Last Updated on August 12, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
The primary function of food is to nourish the body. It’s what humanity has done with it that often creates an obsession. Instead of a basic meal that provides vitamins and minerals, people are often enthralled with tastes and textures. For me, it’s Taco Bell. Unfortunately, it’s this obsessing over food that causes many people to gain weight and throw a monkey wrench into their health. Are you focusing too much on what you eat?
Ways to Determine When You’re Obsessing Over Food
Food plays too much of a part in the lives of many. Take my youngest daughter for example. She’ll be planning out dinner before she’s even had breakfast. It can be an unhealthy obsession especially when you focus on consuming food in large quantities. Here are a few ways that may help you determine if your obsessing about eating.
How often do you think about food?
Planning out the meals for the day isn’t necessarily obsessive. It’s when eating makes up most of your thoughts throughout the day that it may be a problem. Looking forward to dinner shouldn’t make you salivate first thing in the morning on a regular basis. It’s one thing to enjoy a meal, it’s another if you think about it all day long.
Do you hide your snacking from public view?
The moment you begin hiding when you snack is when you might have a problem. People will often do this as they feel ashamed and don’t want others to know they are eating. It’s the same function with many drug addicts. You know what you’re doing is wrong, and you have to hide it from the view of those closest to you.
Do you spend a large amount of money on groceries?
Those who have families will often have a large grocery bill. I’m talking about spending money that may be used for other things, like the electric bill. It’s easy to go wild at the store and buy things you think you’ll need. It’s when you buy four weeks worth of groceries that you think will last a couple of days is when you need to sit down and take a look at your obsession.
How often do you go into the kitchen to look for food?
A periodic snack throughout the day isn’t a bad thing. It’s when you visit the kitchen at least once an hour to look for something to eat is when it may be considered obsessing. This is especially true if you constantly peruse the shelves and fridge every 30 minutes knowing that the contents will be the same. Of course, this could also be a case of indecisiveness. A lot of times, I’ll go into the kitchen to look for something without taking food out because I can’t make up my mind.
Do you believe all meals are the highlight of your day?
Looking forward to a birthday dinner or a new recipe is one thing. But I’ve seen many people who relish in meal time as the highlight of their existence. You should eat to live, not live to eat. A lot of people will get into a habit of focusing too much on meal time as the best part of the day. It can be an incredibly difficult habit to break once you get into this mindset.
Do you get violently angry when a certain food is unavailable?
This is another one that I’ve seen for myself. If you get violent and angry because KFC ran out of macaroni and cheese, then you may have a problem. Whether it’s the fact that you had a bad day or you really love macaroni and cheese, you need to step back when you start feeling this way. The last thing you want to do is take a ride to the police station because you threw a container of potatoes at the cashier because they ran out of gravy.
Health Food Obsessions Can Also Be Bad
Food obsessions can also have a negative aspect when you’re trying to be healthy. I know of one person in particular who looks like she stepped out of the grave who refuses to eat anything with the slightest amount of carbohydrates. There is a limit to dieting, and depriving your body of the things it needs to continue functionality is ultimately bad.
I’m not saying that you should reserve yourself to munching on cupcakes all day. However, obsessing about the kinds of foods you eat when following a specific diet plan has potential to lead to ruin. For example, do you go into a panic frenzy if you can’t eat anything nearby because it doesn’t conform to your diet plan? A lot of people do. This may be an onset of an obsession.
Take the paleolithic diet, for instance. Those who follow this diet plan are removing many of the components humans use to digest nutrients while enhancing health. The argument can be made that grains and such many of us take for granted today are one of the reasons why humans live longer – as opposed to the ultra-short lifespan of paleolithic humans.
Not all diet plans will have the same benefits for everyone. As each person’s physiology is different, some diets may actually cause more harm than good. If you want to focus on a diet, customize one that can fit your health and weight needs. It’s easy to follow a diet without obsessing about it.
Being obsessed about food can lead to health problems galore. I’m not just talking about weight gain, here. The mental ramifications alone could be very damaging to your lifestyle. This is why many addiction centers include food as part of what they treat. If you have an obsession with food, seek guidance and help. More is at stake than just your body weight.