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Food Addiction Explained: Part 1

Let’s talk about food addictions.

Food addictions are incredibly similar to drug addictions, even if they operate on a lower risk / reward level.

All addictions are habit loops that form within the brain due to positive reward feedback. It doesn’t matter if you abuse food, alcohol, or amphetamines, sex, gambling—all of them hit your pleasure centers in the same way. The only difference is the extent to which they hit your pleasure centers, which is why it is much easier to reach into the abuse category of drugs and alcohol when compared to foods.

This is where most people miss the train. They think that addictions are a brain disease or the result of something that is inherently wrong with them. That’s simply untrue.

Addictions are just very powerful habit loops. That means you can break addictions by simply engaging in alternative behaviors until those old habits are no more. This doesn’t mean it is easy. Just because you CAN change, doesn’t mean it is easy.

However, having the mindset that you can change and acknowledging that you can change is critically important to actually changing. Food and drug addictions hit the same pathways in the brain, and those pathways are designed to set up habit loops that keep us seeking beneficial stimuli. There isn’t anything wrong with you. You are perfectly normal and your brain is fantastic at pathological over-learning.

Bottom line: Addiction is normal, and it isn’t permanent.

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