Eating Junk Is Like Committing Slow Suicide
“I can resist anything but temptation” a client once told me. ‘I said nodding my head. Never before has there been so much tempting variety in food that it is really hard to resist. To add to this, ours is a culture that glorifies food. Most of us live to eat. This has led to a sort of ‘food addiction’ amongst people. And addiction to food is health – threatening simply because it is the least noticed and the most common form of addiction. How many of you can pass a fast food joint and not stop by to eat some of your favorite food! ‘Simply love food’ is a statement you get to hear very often from teenagers and adults alike. What they mean is that they simply love eating junk food! No one goes ballistic over dal roti, sabji – the basic foods. But yes, eating pizzas, burgers, chocolates, the highly salted Chinese and Thai cuisines are responsible for the food addiction. Addiction to food usually goes unnoticed until it becomes a threat to health. A child who is addicted to food (read junk) may become overweight and develop problems like bronchitis, asthma, knee pain, backache, lethargy depression, and may become an introvert. An adult who is addicted to food and eats out three to four times a week may become overweight and develop type II diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol with high triglycerides and low HDL, chronic fatigue, inability to concentrate, knee joint pain etc. Eating junk is like committing slow suicide. Addiction to food is dangerous simply because it is socially acceptable and does not attract attention unlike addiction to alcohol, drugs, smoking, etc.
Why do we eat junk?
I guess it must be an innate desire to feel content. Food stimulates our taste buds. A slice of pizza, a bhel, a piece of chocolates, a particular soft drinks works on your taste buds like a lover on your body and gives you that immense satisfaction which you probably are craving for!
How else would you allow ‘junk’ to get such power over you that you tend to lose all will power and resistance?
Foods of your choice probably make you experience inner completeness and satisfaction. Getting off food addiction is probably more difficult than kicking off cigarettes or even alcohol, simply because you do not have to smoke or drink but you HAVE to eat food. It is for this reason that eating disorders like Bulimia – binging, purging, vomiting are not feeding their bodies. They are trying to fill in the emptiness within their souls in order to feel complete. Unfortunately food can only give you temporary satisfaction. It is very difficult to change these patterns because most people who are compulsive eaters know what is healthy for them but the question is do they want to eat healthy?
Health tips for compulsive eaters
- If you are addicted to ice-cream, try freezing watermelon cubes or papaya cubes and eat them slowly whenever you urge for something cold and sweet.
- Throw all junk food out of the house so that it does not tempt you. Instead keep low fat snack foods around you like whole wheat biscuits, Soya biscuits, garlic sticks, whole wheat Rusk, Soya nuts, bran biscuits etc. These foods are low fat and tasty and may satisfy your need for tasty yet healthy snacking.
- Go for a brisk walk every time you feel the need to binge. Exercise has a hormonal effect on the body and reduces food carvings.