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Are you a healthy person except for your addiction to food?
Many people just can't stop eating, but not because they suffer bulimia. People who have bulimia tend also to have problems with insight, error detection, and deferred gratification. Bulimia tends to be associated with changes in the brain that affect a set of intellectual abilities called metacognition. People who have bulimia can't "look at themselves" and change their course of action.
People who are food-addicted aren't lacking intellectual capacity. They fully understand the consequences of eating too much. They just have a strong drive to eat to much regardless of weight gain and all the problems that go along with it. It's not that they don't want to exert control. The problem is that they can't without appropriate help.
Are you addicted to food? Here are five simple questions that can give you a good idea of whether addiction is driving your weight issues.
1. Think back to the six-month period in which you put on the most weight (except during pregnancy).
- Give yourself one point if you remember being able to eat what you wanted and quit even if you still had food on your plate.
- Give yourself two points if you remember eating everything on your plate, but not needing to order seconds or fill up your plate again.
- Give yourself three points if you remember eating every morsel off your plate, and filling it up again.,
- Give yourself four points if you remember eating plate after plate of food until there wasn't anything left to eat in your kitchen or you ran out of money to order more food in a restaurant.
2. Still thinking about the same six-month period in which you put on the most weight (again, except during pregnancy):
- Give yourself one point if you remember not thinking a lot about food.
- Give yourself two points if you remember watching lots of cooking shows on TV and reading cooking magazines, and trying out recipes as your kitchen skills, time, equipment, and money permitted.
- Give yourself three points if you remember being obsessed with food, reading about it, watching programs on television about it, compelled to try out everything you saw on a cooking show in your kitchen.
- Give yourself four points if you joined a fine dining club or paid for fine dining meals with credit cards, spending more money than you could afford.
3. Now think about your cravings for specific foods during that six-month period of your life in which you put on the most weight.
- Give yourself one point if you remember being able to eat whatever you had around the house without needing to go out and buy special ingredients for every meal.
- Give yourself two points if you remember going to the grocery shop or supermarket more often than three times a week to pick out especially tasty ingredients.
- Give yourself three points if you remember going to buy groceries every day so you could make constantly changing meals.
- Give yourself four points if you remember needing to eat at different restaurants (even fast food restaurants) more than once a day just to get something different.
The quiz continues on the next page.