Junk Food Withdrawal

Posted by in Lessons Learned

junk food withdrawal symptomsThe anxiety and depression you feel after giving up your favorite guilty indulgence may not be all in your head. Junk food withdrawal is real, based on findings from a study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

In experiments done with mice, the researchers found that a change from high fat diet to a healthy one lead to these negative symptoms. They theorized that this discomfort may fuel a vicious cycle that perpetuates bad eating habits.

Junk Food Withdrawal

The concept of food addiction is not new. Researchers from Yale University proposed the concept of a food addition scale to determine what is behind such behaviors. It doesn’t take a lot to realize that something happens in your body when you change your diet.

If you regularly eat sweets or drink pop (soda for you non-Midwesterners), try going off of it for a few days. Or if you’ve attempted the Atkins diet induction stage, you know very well how a lack of carbs affects your feelings of satiety. You may be experiencing junk food withdrawal.

Overcoming Your Obsession

Researchers are reluctant to call it an addiction in the same sense that one is addicted to cocaine or cigarettes, for example. From personal experience, I can give you my perspective.

I grew up in a household where eight-packs of 16oz bottles of Pepsi, Coke, or RC were a staple. I drank pop a lot as a kid. I can’t remember why I made my choice, but sometime in my early 20s, I gave up pop—for good. Going cold turkey worked best for me.

The Experience

While I don’t recall any junk food withdrawal symptoms, other experiences with giving up unhealthy foods leads me to believe something happened akin to them.

Do I miss pop? Hell, no! In fact, I cringe when I have something overly sweet. It just doesn’t taste that good to me anymore. Anecdotal evidence suggests it takes about two weeks to get over your sugar habit.

I won’t lie to you. Every now and again, I have a relentless craving for sugar. That explains the gummi bears I bought the other day. The fact is that you can give up the unhealthy foods in your diet. Yes, there will be pangs. Yes, you may experience junk food withdrawal. But think of what you gain—or lose, as it were.

The 200-odd calories in a bottle of pop are much easier to forgo than walking two miles to burn off the same amount. It’s an effective and simple way to jump start weight loss. Just realize what’s going to happen and prepare yourself mentally for the hurdle. You’ll get over it though. I promise.

http://roadtowellness.weborglodge.com/By Chris DR

photo credit: Quack the Wooley Duck via photopin cc