11 Signs That You May Be Experiencing Processed Food Addiction
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11 Signs That You May Be Experiencing Processed Food Addiction

Issue No. 24 | Brought to you by the Addiction Reset Community – ARC
Unlocking the secrets of processed food addiction and guiding you to find freedom from food and weight obsession.

The severity of processed food addiction is often underplayed with the use of phrases like “over-eating”, “emotional eating”, “sweet tooth” or “stress eating”. Framing the problem properly can be the first step to finding solutions.


Research shows that the same signs are present in processed food addiction, that are present in alcohol and drug addiction. 


Modelled on the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria for substance addiction, here are 11 signs that you can use to self-assess for processed food addiction:

  1. You’ve eaten despite not intending to
  2. You’ve tried to cut back and have failed
  3. You spend a lot of time thinking about, planning, getting, eating and recovering from processed foods
  4. You crave these foods
  5. Eating these foods makes it hard for you to fulfil roles
  6. Eating gives you problems in relationships
  7. You’ve given up activities because of your eating
  8. You eat even when it’s hazardous to do so
  9. You eat even when you know there are undesirable consequences
  10. You eat more than you used to
  11. It hurts when you stop eating certain foods while you experience the discomfort of withdrawal



The severity of processed food addiction may be determined by the number of signs you’re experiencing. You can take the online self-quiz using the link included in this newsletter below. Your results will be emailed to you with some guidance on the next steps that you can take toward recovery.


You CAN get back control!


Within the Addiction Reset Community (ARC) our members and their journeys are important to us. We find their stories inspiring and hopeful for everybody in health recovery.


“An unexpected benefit of being in the ARC has been the changes I am making with other addictions. For years, I have struggled with compulsive spending. The financial stress caused by my overspending, coupled with the guilt and shame, would lead me right back to eating more junk. Then I would feel awful about myself and start shopping to feel better. It has been a vicious, painful cycle.


Firstly, the science of addiction that I’ve been learning in the ARC has helped me to see how these two addictions were linked and how one triggered the other. Then I am also learning how to use the recovery tools to withstand triggers and cues. Since being in the ARC, I have had much more control over my food, for much longer periods than before. Now I’m noticing how much less I feel the overwhelming urge to spend money on unnecessary things. I am so hopeful that the ARC tools and the skills I am developing will continue to free me from the grips of all my compulsive behaviors.”


Many people reach out to Joan asking for advice and assistance on how they can begin their recovery journey.

Dear Joan

I am 48 years old and have struggled with food issues since childhood. I have tried so many times to stop eating junk food and eat healthily. But I just can’t seem to stay on a healthy meal plan for more than a few weeks. Am I ever going to be able to get back control or is it too late for me?


Joan responds: 

I am so sorry for the pain you’ve experienced from struggling to gain control of your food. This is not your fault. From as far back as the 1980’s big tobacco companies have been instrumental in turning food into addictive food-like substances. Just like cigarettes, these processed foods are highly addictive and recovery takes time. 

Perhaps unlike cigarettes, where quitting on your own is often possible, it is extremely difficult for most people to recover from processed food addiction without support. The triggers to eat processed foods are everywhere. Mass marketing and social norms make it difficult to remain abstinent. Most people need an intense immersion into a recovery program. One that is rooted in the accurate science of processed food addiction and can offer training in effective techniques that retrain the addicted parts of the brain and build resistance to those triggers and cues. It is never too late for this to happen. In the Addiction Reset Community, we have people young and old, taking back control of their food as they build these skills.

Dr Joan Ifland (PhD) is a global expert on the subject of processed food addiction and is not a medical doctor. Information and response shared in this Newsletter are not intended for, and should not be construed as medical advice.

Do you have a question? Reach out to us with your questions about food addiction and recovery at  gethelp@foodaddictionreset.com

 Are you showing signs of Processed Food Addiction? Take this self-quiz to find out now!

Recent copies of Dr Joan Ifland's Blog:

Issue 01 | Issue 02 Issue 03 | Issue 04 | Issue 05 | Issue 06 | Issue 07 | Issue 08 | Issue 09 | Issue 10 | Issue 11 | Issue 12 | Issue 13 | Issue 14 | Issue 15 | Issue 16 | Issue 17 | Issue 18 | Issue 19 | Issue 20 | Issue 21 | Issue 22 | Issue 23


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