Everyone's heard of Alcohol Anonymous but have you ever heard of Overeaters Anonymous? I had not until I read the article by Patricia Prijatel in the summer Heart Healthy Living magazine. I tried to find the article online but couldn't so I will paraphrase for you (although like I said before, I strongly suggest you pick this magazine up!)
The article is called "Mind Over Stomach: How to fight food addiction" and it's very interesting. Here is an exerpt:
What is compulsive overeating?
Compulsive overeating, sometimes called food addiction, is a complex problem that requires more than a simple diet or exercise regimen to solve.
"It's like an alcoholic with a drink," says Tricia Walker, manager of weight management services for Vista Health Systems in Vernon Hills, Illinois. "You can't do without the food of choice: chocolate, pizza or doughnuts."
Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who has directed much of the brain research on obesity, says that the food-addicted brain responds to food high in sugar, salt and fat. Sugar can cause the same type of brain activites that occur in the brains of people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
In essence, certain people's brains have a different reaction to foods high in those trigger ingredients. Instead of being satisfied with a normal portion, the food sets up a craving in the person's brain.
Yikers! Could that be part of the reason I've been so unsucessful all these years losing the weight? I went to Overeaters Anonymous's website to check it out. They give 15 questions to answer to determine whether you have a problem with food. Here is the information they have on their website, ask yourself these questions honestly before scrolling down to the end to get the results. You might be pretty surprised.
- Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
- Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?
- Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
- Do you give too much time and thought to food?
- Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?
- Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?
- Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?
- Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?
- Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?
- Do you resent others telling you to “use a little willpower” to stop overeating?
- Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet “on your own” whenever you wish?
- Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than mealtime?
- Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?
- Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?
- Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?
OK, I answered yes to way more than three questions. Yikes again. I don't know if I'm ready for a face to face meeting just yet but I was surprised at how many there are around the Salt Lake Valley. I think it's something I'm going to look into.