Fast Food Addiction or simply a Love of Good Food?
When you think of addiction, you tend to think of such things as drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, but fast food is quickly becoming something that is added to that list. The reality is that too much fast food in the diet can be just as unhealthy as having an addiction to any of those more common problems. What is it, besides the fact that there is a fast food spot on every corner that keeps people heading back for more? There are a number of different elements that play a part in building a fast food addiction, and it all begins with the ingredients.
The Science behind Fast Food Addiction
When you eat fast food, there is an almost instant satisfaction that you get from taking that first bite. It’s almost the same feeling that a smoker might get when they take the first drag on a cigarette after being unable to smoke for a while. It’s not until after you finishing eating your fast food meal that you start to feel a little disgusted with yourself for having just eaten something that you know isn’t good for you. It’s only a matter of time, though, before you start to get those cravings again, often triggered by the smells that pour out when you pass your favorite fast food joint.
Fast Food Addiction: It starts with the ingredients
We all know that fast food is packed full of fat, sugar, and salt, but it is those very ingredients that deliver that satisfying feeling when we take a bite. The problem is that the fast food chains are well aware of the effect that these ingredients have on their customers, so they actually process those ingredients, allowing them to give an added jolt of flavor that you wouldn’t get from a regular meal. They also add ingredients like casein, which is derived from milk products, and monosodium glutamate to add even more flavor power, and thus making the eating experience that much more enjoyable.
The ingredients mentioned above have been shown to cause definite structural changes to the brain when they are taken in large amounts. That is basically the definition of addiction, so it’s really not that surprising that some people would become very much reliant on fast food to get their “kicks.” It doesn’t help that the busy lifestyles of many people make fast food restaurants such a seemingly viable option. You can drive through and have a meal in mere minutes, satisfying that hunger craving almost immediately.
What you can do to break your fast food addiction
Like most addictions, fast food addiction can somewhat creep up on you without you ever really noticing that it is happening. I did three things to break my fast food addiction: 1) I always made sure to leave the house on a full stomach, 2) I made sure to bring healthy snacks and water with me to ward off any impulse cravings and 3) I made took Shakeology every day. This was a necessary step because I had to realize that we have become something of a fast food society, and with so many people doing it, there is the belief that it’s okay to go to a fast food chain and eat every day. It’s when that habit starts to affect your health that the real problems can begin. If you find that you have regular cravings for fast food, or that your mood changes when you can’t have it, you could have an addiction that will need professional help or support from friends to fix.