The food addiction cycle and the craving cycle are a concept intended for better understanding of the process. This is not completely described, but rather a coarse model of understanding. It is confused as the -- carbohydrate excess cycle, insulin overshot, fat storage, premature hunger, eating -- cycle overlays or is (or can be) a parallel process that adds to the issue. Also note that some fats and some proteins can start this cycle.
The craving cycle can be understood as a group of lists, pick one of more from each column, and then proceed to the next list. The first step in the cycle is the cue step, a cue of some type, cue, image, location, time, or a thought. Thinking is dangerous for us obsessives. We can avoid some of the environmental cues, but not within modern society, perhaps at work or some of the time.
The second list is more of the same, just stronger. If food is presented, or priming aka tasting, smell, sight, or more thinking, perhaps associated with a "liking", desire, or "wouldn't it be nice". This is appetite development stage. The wet mouth stage, if we notice, or as some of us mop up drool. The ability to taste, to like food, and a intense desire for food all vary in strength. Some people have little desire for food and do no accept or acknowledge this issue, so if you are one of those FO.
We can separate from cue/situation if necessary at this point. Walk away. Go do something else, not food related. Or think or say "that is not food", or "that is poison to me", the most powerful of methods.
This is usually followed with eating the forbidden food, or not. We consume or produce chemicals in the brain that have a effect on our thinking, desires, motivation, learning, memory, or we may recall tastes, and pleasant feelings. This can be totally unconscious as well as consciously. The eating strengthens the desire for more, and weakens the resistance. Those that think willpower is useful can FO.
The chemicals produce or consumed (parts or whole) are often opioid peptides (wheat, grains, diary, nuts) or endorphins (omega 6 oils), or other like dopamine, serotonin, stimulus, relaxants. These
produce feelings of liking, strong desire for more, desires of all sorts if more is not an option, craving, grasping, intense desire for more, and the like. These desires can be very strong. This is the reason that moderation is a suckers game, if you are a addict.
There are other causes of food desire. Stress refeeding is a common learned behavior. This becomes a conditioned, unconscious reaction. If carbohydrate is used as refeed material, the insulin storage cycle is often started, so overeating is normal.
There is another problem, left desiring more after an adequate meal, even low-carb, zero carb, or the like. Some of us cannot stop. Satiation does not happen. Satiety may after a hour or so, some of the time.
It is impossible to explain the strength of the desire for food to people who have little desire. The only solution is to totally avoid the addictive foods. That may mean eating boiled cabagge and beef burgers the remainder of my life.
But what do I know. Breath, smile and enjoy what life has to offer.