Are You A Food Addict? Here's How To Fight Your Addiction

by The Z Living Editors

Imagine an infinite banquet of your favorite food. That feels good to picture, right? But what if you couldn’t stop eating from that banquet table? What if you ate as much as you possibly could, until you felt sick? This is how food addiction works: It’s way too much of a good thing.

Z Living's newest original unscripted series The Big Fat Truth (premiering June 11) is on a mission to find some big fat truths about weight loss and food — starting with why so many people regain the weight they've lost. And one big reason, for both show participants and everyday Americans, is food addiction. Check out more about The Big Fat Truth here, and find out where you can watch.

The Big Fat Truth's Premiere Episode Centers Around Food Addiction

In the first episode, host and creator JD Roth, the former executive producer of The Biggest Loser, will be bringing back a few participants from various seasons of the show. Collectively, the six former Biggest Losers had lost over 630 lbs! Unfortunately, they gained the weight right back — and then some — after the cameras were off. Check out a clip from the premiere episode here.

Now, the cameras are back on, and in The Big Fat TruthRoth attempts to help Ryan Benson (once a Biggest Loser winner!), Mallory Bray, Curtis Bray, Brittany Aberle, Ramon Madieros, and Jessica Limpert lose the weight again by gaining healthy habits.

One of the huge obstacles in the way of their weight loss is their addiction to eating, with certain foods being particularly hard to quit. So how can Roth help them — and all of us — learn to kick our food addictions? Catch The Big Fat Truth to find out. 

Also on Z Living: Can 6 Former 'Biggest Losers' Lose The Weight They've Regained?

So What Is A Food Addiction?

Food addiction, like any other addiction, refers to a pattern of behavior in which a person can’t get out of a feedback loop that involves a reward, despite the harmful consequences of that behavior. Binge eating and overeating can lead to weight gain, depression, heart problems, and various other negative outcomes that have adverse effects on one’s health.

So why can’t people stop doing it?

Also on Z Living: Our New Show Isn't Just Changing Bodies, It's Changing Lives

Here's How Food Addiction Works:

Studies have shown that people with a food addiction have less activity in the part of the brain that regulates self-control, especially when confronted by triggering images of fatty comfort foods, like pizza or burgers. Foods high in fat, salt, and sugar are considered addictive substances when consumed in high quantities. People with food addiction issues report feeling hungover and sluggish after binge eating, lacking the energy to exercise or do work, which adds to the issue of food addiction.

How Can You Tell If You’re Addicted To Food?

It’s complicated to discern whether you’re seriously struggling with a food addiction or if you’re just struggling with your diet itself. One way to tell is to take this food addiction quiz, which has been widely shared after being designed by Yale researchers in 2009. You can also consult with your doctor to see if your relationship to food is troubling, which will help you decide whether or not your psychological relationship to food requires more examination.

Also on Z Living: This One Tip Can Help You Stop Emotional Snacking

How To Stop A Food Addiction

In order to stop your food addiction for good, start by making a list of the most unhealthy foods you regularly eat. Keeping a food journal for a week is an easy way to do this. After this, try to slowly replace these foods with healthier alternatives. If you find that you eat a lot of sugar, for example, replace those sweets with healthy sweets, like berries and other fruits. Find new snacks to use as your rewarding foods, that way you don’t have to kick your addiction cold turkey.

Similarly, fatty foods — like pizza or fried chicken — can be replaced with good fats, like avocado, small amounts of cheese, and hearty chicken salads with plenty of greens. If you’re having trouble kicking the habit, seeking help from a nutritionist or psychologist is definitely a smart move. No matter what, if you seek out healthy alternatives for the foods you’re addicted to and make replacements as often as you can, you’ll find your cravings going away in no time.

Catch The Big Fat Truth Sundays, premiering June 11, only on Z Living.

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