It might sound surprising to you, but what you love is fact is the feeling that food gives you — and this could be relief, pleasure, or comfort. Food activates the pleasure centers of the brain and leads to the release of some brain chemicals called dopamine. This brain chemical is released as associated with pleasure and reward, so whenever we do something rewarding and pleasurable, we end up wanting more of it. 

If you’re concerned about why you love eating food so much, please know there is nothing particularly wrong with you. You may be using food as an escape from difficult emotions or temporary difficult situations, which makes you associate food with something good. 

Also, read – Why do I feel hungry after eating?

Besides, most foods available nowadays are created deliberately good tasting, so that people crave more of them. There are now so many additives and innovative recipes that help food producers stand out on the market and attract more customers. So liking the food we eat is a natural and normal response to what’s available for us to consume. 

If you’re still thinking ‘Yes, but I love food so much that I cannot stop eating and this has nothing to do with how it tastes, perhaps you’re relying too much on food to cope with some emotions you might be feeling:

Some questions that you want to ask yourself to dive deeper into your relationship with food are:

  • What does eating mean for me? 
  • Why do I love food so much?
  • In what situations am I most likely to overeat? 
  • What physical sensations and emotions get triggered when I eat something tasty? 
  • What do I associate food with it?

Some tips that can help you break the association between food and comfort are:

  1. Stick to your main meals and delay ‘comfort foods’ for as long as possible during the day
  2. Have set days when you reward yourself with food (such as over the weekend only)
  3. Try to perceive food as a source of nourishment, and not as a coping mechanism
  4. Experiment with introducing days when you have no dessert or comfort food. This will help you decrease the association between food and comfort.

Asked by: Jane P.

CBT Psychologist / Cognitive Neuroscientist

Teodora is a cognitive neuroscientist with a background in Psychology and Integrative Psychotherapy. She has experience working in clinical trials with Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients and adults with various mental health diagnoses. She has an integrative approach towards mental health and aims to help people recognize the importance of physical, emotional, and spiritual health to their overall mental wellness.