A recent study suggests that food can be as addictive for some people as heroin. The researchers found that when showing a group of 48 healthy young women images of ice cream, the women who had three or more food addiction symptoms experienced more brain activity in regions associated with substance dependence. Scary, huh?

Addictions aren't simple, but there is help. Admission is the first step to recovery. So how do you know if you're addicted to food? Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Obsessive thoughts about food
  • Anxiety about eating that usually results in continued eating
  • Eating when you're not hungry or when you're upset
  • Worrying frequently about overeating
  • Eating just because food is around
  • Eating large amounts quickly
  • Eating until you feel sick
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed after eating
  • Hiding food to binge on it in secret later
  • Trouble functioning because you're either overeating or trying to control it

If you or someone you love is suffering from food addiction, most important is seeking a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. Your next step should be a diet plan that helps you control your level of desire, no matter the situation. That's why a meal delivery plan would be best for you: It sets you up with pre-made food for all your meals, taking out the guesswork. Here are our top picks for online diet programs that can help you improve your relationship with food and overcome food addiction:

online-diet-programs-food-addiction

Bistro MD: This is easily the best option for anyone suffering from food addiction, and it's also our top taste choice for lunches. Fully cooked meals — even snacks should you decide to include them — can be delivered to your door every day for $179.95 a week. Just pop them in the microwave, and enjoy! You also have phone access to a dietitian if you need it. Click here to sign up with Bistro MD and save $75 off your first order with coupon code LuckyBistro75.

Diet-to-Go: Much like Bistro MD, Diet-to-Go can deliver meals right to you. The food is fresher and generally better-tasting than Bistro MD, but user support is much more limited. It also costs a bit less, so if dietitian support is not important to you, we recommend this option. Click here and use coupon code APRILDEAL to save 20% with Diet-to-Go.

The Biggest Loser: If you've got a sweet tooth, you'll love this plan designed for viewers of the eponymous TV show. Unlike Bistro MD and Diet-to-Go, The Biggest Loser offers dessert! Each week, you log into your online account and select the meals you want delivered. They'll be prepared to order and shipped to you and your microwave. Users also have email, phone, and online chat access to dietitians. The food isn't as good is either of the previous plans, which might actually help you break the addiction, but it's not bad, which will encourage you to stay on the plan. Click here to sign up.

eDiets Fresh Prepared: This plan also offers dessert and has the tastiest breakfast meals. The seven-day complete program includes pre-made breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack or dessert every day for $160 a week plus shipping. eDiets.com offers many resources, including a social networking tool, in addition to the meals. The fitness component is strong as well, so this program is great for anyone looking to make a complete lifestyle change. Click here to sign up.

Diet Programs, Online Dieting