In this article, you will discover why you’re obsessed with food and how to overcome food obsession.
Food obsession can present itself in two ways: emotional or physical, or both. Either you cannot stop thinking about food, or you cannot stop eating it.
When you are obsessed with food, you find that you schedule your day around mealtimes. You can hardly focus on your work, family and social life. Your mind is dominated by food thoughts like when will I eat? how will I eat? will I be able to control myself? why did I eat that much/little? etc.
Being obsessed with food should be a huge cause for concern because if not checked, it might pave way for serious eating disorders. But first, how does one end up being obsessed with food?
Why You’re Obsessed with Food
1. You Are Making Unhealthy Food Choices
If you have made a habit of eating all the wrong things this world has to offer, you will definitely develop an obsession with food.
Junk food laden with sugar and carbohydrates usually spikes your blood sugar levels. But this high is only momentary. When the blood sugar dips, your energy levels sink and you start craving junk food again.
This is how you end up in an unending cycle of obsessing over foods and spending even more time regretting your latest binge session.
2. You Have A Negative Body Image
Negative body image contributes a lot to your relationship with food. And it does not just affect overweight people.
Regardless of your body size, you can still feel bad about and it may cause you to be obsessed with food.
If you are slim and people keep complimenting you on how great you look, you might develop an aversion for food so you do not lose your ‘great’ body.
If you feel you are too slim, you may want to eat more so as to gain weight, hence being preoccupied with food.
An overweight person, on the other hand, may dislike food and push herself into starvation.
Mostly, food obsession has to do with how you feel, which is influenced by how you look.
3. Your Current Diet is Very Strict
You know the way forbidden fruits, taste better? Forbidden foods seem better.
When you are on a strict diet that forbids certain food groups, you may start obsessing about these foods.
Moreover, your body could be signaling that it needs these foods to do its job. If you cut carbs out of your diet, for instance, you will have a hard time not thinking about them.
4. Food is Your Escape
Food obsession for most people results from the inability to deal with problems in their personal lives.
If you feel overwhelmed or sad, you might find that you think about food more, a phenomenon often referred to as stress eating.
You eat in order to shut down other feelings and emotions. It is very escapist and nothing good ever comes out of it.
5. You Just Stopped Dieting
Certain diets require that you adhere to certain eating times, specific portions, specific foods. They lay ground rules generally.
When it is time to leave these diets behind, and all the rules are off. Most people take this as an invitation to do as they please when it comes to food.
When you are confined to a certain set of rules and suddenly, they do not apply, the need to explore can lead to an obsession.
It is, for this reason, most people who lost weight through dieting gain it back as soon as they go off the diet.
6. You Eat for Fun
Yet another reason you are obsessed with food is that you eat for pleasure.
Do you enjoy eating food the same way people enjoy hobbies such as playing video games?
Of course, in such a scenario you will spend all your free time thinking about food, plotting recipes, eating around the clock and feeling upset when you cannot access food. There are obvious symptoms of someone obsessed with food.
7. You’re Obsessed with Weight Loss
There is really no cap on how concerned you should be with attaining good body weight. But there is a fine line between normal concern with your food intake and obsessive nitpicking of your food.
Obsession with weight loss is the reason some people take so long to decide what to eat. It also causes others to overanalyze everything they eat instead of enjoying the meals.
Now that you know what causes food obsession, how can you overcome it?
How to Overcome Food Obsession
Avoid junk at all costs
You have heard this before but we are saying it again. Junk and sugary foods release the same hormones as drugs and gambling. That is why you get obsessed with food trying to sustain that temporary high.
Do not go on another diet
In your current state, going on a diet will do you more harm than good. Cultivate a healthy relationship with food and attain some level of stability. Then start making healthier food choices day after day.
Practice intuitive eating
Be mindful and present when you eat and only eat when you are hungry. If food is your favorite pastime, get involved in an intensive activity to take your mind off food.
Follow these mindful eating tips to avoid overeating.
Resolve your emotional issues
Do not let fear, avoidance, and negative self-worth confine you to eating. See a therapist if you must, or create a habit of taking part in physical exercise to vent instead.
Simply running a mile a day can help you manage stress.
Manage your transition
If you are on a diet, do not quit cold turkey. Transition slowly and be very disciplined while at it. You might need the help of a nutritionist to help you form healthy eating habits you can sustain long-term.
The Bottom Line
Obsession with food is a double-edged sword – either you like food too much or you do not like it at all.
Instead of obsessing over calories, focus on the nutritional value of the foods you’re eating. When you do that, it’ll be much easier to maintain healthy eating habits without food obsession.
I’d also recommend you add exercise to your daily routine. Doing these 15-minute workouts in the morning will reduce your obsession with food and lead to healthier diet choices later in the day.