Lucy   BlubberBusters Tips from Lucy
(Click here for past week's tips)

Conquer Your Food Addiction

More than just a matter of will power

Many kids ask how they can muster up the will power to take action in losing weight. When it comes to kicking an overeating habit, however, using will power may not be enough. Some kids develop a very STRONG attraction to certain kinds of foods. You may have heard or know someone who is addicted to smoking or alcohol. Some people show similar weaknesses for certain foods. Examples of common problem foods include:

Ray of Ice Cream Desserts

chocolate bars
french fries
ice cream
soda pop

Although the above foods are most frequently listed by kids on this website, some kids report having particular weaknesses for such foods as ketchup, chicken strips, milkshakes, and other treats. However, all these foods have something in common - they are either sweet, salty, high in fat, or a combination of these sensations.

Among scientists, addiction is defined when three or more of the following characteristics show up in a person. An example of how food addiction relates to each characteristic is given in the list below. Can you relate to any of these problems?
  • Tolerance - eating more and more junk food to get the same feeling of satisfaction
  • Withdrawal - feeling antsy, headaches, intense cravings, and other withdrawal symptoms for at least 2 weeks after removing the problem food completely from the diet
  • Using large amounts of a substance over a long period of time - eating excess food for months and years, even starting in early childhood
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down - failing to reduce the amount one eats despite multiple attempts to do so
  • Time spent in obtaining the substance replaces social, work, or recreational activities - no time is left for events that don’t involve food
  • Continued use despite unpleasant consequences - overeating persists even though one knows they will suffer the associated problems with being overweight or obese (such as Diabetes Type 2)

MRI of Brain Further evidence that food addiction is similar to drug and alcohol addictions can be found in medical images, called MRIs. These MRIs show that brains of overweight and obese people display a pattern that is more similar to people with drug addictions than someone with no addictions.

Now you know that kicking an overeating habit may require not only will power, but also dealing with a possible food addiction. Conquering food addiction habits requires recognizing that you have one in the first place. Then you can prepare to deal with the withdrawal symptoms in a manner that will give you the best chance for success. If you can relate to being a food addict, then review these two steps when you are ready to lose weight.
Pinned Gingerbread Man

  1. Recognize withdrawal symptoms:
    feeling uncomfortable
    sensation of skin crawling
    cravings for food

  2. Learn to identify and cope with the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms:
    Asian Girl with Arm Raised on Red Rocks- build a support system by talking with friends or family in person, on phone, or online
    - know and avoid triggers such as TV commercials
    - drink lots of water
    - focus on quitting one or two problem foods at a time, not all of your weaknesses at once
    - plan for distracting and fun activities in advance for when you experience cravings
"Ice Cream Sun Ray" and "Gingerbread Man with Pins" Images courtesy

Let us know what you think of this tip.
Please vote only once. Thank you.

Dislike                           To see results without voting click here.
No opinion
Please type any comments you may have about this tip.

Your age     height    weight (lb   kg )   female   male

Make this a healthy week!

(Click here for past week's tips)

Please ask your healthcare provider if these tips are right for you and please read our disclaimer.

Home Pre-Teens Teens Parents eCare