The problem with a particular type of disorder is that it becomes a habit that cannot be controlled and the person is swayed by impulse. Unlike alcohol or drug addiction, food addiction is not widely recognized though compulsive eating is a serious problem faced by many.
How do you know?
People often playfully say that they are just foodies when in fact they are facing a serious issue. Some of the ways you can identify if your love for food is a disorder or not by mulling over a few signs –
- Are you constantly preoccupied with thoughts of food, even after you have just eaten?
- Do you binge on food which you know is not healthy for you?
- Do you overeat to the point where you start feeling sick or nauseated?
- Do you hide food or your binging from others?
- Do you feel guilty or emotionally depressed after eating?
- Do you completely lack self-control when there is food lying in front of you?
- Do you repeatedly eat to create the pleasure and comfort associated with it?
- Do you get irritated or feel angry when you are denied an opportunity to eat?
- Do you face ailments such as headache, depression, irritability or insomnia?
- Is food your stress buster and emotional anchor?
If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, then you my friend, have a problem.
A Problem Need to be Solved
Every problem has a solution, and the first step to overcome an eating disorder is to accept that it is a problem and then move on to address it. You can try and exercise self-control and make a conscious effort to stay away from food by planning your day in a manner that you will be distracted at all times. Or, if you are not very confident, then consult with a doctor. They will do a complete medical examination and prescribe a diet and alternate lifestyle which will be balanced with exercises.
Some lifestyle changes you can adopt are –
- Eat healthy substitutes, so opt for an energy bar in place of a bar of chocolate
- Use moderation even when you indulge yourself, so instead of grabbing the bag of chips, pour some in a small bowl and have it
- Eat only when you are hungry and just enough to kill the pangs
- Plan your meals in advance to avoid eating out
The direct effect of eating disorder is weight gain and obesity. This can lead to illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure, heart diseases, etc. Accepting your weakness and deciding to kick some old habits is half the battle won.