When people hear the word drug they think of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or meth. Then there are the socially acceptable drugs caffeine, nicotine and yes alcohol. And it goes even one step further, cooked food. WHAT!? How can food be a drug!
Just to prove my point go a whole day eating just fruit and tell me how strong your withdrawls from cooked food are. Nobody ever got irritable and anxious over a missed meal of blueberries. We have replaced the word addiction with craving to make it cute and socially acceptable. Anything that gives you a drug like withdrawl is an addiction.
Cooked food stimulates the reward system in your brain and releases dopamine, norepenephrine, and serotonin just like cocaine. Food scientists have mastered this drug response and are making billions off of it. It’s the perfect way to guarantee returning customers. Why do you think so many people “crave” McDonalds or Burger King? It’s an addiction that is no different than a bowl of fettuchini alfredo or chocolate cake.
MSG is a known chemical that creates this drug response also and is in tons of food we consume everyday, especially junkfood. Have you ever been hungry for something but not sure what for? It’s one of those moments when you are staring into the fridge for minutes wondering what it is that would safisfy your craving. Ranch dressing, goldfish, ramen, cambells soup, and subway all contain MSG. People love these foods for a reason. True hunger is felt deep in the throat and anything will satisfy it, even lettuce will start to look appetizing. When you say your hungry and somebody offers you food and you say “I’m not hungry for that” it’s the addiction speaking. Instead you have an image of a steamy warm bowl of cheesy macaroni in your mind.
I have smoked cigarettes, drank coffee, alcohol, taken my prescription medication adderall and I can honestly say from personal experience that it is a million times harder to go without cooked food than any drug I have taken. Something about the biological need of food to keep you alive intertwined with addiction is a recipe for maddening withdrawals. The only way to overcome any addiction is to quit cold turkey. Having an alcoholic go from 15 beers to 12 isn’t helping his recovery at all. It is not until he experiences complete sobriety that he will overcome his demons.
Addiction is all about mindset. You have to have it in your head that no matter what, you will not cave into your craving. It just can’t happen. You are the only person putting that fork to your mouth. I promise you that if a heroin addict was placed in a padded cell for an entire year he would get over his addiction eventually.
This may all sound like a hopeless circle of hell, but it is not. Overcoming food addiction is the most rewarding feeling I have ever experienced. The strength you gain from overcoming the hardest addiction know to man is amazing. Keep an eye out for triggers such as sitting on the couch watching tv, driving in your car, or stressful situations that you usually grab for that bag of chips. Begin your journey on the 80/10/10 diet and you will feel a sense of wellbeing that is indescribable. There is hope!