Is it possible to be addicted to food? If so, is there a way to get free from food addiction? In this post, I am going to share some proven ways to identify food addiction and how to address it.
Unfortunately, food addiction is a real problem and for those who live with it, freedom sometimes seems unattainable. However, there is hope. You can get free from food addiction. Learn how we combine Jesus and keto and developed a healthy relationship with food.
When a person is dealing with a destructive pattern of eating it involves many factors. Rarely is it just one issue. Which is why it’s important to really get to the root of the problem if lasting freedom is to occur.
The Vicious Cycle Of Addiction
Like all forms of addiction, it has the potential to create real havoc in a person’s life. What’s more, you can find yourself easily in a classic addiction cycle, making it seem impossible to get free from food addiction.
A cycle where you feel pain and you use a food to numb that pain. Then you feel shame about using food. So, you then use food again, to numb the pain from the shame.
In order to get free from food addiction, you first need to realize the destructive cycle, you have created.
The only real solution to get free from food addiction is to address the shame and to allow the original pain to be addressed.
Food Addiction Doesn’t Happen Overnight
It may seem like your food addiction came out of nowhere. However, it’s a habit that develops over a long period of time.
You might be surprised to know that you have memories that have tied you to your food experiences. Some of these have shaped the way you look at food and it can be a challenge to change them without support.
If you grew up in a home where the “clean plate” policy was enforced, you shouldn’t be surprised when you find yourself eating everything set before you. This pattern was built-in you years ago.
A Week In The Life Of A Food Addict
Sunday rolls in and you vow that this week will be different. You promise yourself that this time you will stick to your goals of cutting out the bad carbs, and eating cleaner.
During Sunday morning service the pastor quotes 1 Corinthians 6:19, Do you not know that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.
Service ends and you leave elated because the message you just heard confirmed your decision. Staying the course on Sunday was a breeze.
Food Temptation Is Real
Then Monday arrives and with it a whole host of things that need your attention. The stress of the morning has you searching for some comfort food.
You glance at your packed lunch but it no longer appeals to you. So, you toss it and decide to skip lunch altogether vowing to eat a healthy dinner instead.
Once home you find yourself starving and realizing that you are missing some key ingredients for that healthy meal you wanted to create. Suddenly take-out sounds like a better plan. So, pizza it is. It’s ok you tell yourself tomorrow I will get back to my goals.
Guilt Consumes You
Tuesday morning you wake up with a massive headache and you are racked with guilt over last night’s pizza binge. The plan to only eat one slice failed with you eating several slices and finishing up the scraps of crust the family left behind instead.
I can’t do this you tell yourself. What’s wrong with me? Will I ever get free from food addiction?
At work, you spend the day feeling weak, ashamed and guilty about another failed attempt. Maybe next week will be better you tell yourself. You then decide that since you blew the first few days of the week, you might as well wait till next week to try again.
Unfortunately, you feel trapped in what has become a vicious cycle of destruction and you start to believe that there is no hope for you to get free from food addiction.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so you may have created a poor relationship with food that is causing your addiction.
Signs That You Have A Problem With Food
- You frequently get cravings for certain foods, even after a large meal.
- Once you give into the food craving, you end up eating much more than you intended.
- You eat the desired food until the point of feeling excessively full.
- You often feel guilty after eating certain foods, yet you can’t seem to stop eating them.
- You make all sorts of excuses as to why you should eat something that you are craving.
- You have repeatedly tried to quit eating or setting rules (includes cheat meals/days) about certain foods, but been unsuccessful.
- You find yourself hiding your consumption of unhealthy foods from others.
- You feel you have lost control over eating unhealthy foods, even though you know they are to blame for your poor health and weight gain.
According to Healthline if you can relate to 4-5 of these, then you probably have a serious problem with food. If you can relate to 6 or more, then you are most likely addicted to food.
An interesting study point to the evidence for sugar addiction and why it is a true phenomenon.
Eat To Live Not Live To Eat
Let’s take a closer look and see how food can become an addiction. Can we all admit that we don’t just eat food just for nourishment? Truth is, we eat for many reasons and herein lies the problem.
