Since my post about addiction a couple of weeks ago, I started to think a lot about crisps and my rich tea biscuits. I thought for days that maybe… maybe I am as susceptible as any other people in this planet.
Food might not sound as deadly as nicotine, or alcohol — unless of course, you are allergic to it — but, we have established that you can basically get addicted to anything that makes your brain released that happy chemical, right?
So, what if I do have food addiction?
After a bit of digging, I found out that I am not just making it up. Food addiction is a thing. Not only that, apparently there’s another thing which usually talked about while discussing about food addiction: Binge Eating Disorder.
So what are they and what’s the difference?
Like any addiction, food addiction involves the production of dopamine, and how it affects our ‘wants’. It is normally tied to a specific food type — usually ones which are palatable and high in either fat, salt, or sugar.
Like rich tea biscuits. For example.
This also means that people with food addiction will have that ‘crave‘ when they are not consuming these food. That is why food addicts would require some specific type of food for a fix.
BINGE EATING DISORDER
According to NHS, Binge Eating Disorder falls in the category of eating disorder — along with bulimia and anorexia. However, some psychologists might not agree with this classification one hundred percent, as the symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder is closer to compulsive disorder — as in eating compulsively.
Classification aside, Binge Eating Disorder is less about the food, but more about the mental state of the person with the disorder.
What happen with people suffering from BED, is that they would eat too fast, too much, and sometimes ignoring the full signal from their body. This would later on followed with guilt and shame because the sufferer would feel as if it is their fault for not having a self control over food.
Both food addiction and binge eating disorder can lead to either weight gain or difficulty to lose weight. Albeit for different reasons.
People with Binge Eating Disorder might struggle with weight loss because they just eat compulsively. The amount of food they are eating in one sitting might make up for a three day calorie budget, and they can’t even stop. While people with food addiction might not eat that much at one time, but because of the type of food which cause addiction are usually high in fat, sugar, or salt content… the food addict can easily go over budget from little nibble every now and then for their craving fix.
I think the main difference is how the brain perceives the food which are being consumed. With food addicts, they want the fix, or the feeling of satisfaction and happiness when a certain food is consumed. While with binge eater, the brain cannot process satisfaction and the compulsion overrides the brain function to feel enough.
Now back to my rich tea… I think I am just overreacting. Food addiction and Binge Eating Disorder are very real, and people are really struggling with these. My rich tea problem is nothing close to it, and calling it rich tea addiction seems to take this serious problem too lightly…
IF you think you have a problem with food addiction, or binge eating disorder, and you think that is the reason why you are struggling to lose weight… my advise is for you to see your GP. At least in the UK, your GP will take this seriously and will be able to refer you to the right direction.
I hope this is helpful,