Food addiction results from uncontrollable cravings for food, such as those with large amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates. The extreme focus on eating food can negatively impact one’s quality of life. Individuals may suffer for years with weight gain and repeated diet failures. Struggling with food addiction can often feel overwhelming and treatment may seem impossible. However, at Evolutions Behavioral Health, we believe that recovery is possible with the appropriate treatment.
Food addiction is characterized by intense food cravings and compulsive eating. Ingesting certain foods, such as junk food, sugary foods, and carbohydrates becomes a way to cope with distressing feelings. Food addiction results from a complex interaction between an individual’s mind and body, as well as environmental influences. Mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD, often accompany food addiction. One’s genetic makeup and health can precipitate the development of food addiction. Additionally, brain physiology strongly influences motivation, learning and behavior.Disruption of normal brain function through various factors can lead to food and other addictions. Lastly, the social environment in which one lives has a significant influence over their behavior. Many use food to alleviate stress due to conflict with others and social pressures. Understanding and identifying the triggers of food addiction are important aspects of treatment.
Food Addiction Treatment
Dr. Mazzei’s philosophy is to work collaboratively with patients to develop customized and confidential therapies to maximize treatment outcomes. Because food addiction is a complex interaction of the mind and body, treatment typically requires multiple components, including psychotherapy (“talk therapy”), lifestyle guidance and nutritional therapy.
Engaging in psychotherapy with a therapist who specializes in health issues has been shown to be an effective treatment for food addiction. The goal of psychotherapy is to help individuals identify the causes of their food addiction, to develop the necessary skills to cope with emotional eating and treat other mental health issues. The ultimate goal is to foster positive life changes. Receiving therapy from someone trained to help facilitate changes in thinking, emotions, behavior and in relationships can help to treat the devastating effects of your food addiction. Dr. Mazzei also incorporates lifestyle guidance, so you not only overcome your food addiction, but can also go on to lead a healthy life. Additionally, she offers biofeedback and hypnosis, which can be very helpful adjuncts to treatment.
Treatment components may include: