Food addiction vs. food compulsion

What’s the difference between compulsive eating and addictive eating? Clearly, when it comes to food, not all compulsions are addictions. If however, you’ve been historically unsuccessful at “dabbling,” moderating, or limiting yourself with certain comfort food(s) (highly palatable salty, fatty or sugary foods), you may do well to suspect a food addiction. The essential difference between compulsion and addiction is that with compulsion you don’t build a physical tolerance (requiring more and more to get the same comfort, high, or relief that you once got), with addictions, you do. Another crucial difference is that compulsive behavior is typically driven by three factors: stressful circumstances, stressful emotions and/or habits, whereas addictions to food, although they may be spawned by life and emotional stressors (and may, in fact, incorporate compulsive striving), are primarily driven by a physiological need to experience the chemical “high” associated with a dopamine surge in your brain. Putting it bluntly, addictions alter your brain in such a way that it’s not far-fetched to say that an addiction simply winds up using you as its delivery system.

#foodaddiction #foodcompulsion #compulsiveeating

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