques.

Together, the sufferer and therapist can begin to rebuild their self-esteem and improve well-being.

food addicion sufferer in therapy session

Therapy & Counselling for Food Addiction

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for Food Addiction and food-related problems.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for food addiction problems on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.

The behaviour change framework

The Behaviour Change Framework

All of our food addiction counselling sessions and programmes use the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).

This scientifically proven protocol defines the stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.

The framework provides a roadmap that indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of mental health therapy.

In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your mental health problems as well preventing early termination of therapy.

You can read more about the Science of Change here.

Free initial consultations for food addiction problems

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming a food addiction or recovering from any of your mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome your Food Addiction problems but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for food addiction problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.