With all of the media attention on the obese and overweight population and the reasons that we have such a problem getting our weight under control; it is very clear that this is not just a problem for any one certain age group or one demographic. The issue that I have always seen with any food mental health issue is that if we are addicted to a drug or even a behavior we can stop them all together. But food is essential for our being, we can’t just stop any and all eating, and when we cut way down on our calories or intake it “feels” like we have stopped eating altogether.
Another factor in food addiction is that it is a major part of our society. We feast together, sometimes we feast apart, and we lay out our food plans for the day, the week, the month. We prepare our lives in and around food, shelter and money, it is an integral part of not just us and our families, but our work environment, social lives, church, politics, anywhere you go, etc. So food has always been like our long time best friend always being there with us through thick and thin, to comfort us in good times and bad; available 24/7. And somewhere along the way we tip the scale as to how much emotion we can get from this relationship; and I believe it is there at that point that a food addiction begins and a healthy outlook on our eating behaviors ends.
One other issue that has been seen on reality TV and also with the changing economic times is that when we are starved because of diets, or reality TV contests or more recently a serious lack of funds, you start to develop almost a hoarding instinct where food is concerned. After your body and mind have really been without your favorite foods, or good nutrition, or you cut out high calories or high sodium; your body remembers and will send tons of alarms and bells and whistles that it did not like being “deprived”. A problem with this yo-yo effect is you may have done it for good reasons, but your body and mind can only remember it has been deprived and now it will take 5 Ding Dongs to make up for that empty feeling instead of your usual 2. That is why dieting never works in the long term, because sooner or later you will remember that you’ve been deprived of something and are seeking to be made whole again, it just sneaks up on you sometimes when you lease expect it.
I would strongly recommend that any changes to your diet for any reason good or bad, be made very carefully, and with a strong plan of action. Because you can be playing with fire and have side effects from your actions for the rest of your life.