What are the symptoms of food addiction?
Symptoms of food addiction include thinking about food constantly, allowing food to interfere with life, and using food to manage emotions, among others. Watch as psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD, shares the main warning signs of food addiction.
We see that it's getting in the way of their lives. It's distracting them from their relationships. It may even be distracting them from their jobs.
So they're not functioning in the world as well as they usually could. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Some of the symptoms or warning signs of a food addiction that we see are, number one, the person
finds himself thinking about food all the time. And if they're not thinking about it, they're eating it. Maybe they're preparing it.
They're making plans to go eat it. They're shopping for it. So it's sort of a big time suck. And it takes a lot of time.
Secondly, we see that it's getting in the way of their lives. It's distracting them from their relationships. It may even be distracting them from their jobs.
So they're not functioning in the world as well as they usually could. Third, it's being used as a way to manage emotions.
Now, it could be used as a way to manage good emotions, to manage bad emotions, to celebrate, to cope with stress.
But it becomes the go-to place to manage any variety of emotional issues, instead of actually trying to cope with them in a more healthy way.
The fourth is that the person finds themselves craving food and wanting to eat more than they usually do.
And often, this is so they can kind of get a bigger high. It's almost like with drugs that people who use drugs will say, I used to be able to use this much,
and now I have to use this much. Food addicts will often say, you know, I used to eat maybe one doughnut. And now I'm eating more and more.
And in some ways, it's the brain's saying, give me more and more. Next, the food addict often says that I've tried to stop this over and over again.
They have numerous experiences of trying to quit. But they're not able to be successful. They say, I try. But then I kind of start eating again.
I try, and I keep thinking about it. And finally, we sometimes see that people go through an experience of withdrawal that when they cannot have the foods
they really crave-- and that's often things like sugars, fatty foods, those kinds of foods that really light up the reward centers of our brain--
they find that they're getting really grumpy and that they can't concentrate and that they're having headaches. And so because those symptoms are so icky,
they end up often eating again so they can manage those symptoms. And so withdrawal can be what often sucks them back into it. But all of those things can be warning signs.
And just having a couple of them may indicate that you, in fact, may be a food addict. [AUDIO LOGO]
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