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Just like people develop an addiction to alcohol and drugs, they can also become addicted to food. Food addiction is a real behavioural disorder characterised by overconsumption of food due to a higher chemical dependency on palatable foods. Because it is one of the lesser-known types of addictions, people suffering from it are falsely labelled as lacking control and self-discipline. However, in reality, people with food addiction are at no fault of their own as this addiction is attributed to the way certain food items activate the reward system and pleasure in the brain, similar to the effects of drugs.

The nature of food addiction can force the afflicted to compulsively overindulge in food consumption and lose control over how much they eat, which is followed by feelings of shame, depression, and self-hatred. Unfortunately, most cultures across the world do not make it any easier for these people as they are called lazy, overindulgent and lacking willpower. The stigma and shame associated with the condition can make seeking treatment impossible and embarrassing. However, many addiction treatment centres now offer specialised programs to deal with food addiction in a non-judgmental and private environment.

Everybody has some guilty pleasure foods that they often crave. But at what point do these occasional cravings turn into problematic behaviours controlled by underlying chemical dependencies?

Mentioned below are some common signs and symptoms of food addiction that make the problem easier to identify:

  • Obsessively thinking about food all the time
  • Overeating past fullness
  • Anticipating rewards from overeating
  • Eating large amounts of food (up to 15000 calories in some cases) in a relatively shorter duration of time
  • Overindulging in food despite the negative consequences on body weight and general health
  • A Failure to adhere to any dietary restrictions
  • Practising entirely different eating habits in public places versus when alone
  • Experiencing anxiety, irritability, and panic attacks if food is not available
  • Losing control after eating a trigger food
  • Feeling relieved and comfortable while eating
  • Experiencing intense feelings of self-hatred and depression after binge eating episodes

If you suspect that you or someone close to you is displaying the symptoms mentioned above, know that help for food addicts is widely available in the UK through different rehab centres.

Overcoming food addiction requires a multi-step approach mentioned below:

Intake Assessment

Most rehabs offer an intake assessment to all individuals interested in joining an addiction treatment program. This evaluation is comprehensive and confidential. Every client has their own unique story and reason for seeking help, and an expert conducting the assessment enquires about these aspects. The evaluation also comprises initial stabilisation, a medical history review, a physical exam, and a comprehensive interview. This information is then utilised to form a tailored plan for each client.

The intake assessment also allows the multidisciplinary teams at a rehab to check the severity of food addiction, rule out any co-occurring disorders, and create a roadmap using food addiction recovery programs.

Choosing a Program

The data collected through intake assessment helps the food addiction experts to recommend a program that best suits every patient. Most rehabs generally offer the following levels of care in this context:

  • Inpatient treatment program
  • Outpatient treatment program
  • Residential treatment program
  • Extended-day treatment program
  • Transitional living program
  • Partial hospitalisation program

Customised Treatment Plans

This is the stage that mainly focuses on recovery. The treatment programs curated by experts are personalised to meet the unique goals of every client who walks through rehab to seek support. The treatment incorporates different traditional and innovative approaches to food addiction healing, including cognitive behavioural therapy, holistic techniques, and other effective treatment processes.

If you think that you or a dear one is living with a possible food addiction, do not wait another day. Aim for recovery and choose a rehab offering treatment to make it possible. Get in contact with our food addiction treatment specialist today for more information.

Therapy for food addiction can help an individual lose weight by reducing the frequency of binge behaviours and addressing any psychological issues related to the condition. These therapies are conducted under the supervision of a food addiction therapist and include the following:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT technique helps teach people with food addiction how their feelings and thoughts can impact their behaviour. This therapeutic approach aims to achieve moderation instead of complete abstinence and avoidance. As a part of this therapy, clients are taught how to cope with cravings while practising long-term sobriety with minimised risk of relapse.

Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)

DBT was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder but is now used commonly for overcoming addictions. Through this therapy, clients can learn how to regulate their emotions, improve relationships, and tolerate stress, minimising the desire to eat food as a stress-reliever.

Nutritional Counseling

Dieticians or nutritional counsellors teach people suffering from food addiction about cultivating healthy eating habits. Because food is essential for survival, no one can abstain from it the way they do in a recovery program for drug addiction. Hence, the goal of this counselling is to focus on eating healthily.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Many people binge-eat to cope with life’s daily stressors, such as issues in their relationships. Hence, many rehabs offer interpersonal psychotherapy to teach them healthy communication skills and enhance the quality of their support system.

Some rehabs supporting food addiction offer medications to reduce the symptoms. Some common ones among these medications include the following:

Topiramate

It is an anticonvulsant drug usually prescribed to manage seizures. However, it also plays a role in reducing binge eating episodes.

Antidepressants (SSRIs)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medications are also hypothesised to reduce the number of binge eating episodes. It is possibly due to the improvement of mood caused by these drugs in addition to the reduction in the negative feelings that often trigger binge eating.

Lisdexamfetamine (Dimesylate)

This stimulant medication is usually prescribed for the management of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, it also helps reduce appetite and has been approved by the FDA for treating moderate to severe binge-eating disorders.

FAQs

A UNIQUE METHOD

a successful and proven concept focusing on underlying causes
1 - Only One Client at a Time
2 - Privacy & Discretion
3 - Comprehensive Check-Up
4 - Tailored Program Treating Root Causes
5 - Biochemical Restoration
6 - Holistic Approach
7 - Latest Technology-Based Therapies
8 - 24/7 Live-In Counselor
9 - Private Luxury Facility
10 - Personal Chef & Diet Plan

LASTING APPROACH

0 Before

Send Admission Request

0 Before

Define Treatment Goals

1 week

Comprehensive Assessments & Detox

1-4 week

Ongoing Physical & Mental Therapy

4 week

Family Therapy

5-8 week

Aftercare

12+ week

Refresher Visit

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