You know those moments where you finish off a tub of ice cream and then ask yourself what just happened? For many people who are aware of their love for certain types of foods and binge eating, the term food addiction may come to mind. According to a review of studies in the Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, there is little evidence that food can be a substance-based addiction. However there is support that behavioral food addiction is a thing. You know those good feelings that are associated with eating? Like that happy feeling you get when you’re savoring spoon after spoon of ice cream. Many of the foods associated with behavioral food addiction are—you guessed it—high in sugar and high in fat and are highly processed foods.
If you feel your behaviors with certain types of foods makes it difficult to not stop after 1 to 2 servings in one sitting, you may want to keep those foods off your grocery list. Other strategies for overcoming binge eating include eating three meals a day, managing stress, exercising, getting enough sleep, and keeping a food diary. If you continue to binge eat, you may want to see a nutritionist or therapist for eating disorders. Therapy might include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, or dialectical behavior therapy (a combination of cognitive-behavioral techniques and mindfulness meditation). And remember, awareness goes a long way with sticking to moderation.