A food addiction is eating more food than you actually need and usually masks an underlying emotional problem.
While food is necessary for health and life, many of us have built an emotional dependence on eating.
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 a food addiction is about changing the way you think and your attitude towards food, rather than changing your diet.
Counselling can help you to cope when times get tough.
Food Addiction and Control
If something in your life goes wrong or you experience a stressful, upsetting event, we can teach you how to manage your thoughts and emotions without turning to food.
The crux of food addiction is control.
We know we need food to maintain strength and energy.
It is when we lose control of our intake and eat too much or too little, that a problem can arise.
‘Food addiction’ therefore, may not be so much an addiction to food, but more of an addiction to eating.
Many people with a food addiction will feel a lack of control around food. Sufferers may berate themselves for their problem.
They may also hide it from friends and family and let it spiral out of control.
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.
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:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Food Addiction
- Counselling for Food Related Problems
- Pluralistic Therapy for Food Addiction
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.