Ending a Toxic Relationship With Food

young lady eating pasta

Toxic relationship with food?

Having a toxic relationship with food can be a common theme on a lot of weight loss social media forums. Are you one who has one too?

I was watching a video the other day of IFBB Professional Bodybuilder Greg Doucette  where he was discussing the absurdity of having a relationship with food. He made a point in a question that reverberated with me, “How do you have a relationship with food?”

I have heard this term, but never paid it much mind.

You might think it is just words in a term, but are they?

Does it do you any good to talk to your food? Can your food bring you a lasting satisfaction in life?  What kind of companion exactly is your food?

I have thought about this term, and believe we should stop referring to having a relationship with food and just call it what it is. This relationship that is so hard for people to part ways with is an addiction no matter how you look at it.

You and I both know that this “toxic relationship” is not with healthy foods. Healthy foods cannot be toxic. No, we are talking about foods loaded down with added sugar and unhealthy fats. These toxic relationships with foods are ones we cannot imagine ever giving up. We crave these foods in that relationship. These foods are what we turn to when we are stressed. Celebrations almost always involve sugary foods such as cake and ice cream. Comfort is temporarily found when we consume foods with added sugars.

Eating sugar releases opioids and dopamine in our bodies

If we changed out the word food with the word alcohol in the preceding paragraph, what would we now call this toxic relationship? If you answered addiction, you can move to the front of the class. We do not have toxic relationships with food, we have addictions to poor food choices. That craving you get for sugary foods is the same as an alcoholic gets for a drink. Alcohol also causes the release of dopamine. When you first quit drinking, the lack of dopamine and diminished receptors can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Is this not also how we feel when we first kick sugar from our diet?

Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more. This is an addictive behavior, it is not a relationship with food my friends. Every time we consume sugary foods, we are causing the brain to become increasingly hardwired to crave more sugar. We build up a tolerance like we would with alcohol or any other drug.

Obese man eating chips

Sugar is also much more prevalent, available, and socially acceptable than amphetamines or alcohol, and therefore harder to avoid.

Is it no wonder how obesity is now so prevalent in our society? It used to be that people of a healthy weight were the majority, now the reverse is true.  Today, in the United States, 36 percent of adults are obese. Another 32.5 percent of American adults are overweight. In all, more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.

Obesity affects 1 in 6 children in the United States.

Around 17 percent of American children ages 2 to 19 are obese. That’s more than 12.7 million American children. One in 8 preschoolers is obese. Children who are overweight or obese are five times more likely to be obese or overweight adults than children of normal weight. This can increase their risk for many chronic diseases and health complications.

If your child has a weight problem, is it a toxic relationship with food?

Or, is it an actual health problem that needs to be taken care of?

Obesity is a medical condition that happens when someone has an excessive amount of body fat. Having too much body fat can increase the risk of getting additional health problems, and it can cause health problems of its own. No amount of the fat acceptance movement is going to change these facts.

Being obese can hinder your quality of life and that of your loved ones. Being overweight or obese will bring about serious health consequences like developing heart disease, strokes, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint problems, and sleep apnea.

  • There are more than 2.8 million hospital stays every year in the U.S., where obesity is a cause or contributing factor.
  • Approximately 300,000 people die from obesity in America every year.

Why is obesity so prevalent today?

There are many reasons why obesity has become so common. People are eating more processed and high-fat foods that also contain added sugars to make them more palatable. They are eating larger portions, exercising less, and they’re spending more time in front of electronic screens.

Weight Loss Tips for 2021!

If you are overweight, it is not because you have a toxic relationship with food. It is because you have developed a lifestyle centered around foods of an addictive nature and you do not move your body enough to compensate for all the extra calories you are consuming.  By following our entirely free weight loss plan you can lose those extra pounds. Through all of our informative articles, you can learn all about nutrition and how it affects you. After all, the more informed you are, the more likely you are to succeed.

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