You see we use food to celebrate, to comfort us after a long stressful day and we use food as a way to remove boredom. An emotional eater will eat when happy, when sad, when angry, or when all seems well.
In other words, there is no shortage of opportunities to use food for what it was never really intended for.
What’s wrong with all these scenarios? In all these instances, we are giving food way too much power. When we turn over control to something that can never meet a true internal need, it always spells disaster.
Don’t Let Food Trap You
Food can ensnare you when you allow it to be more than it was ever meant to be. Food cannot nourish our souls, despite people calling certain foods “comfort foods” They can never meet an emotional need.
We may love how it tastes going down, but once you move away from the plate, you despise the way you feel and resent how it controls you.
The Bible teaches us to rid ourselves of anything that can trap us. “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnare us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Release The Shame
What’s worse we punish ourselves when we lose control and then eat what we know we shouldn’t in an effort to feel better.
First things first, get rid of the shame. Something we always reminded our Fittoserve Community Group, is that a poor meal choice does not define them.
Beating yourself up over eating too many carbohydrates gets you to know where and just keeps you further entrenched in the addiction to food.
We quickly remind them of the Biblical scripture found in Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. To forgive themselves and move on.
No point in dwelling on the past. Instead, we tell them to make their next meal their best one. Not their next week’s meals but their very next meal.
Stop Looking Back
It’s the constant looking back at the mistake that will literally push you over into an area where you just want to throw up your arms and give up.
This is where most people trip up. They blow their carbohydrate allowance on a Monday and then end up eating poorly for the rest of the week. Why does this happen? Guilt. When we learn to surrender our mistakes and move on, we are able to find true freedom.
Just like a parent doesn’t stop loving their child the moment they make a mistake, you don’t toss all your good choices by one food mishap.
Forgive Yourself And Move Forward
It’s important to forgive yourself and move forward. In time, your good choices will out-weigh your mess-ups. Eventually, it becomes a new pattern in your life.
Next, know your trigger foods. Inevitably, most people who struggle with food issues have certain foods that once allowed in, it’s as if a button gets stuck in their brain and a downward path to destruction begins.
Meal Plan For Success
Arm yourself properly by always planning each and every meal. This is especially important as you begin the process of breaking the food addiction. Don’t find yourself staring at an open fridge or in a supermarket aisle wondering what your next meal should be?
This pattern sets you up to fail. For someone who deals with food addiction, meal planning is a crucial and necessary step.
Choose God Not Food
Decide to never use food to medicate whatever you may be dealing with. Understand, that food was never intended to have so much leverage in your life. Instead, hand all your life issues to God.
Let Him be the one that fills your needs, not food that will always fall short.
Make a decision to allow God to help you not eat the trigger foods again.
If you suffer from any form of food addiction I urge you to find a support group to assist you on your journey to get free from your food addiction.
If you live in the South Florida area know that FITTOSERVE is a free community group birthed out of Word of Faith Global Ministries that can assist you on your journey to being whole in spirit, mind, and body.
You can learn more about our health transformation by reading our blog’s about page.
Randy’s Jesus And Keto Testimony
My husband Randy battled with food addiction for the greater part of his life.
It wasn’t until he released his battle completely over to God that he was finally set free from food addiction.
His hunger for God had to become greater than that of the foods he was craving.
In reality, Randy’s freedom is a choice he has had to make daily. Learning to deny his flesh and learn more on God is something he has done now consistently for the past four years.
Randy also discovered that with a low carb, keto food plan he was no longer craving the trigger foods that would cause him to overeat. Instead, he was able to keep his blood sugar stable and stop the constant hunger hormones to control him.
What if you feel you need the support of health professionals?
Know that there is no shame in getting assistance. Everyone can use more support in their lives and the fact that you decide to get help is something to be proud of not ashamed of.
Thankfully, there are many health professionals and support groups that can help you overcome addiction from food. In fact, some of these groups can be accessed online over Skype.
The following are some free options that are available.