You may know of the benzodiazepine drugs Valium and Xanax. They are highly addictive drugs that help you to feel good by boosting a calming neurotransmitter in the brain. This then activates dopamine, the gratification hormone. Did you know that a study has found extracts of wheat and potatoes contain pharmacologically active benzodiazepines? The identical brain “reward pathways” are used by the psychoactive drugs and the wheat and potatoes! This may explain why intense food addictions can be as strong as drug addictions!
Certain people may also be more susceptible to this “addiction”. Another study has found that people with higher levels of dopamine in their brain tend to be more prone to addictive behaviour – the addiction could be a drug or simply food.
So how do you break this addiction? It is important to stop eating certain carbs (not all – wholegrains, legumes, vegies and fruit stay!) to stop this “addiction”. You need to replace the carbs with protein and good fats. Our highly successful weight loss program can help you to do this. In general, the cravings for carbs reduce or disappear within a week. Exercise (even a 15 minute walk or jog around the block), emotional support and help with blood sugar imbalances also help food addictions.