Alice J.Katz

Overcoming Compulsive Eating

Compulsive eating is just one type of addictive behavior. Alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, and caffeine use are other common additions. Both psychological and chemical factors contribute to them. Using these substances triggers a physical desire for more, and overuse leads to physical dependency.

Some compulsive behaviors have a psychological basis only. For example, compulsive spenders buy on impulse and cannot save their money. Compulsive gamblers don't stop when they run out of money; they may steal to continue. Compulsive cleaners become upset by any disarray and spend hours keeping everything in order. Compulsive savers never throw anything out.
Both psychological and chemical factors contribute to compulsive eating behavior. When you eat some chocolate, caffeine, or sugar your body needs more. Sugar and carbohydrates elevate your blood sugar level; when that level drops, your body needs more to elevate it again.
However, despite the chemical factors that complicate compulsive eating, this behavior is primarily a psychological problem. Compulsive eating is any eating done in response to your mind instead of your body. Your body will respond to hunger and internal cues, but when you eat beyond the point of satisfaction, it is your mind that keeps you going. When the contributing psychological factors are very strong, even the knowledge that a certain food is harmful may not be enough to prevent your eating. Since total abstinence from food is impossible, compulsive eating is the most difficult addiction to overcome.
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    Nurgul Tokzhanovahar citeretfor 6 måneder siden
    The bulimic thinker
    The true bulimic binges and purges. The bulimic thinker is a binger-starver, following the same principles. At times, maybe once a week, or once a day, the binger-starver eats to the point of discomfort, then regrets it and either diets or fasts. She has a distorted body image and sees herself as fat, but she is less secretive about what she does. If your weight yo-yos because you are always “on” or “off” a diet, you fit in this category.
    Nurgul Tokzhanovahar citeretfor 6 måneder siden
    • Feelings: being angry, lonely, tired, even happy can lead to eating if you think that food will make you feel happier or better.
    Nurgul Tokzhanovahar citeretfor 6 måneder siden
    Associations and memories: being given ice cream as a child after a hospital stay, for a birthday, or as a reward for good behavior, or being given cookies when you cried may lead you to want them now. When you have them, they stir up fond memories.

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