For someone with a food addiction, will they eat because they’re unhappy and food seems like an aid to that problem?
People can develop a compulsion or addiction to overeating for a number of reasons. Some people have a genetic disposition to develop addictive behaviors, for example. Sometimes people are struggling with stress and anxiety and even trauma and overeating allows them to avoid the pain associated with these conductions, if only momentarily. And then there are the chemical reasons, when certain ingredients in food – especially fat, sugar and salt – stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain and release “happy hormones” such as dopamine.
What guidance or help would you recommend?
People who struggle with overeating and weight gain should speak with their physician or other healthcare practitioner. Suffering in silence will not lead to a cure for such health challenges and there are treatments available these days, including relatively new medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy.
If someone manages to resolve that mindset and overcome the addiction, how can they be sure not to slip back into bad habits?
There are very few permanent solutions for what are often behavioral conditions, such as overeating. For that reason it’s imperative that those who have a food or a drug addiction be diligent in controlling their daily consumption, try and exercise and also visit with their doctor if what they are doing is not working.