Is Food Addiction Real or Just An Excuse For Obesity?
Posted Sep 24 2011 3:51pm
Many obese people claim that they can’t help the fact that they’re extremely overweight. Some say that certain foods cheer them up when they’re feeling down and others actually claim to be addicted to food. But is it possible to have an addiction for some foods in the same way as addicts are addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Studies by Brookhaven National Laboratory show that obese people have fewer dopamine receptors than those of normal weight. Dopamine is a chemical which is released from the brain and it is often called the happy chemical, as it gives us a feeling of pleasure.
Fatty and sugary foods cause dopamine to be released, so obese people tend to binge on these foods to get that feeling of pleasure. Many addictive drugs also cause dopamine release, which encourages the addict to want more. So food addiction is just as serious a problem as addiction to hard drugs, and it can be just as fatal.
Addiction to unhealthy foods and drinks isn’t just bad for your waist line. According to the World Health Organization, more than 2.8 million people will die each year from being overweight or obese. And obesity is responsible for illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, musculo-skeletal disorders and cancer. So if you have a food addiction it is essential that you do something about it right now.
Raising your dopamine levels is the obvious answer to curing food addiction. Unfortunately, no drugs have been developed to raise dopamine levels. Drugs are being researched but it takes around 15 years from the beginning of research, until a new drug is released. Fortunately there are natural ways to raise your dopamine levels.
Exercise is by no means the only way to raise Dopamine levels and cure food addiction, but it is one of the best ways to do it. This is because exercise not only increases dopamine levels but frequent exercise also increases the number of dopamine receptors you have in your brain. And if you’re extremely overweight and you have a food addiction this is essential, as you are likely to have a low number of dopamine receptors.
Also, exercise will help you get rid of all the weight you gained due to your food addiction. So it has a two-fold effect because it makes you happier by increasing your Dopamine levels, and you’ll also feel happy because of your weight loss.
The important thing is to choose exercise you won’t dislike or get bored with. Dopamine responds to feelings of pleasure and it’s difficult to feel pleasure when you’re doing something you don’t like.
For the greatest effects, combine your exercise routine with other proven methods of increasing Dopamine levels.
Listen to Music: Research at McGill University has shown that listening to music you enjoy can significantly increase Dopamine levels. The highest increases shown were in subjects who listened to rock music, jazz and classical music.
Get Out In The Sunlight: Lack of sunlight is one factor which causes a decrease in Dopamine levels. Getting out in the sunlight for at least 30 minutes a day will cause a significant improvement.
Improve Your Diet: There are many foods that stimulate the production and release of Dopamine. Get a list of foods from the web that are good for stimulating it. The more you introduce healthy triggering foods into your diet, the faster and easier it will be to get the junk out.
Enjoy Yourself: Remember Dopamine responds to pleasure. So make plenty of time to do activities and hobbies that you enjoy most. If you don’t have time, switch off the TV and make time to do those things you’ve always wanted to do.
Derek Carroll enjoys shopping online and writing product reviews, you can see his latest Bowflex dumbbells review , and P90x reviews at his blog, Wise-Buyers.com. He is now based in rural Ireland with his wife and children.