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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa

Are you addicted to food?

Most of us are fond of at least one product that has the effect of a stimulant and

that eventually becomes an addiction. These products include exercise stimulant

drinks (they come in cans and look like regular pop), fizzy aerated drinks, tobacco, strong coffee, strong tea, sugar and alcohol.

Before I tell you why we shouldn’t consume these products, I’d like to deal with the

question of why we do consume them in the first place. Everyone knows that products like these, consumed in excess, can really harm our bodies. Yet, we STILL find them hard to resist. The need to eat stimulant food is a simple human weakness that has existed for ages: humans (and many animals) have always indulged in foods that give a sort of emotional high.

In clinical terms, this means rapid heart beat, a little sweating, dilation or

constriction of the pupils, a warm flush on the face, and a sense of

greater sensitivity, concentration and perception.

These sensations of ‘high’ die down within a few hours, and we are left feeling

listless and low. This leads to a craving for that food again, to experience the high

one more time. And there we are going round and round in a vicious circle. This is called the Sugar Rollercoaster- I talk about this in my Kick the Sugar Habit workshop.

The physiology of addictions is this:

When you eat an addictive food, it stimulates the hormone like substances found

at the end of your nerves, which triggers an avalanche of similar stimulatory

substances and you experience a high. As the substances near the nerves are

depleted, you get into the low phase, which leads you to crave that food again. This

yo-yo phase of nerve stimulation and depletion leads to a pattern of addiction.

Consuming addictive foods is one of the oldest unhealthy food practices and,

despite a revolution in health consciousness; it shows no signs of dying out.

Below are some side effects of certain addictive foods...

Alcohol Addiction: Erosion of stomach and intestinal lining, liver damage,

nutritional deficiency.

Tobacco: Erosion of gum and tongue can lead to cancer of the buccal mucosa.

Betel nut: Leads to the discoloration of teeth, erosion of the lining of the mouth,

and cancer of the mouth and upper tract. It also leads to heart problems among

people who already have a weak heart.

Aerated drinks: High doses of caffeine.

Caffeine and xanthine: Found in tea, coffee. These become harmful only in very

high doses; don’t consume more than five cups a day.

Sugar: Found in almost everything now, can lead to heart disease, spike your blood sugar and disables your appetite control, causes belly fat and has been linked to Alzheimer's.

Mixed drug reactions: People who consume medications for the heart,

hypertension and asthma have to be very careful about the interactions between the

drugs with stimulant foods, as mixing the two can be fatal.

After years of experience, all doctors know how difficult it is to break the food addictions of their patients. So like them, I can only advise a good compromise. If you can’t break the addiction, then at least you should practice moderation.

If you are having trouble breaking those habits- most of the women i work with have a sugar addiction- im here for you!

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