Coping with Food Addiction and the Holidays

Asheville drug and alcohol treatment centerDid you know that food, just like drugs, can be highly addictive? Believe it or not, foods that are extremely palatable actually cause dopamine to increase. As we've seen at our Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center, this "feel-good" chemical is the same one that goes into overdrive when drugs are used.

That means people who are addicted to food feel pleasure when overeating. The dopamine increase causes the brain to feel rewarded when certain foods are eaten. Just like drugs, the feeling fades and addicts are left with the need to eat again.

How To Cope With A Food Addiction During The Holidays

No matter the consequences, those who are addicted to food will continue to eat. It might cause them to feel sick, gain weight and damage their relationships with loved ones. Nothing will stop them from eating what they want.

According to, "Scientists believe that food addiction may play an important role in obesity. But normal-weight people may also struggle with food addiction. Their bodies may simply be genetically programmed to better handle the extra calories they take in. Or they may increase their physical activity to compensate for overeating."

If you’re having trouble cutting back on the amount of food you eat, the holidays might be a problem. It’s a time that revolves around celebrations and eating. There will be tons of dinners, desserts and delicious food surrounding you throughout the entire season.

Thankfully there are ways to cope with a food addiction this time of year. Below, you’ll find several tips that can help.

Consider joining a support group. Whether it’s a specific group for overeaters or just one for all types of addicts, you’ll find comfort in being with those that understand how you feel. You can also lean on them and take advice from their experiences. Working together with others in your same situation can also help you come up with a game plan for the holidays. Coping with food addiction in a time that is filled with delicious treats and dinners means being prepared for being in the middle of it all. Keep a member of the group on speed dial when you feel like you can’t handle it.

For those that are dealing with this on their own, planning ahead of time is key. Be sure to keep your distance from any buffet tables, appetizers and other foods that are easy to reach when you’re out at a party or restaurant. These are the toughest triggers to overcome. That’s why having a plan for how you’ll deal with this is important, ahead of time.

It can be useful to tell a family member or friend of your problem with overeating if you haven’t already. You can then count on their support to help keep you accountable for your decision to cut back on eating. They’ll be able to help you plan for triggers and also help you stick to your decision to not overeat.

Bringing your own food to a party can also help keep you accountable. You can eat only what you bring so that you’re in complete control of your intake. This can be worrisome for most, as you don’t want to offend the host, but consider talking with them about your problem. They’ll be understanding and supportive. You might even consider bringing your own food to a restaurant, as well. Or, call ahead to make arrangements to order only small plates.

It's important to understand that if you are unable to bring your own meals or create a plan that will help you avoid overeating, you can choose not to attend. Sometimes, places, conversations and people can create triggers. This means staying away from certain situations.

Consider rehearsing what you will say to people about your problem. This can help you know what to say. You'll also be more confident in what you're telling them, as well. There's nothing to be ashamed of but we understand that it's difficult to deal with an addiction. Nothing about it is easy. That doesn't mean however, you should have to suffer through situations that cause triggers. Rehearsing what you say to people in these situations can help.

Asheville drug and alcohol treatment centerRemember to lean on your family and loved ones during this time. It can be a great way to help you cope with an eating disorder. Below, you'll find examples of how your family and loved ones can offer assistance this holiday season.

They can help prepare foods you won't be tempted to overeat, help you explain to others what is going on and why you cannot attend. They can also work with you to avoid triggers in situations where you were expecting them.

Loved ones can help you choose which holiday events to attend and which ones to avoid. They can also attend those events with you that involve food.

Family and friends can help you come up with an escape plan when triggers become too much to cope with. They can be your getaway driver or excuse.

Those who love you are extremely patient and supportive. They'll be even more so during the holidays. Leaning on them for support is a great way to cope, even if you just need to talk. They will be there to help you in anyway they can.

Sometimes family and friends like to attend counseling meetings with you. There, they'll learn how to offer additional support, coping skills and tools that can help them better understand your situation and how to help.

Your family can help you celebrate anytime that you've been successful not overeating. Whether it's a nice, simple coffee date or going to see a movie, celebrating the victory is a great way to continue in your progress.

Loved ones will make your addiction recovery a priority. They won't make you feel bad for having to alter your normal behavior. They will do everything they can to help you succeed.

One of the best things that helps addicts cope during the holiday is self-care. It's important to take time for yourself. Exercise, eat as healthy as possible and be sure you don't become too stressed or anxious.

Are you suffering from an addiction and not sure where to turn? Don't worry, there is support and help out there. It all starts with an open, willing mindset to fight drug addiction with rehab. Trusting a facility like Legacy Freedom of Asheville is key, as well. We offer holistic options for rehab.

Affordable Asheville Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center - Legacy Freedom

If you’re suffering from an addiction and need help, consider Legacy Freedom’s alternative therapy options at our Asheville drug and alcohol treatment center. Our success rate is higher than traditional rehab facilities that require you to stay in-house until the program is complete.

We know how hard it is to beat addiction. That’s why we’ve come up with a better, more successful, program that will help.  Addiction can leave you feeling sad, lonely, and angry. You are not alone. We can help you get back on track to a healthier, happier life with affordable Asheville drug rehab. Contact our treatment center to learn more.

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