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Question
Posted by: merle | 2005/06/30

Could one be addicted to food?

I am normally very in control of most aspects in my life, and occupy a senior professional position. I run/walk 4 - 5 times a week. However, I simply cannot take control of my eating habits, and it makes me feel terrible about myself. I'm 20 kg overweight. I've been to Weighless three times, without long-term success, I've been on a low GI diet, with only short-term success, and could not stick to DietDoc's diet for two days in a row. I haven't done any liquid or very restricted diets, and have never taken any pills to suppress apetite. I still try and stick to low GI foods during the day. I eatmuesli or whole grain Pronutro with 2% or skim milk for breakfast, grapefruit and tea with milk + 1ts sugar at midmorning; canteen chicken/beef/fish with low GI vegs and green salad at lunch; self-popped popcorn or tea or fruit mid-afternoon; marmite bread/rusk when arriving home;something like microwaved vegs with Woolies lite cheese sauce for dinner; or when I'm really tired just a piece of cheese and bread....... And then it goes downhill, and after the kids are in bed I can't stop eating till I go to bed myself, emptying my cupboards like a madman, ending the evening with a cup of hot chocolate. If I ever go to the shops during the day I can't resist buying a packet of crisps or a chocolate, and over weekends nibble all the time. I truly feel as out of control as I think someone addicted to a substance must feel. With the same guilt feelings afterwards. I hide the cakes and sweets from my children (they're only allowed sweets and cake on weekends, and none of them are overweight), and then eat on the sly. I'm a single mom. Are there any safe and reliable appetite suppressants, or is there any other way in which you can help me?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Merle
I think you need to consult a clinical psychologist because you are seeking comfort from some underlying problems by turning to food. Until you have sorted out what it is that drives you to 'lose control' and also not persevere with a slimming diet, you will never succeed. There are many potential factors that could be making you 'self-destruct' (pressure at work, your otherwise strict control of your life, unresolved problems with being a single parent and all the problems that entails, etc). You are probably suffering from a type of eating disorder and that requires a team approach from a clinical psychologist and a clinical dietitian. Clinical psychologist are listed in the Yellow Pages or you can ask your gp to refer you. Check the List of Dietitians on this Website or phone 082-593-0276 or send an e-mail to sscharf@nhcltd.com or look in your local telephone directory or Yellow Pages, to find a dietitian in your area. Get professional help so that you can break out of this destructive cycle.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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