Signs You Might Be Addicted to Food

Photo by Artem Labunsky 

Note: this post has been edited to include community support programs, thanks to the suggestion of a dear client of mine whose life was saved by a 12-Step Recovery Program.

How many times have you tried to stop eating certain foods and been unable to stick with it for the long run, even though you are aware that your food intake is putting you at risk for chronic conditions such as obesity, cardio-vascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, etc?

How many times have you said no to an invitation or been anxious about a social event because you were worried you would not be able to control yourself about food?

How many times have you wished that you could stop thinking about food all the time? Stop agonizing over what to eat and what not to eat. Stop beaten yourself up because you felt guilty for not making the ‘right’ choices?

How many times have you wished your life wouldn’t be run by food and by your anxiety around food?

How many times have you wished you could stop being so attached to food, stop loving food so much, and stop eating for the pleasure of it rather than for nutrition only? 

Is food addiction really a thing?

Considering that substance abuse is defined as "compulsive substance seeking and continued use despite harmful consequences", do you feel that you might be addicted to food?

The concept of food addiction is still quite controversial. Some affirm that it doesn’t exist.  Yet, studies have clearly confirmed that for certain individuals, their relationship with foods can be very similar to the relationship that someone with a substance use disorder would have towards their preferred substance of use. Research even suggests that certain foods, such as processed foods with added sweeteners and fats, have the greatest addictive potential.

Food addiction is not currently recognized as a separate disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). However, it has been associated to Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa as it presents quite a lot of similarities with those disorders, such as “recurrent episodes of binge eating in which large quantities of food are consumed in a short time accompanied by feelings of a lack of control, despite physical and emotional distress.” (See source article)

Am I addicted to food?

Food addiction is a condition in which people compulsively overeat and have a strong emotional attachment to food. It is similar to drug addiction in that it involves changes in the brain's reward system. People with food addiction may experience cravings for certain foods, lose control over their eating, and continue to eat even when they are full. They may also feel guilty or ashamed about their eating habits.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to food addiction, including genetics, environment (such as childhood trauma), personality traits (such as low self-esteem and impulsivity), and also behavioral factors such as strict dieting or yoyo-dieting.

Some signs and symptoms of food addiction:

  • Eating food in large quantity even when you are not hungry
  • Feeling out of control when it comes to eating and snacking
  • Eating in secret or feeling ashamed of your eating habits
  • Strong and irresistible cravings for certain foods (especially refined starches and sweets)
  • Feeling guilty or depressed after eating
  • Trying to eliminate certain foods from your diet and always going back to them after a while, in even larger quantities (the pendulum effect)

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to talk to a doctor or therapist. They can help you determine if you have food addiction and develop a treatment plan.

Can I recover from food addiction?

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for food addiction. However, there are a number of effective treatments available, including therapy, medication, coaching for lifestyle changes, and of course, support groups such as Food Addict Anonymous.

  • Therapy can help people understand the underlying causes of their addiction and develop coping mechanisms. 
  • Medication can help reduce cravings and improve impulse control.
  • Lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are also critical as they can help eliminate the physiological triggers that lead to even more cravings and compulsive eating.
  • Last but not least, 12-Step Recovery Groups and other support programs can offer the tremendous support of a community where people share their experience, strength and hope and follow suggested steps that have proven to be successful where many other options have fallen short. Support groups can save someone’s life if they’ve tried everything.

As a certified professional food addiction coach, I cannot diagnose food addiction and cannot treat the condition. Yet, I can help you on your journey to regaining food freedom and reach your health and weight loss goals. I will work with you to understand your unique relationship with food and support you in your efforts to make lifestyle changes.

The very first step I will guide you through will be to establish healthy eating habits that allow you to nourish your body and your mind in a sustainable way that fits into your lifestyle. 

Some of my clients love cooking. Others hate it or have never used a pan in their life. The approach can’t be the same for all of them! Some of my clients work 60 hours per week and have children. Others are single and retired. Again, the approach toward a healthy lifestyle has to be customized!

I will meet you where you are and will help you take it step-by-step. 

To help you make changes that are truly matching your personal experience and your individual circumstances, I will help you identify the triggers that lead to unhealthy eating, and I will help you develop healthy coping mechanisms. I will also be there to support you every step of the way as you work towards your recovery.

If you are struggling with food addiction, I encourage you to reach out to your doctor, to a therapist, or to me or another certified food addiction coach. You don’t have to do this alone and I would be honored to help you on your journey to recovery.

Why work with a food addiction coach?

  • You will have access to expert guidance and support.
  • You will learn how to understand your relationship with food.
  • You will develop healthy coping mechanisms.
  • You will be part of a community of people who understand what you are going through.

If you are ready to start your journey to recovery, please contact me today and let’s see if we could be good match!

Start recovering from food addiction on your own

If you don't feel quite ready to work with someone, it's all good! Here are some tips for overcoming food addiction:

  • Make small changes to your diet and lifestyle. Don't try to change everything at once.
  • Find healthy ways to cope with stress and difficult emotions.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people who understand your struggle.
  • Seek professional help if you need it.

There are many resources available to help you overcome your addiction and live a healthy life. Overcoming food addiction is a challenging but rewarding journey. With time and effort, you can achieve your goals and live a healthy, fulfilling life.

You deserve it!

If you need help getting started, let me know, I am here for you if you need me. Contact me or request a FREE Introductory Consultation so that we can talk about it.

I’ll be honored to chat with you and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allon-Z! Let’s Go!

Note: some paragraphs in this article have been edited from bard


food addiction, healthy eating, weight loss

You may also like

Get More Done In Less Time
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}


None of my services or recommendations are intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease. The information I provide should not take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices. I cannot guarantee the outcome of my services or suggestions. My comments are expressions of my personal opinion only. 

Questions? Let's Talk!