Food Addicts Anonymous Effectiveness Rates
Before delving into the effectiveness rates of Food Addicts Anonymous, statistics can be helpful in identifying those who could benefit from the program. This is because many people feel that a food addiction cannot exist unless a person is obese. This is an inaccurate belief and could lead to individuals with an addiction not seeking help.
Consider the percentage of individuals who fall into the following weight classes that have been diagnosed with a food addiction:
- Underweight: 10 percent.
- Overweight: 14 percent.
- Obese: 37.5 peecent.
This shows that anyone could suffer from food addiction. Just how effective is Food Addicts Anonymous, though, in helping with this problem? Unfortunately, the scientific community doesnt put as much research into process addictions as it does alcohol and narcotics abuse. And for FAA effectiveness statistics, research is nearly nonexistent.
When looking at research related to the efficacy of 12-step programs in general, though, the prognosis looks good. In fact, the American Medical Association stated in their ethics journal that these programs are an appropriate mode of help for those seeking to quit an addiction but should not be the only approach considered.
Research has found that the following factors can increase a persons chances of success in programs like Food Addicts Anonymous:
Getting To Know More About Food Addiction
Food addiction is marked by an uncontrollable impulsive and compulsive desire to eat regardless of its adverse effects. Like other addictions, there is intense and incessant craving for certain foods, a withdrawal phase together with a negative affect, and the development of tolerance.
It is believed that the disorder has both behavioural and neurobiological basis. In an individual prone to addiction, eating certain foods trigger the release of dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical. A change in the brains reward circuit occurs in these people and they get the compulsive need to seek and eat the foods they have in mind.
The eating goes over and beyond the bodys energy requirement, which is why most people addicted to food are obese. The individual may be aware of the harmful consequences, such as considerable weight gain and increased risk for certain diseases as well as reduced aesthetics.
How Does Food Addicts Anonymous Work
The program works by asking members to admit their powerlessness over food addiction and that their lives have become unmanageable, as stated in the first step of the 12-step program. Instead of trying to cure the addiction, members can focus on abstinence from foods. The foods recommended to abstain from include sugar, flour, wheat, and limited dietary fats, although members are still encouraged to eat a variety of foods, as long as what is eaten is kept track of.
Members are asked to find a higher power other than themselves to help them in their recovery process to abstain from specific foods and reduce cravings. With attendance of meetings and reading the literature, finding a sponsor in the program to help work the steps is another key factor to successfully recovering from their addiction. A sponsor in the program of Food Addicts Anonymous is a longtime member who has been abstinent and can help guide individuals on how to follow the food plan. A sponsor will have good knowledge about the food plan, works the steps of the program and uses the steps in their own daily lives to continue recovery. They will provide their sponsee with support and mentorship to help them overcome their addiction.
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For Reference: The 12 Steps
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Programs For Food Addiction Do Help
Regardless of the food that you are addicted to 12 step programs for food addiction can be a large part of recovery. Part of what makes them work is the sense of community and belonging that is often lacking in other forms of therapy. Many people describe success using a combination of counseling, therapy, and a solid 12 step food addiction program.
The first step in any addiction recovery program is admitting the problem. The second step is getting help. There are 12 step food addiction programs all over the country and the same anonymity and community are available through all of them.
Igtv: What To Expect From A 12
Hi Friends! This post is intended to accompany my IGTV video sharing the basic structure of the 12-step food addiction recovery program I was in last year.
Please keep in mind, I am not promoting or affiliated with any food addiction recovery program and this info is reflective of my short time in a program so it may not fully represent the program I was in or other 12-step programs.
Ill share more specifics from my experience in a separate post, but I hope this post provides some helpful background if youre considering joining a recovery program yourself.
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About Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have experienced difficulties in life as a result of the way we used to eat. We joined FA because we were obsessed with food. We find that we need this program of recovery and the fellowship of others who share our problem in order to stop abusing food and begin living fulfilling lives.
Through shared experience and mutual support, we help each other to recover from the disease of food addiction.
There are no dues, fees, or weigh-ins at FA meetings. Membership is open to anyone who wants help with food.
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Admitted We Were Powerless Over Food
What does it mean to admit we are powerless over food? Heres a dictionary definition of the words:
Admit: to grant as true or valid a voluntary acknowledgement of the truth to acknowledge, confess or avow the existence of the truth of < something> .
Powerless: lacking strength or power helpless ineffectual unable
How do I know I am powerless over food? If I have enormous amounts of evidence, that I cannot control my eating. If my experience is that once I pick up sugar and/or flour, , I am unable to stop. Then I am helpless.
The lie I tell myself is that if I can find the right food plan, the right ingredients, the right sponsor, and develop the right eating habits, then Ill get abstinent. This keeps me in the same vicious cycle of trying and failing to fix myself. My best thinking is ineffectual.
How Does A 12 Step Program For Food Addiction Work
There are two different 12 step programs for food addiction. They are:
- Food Addicts Anonymous
- Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
Both programs attempt to provide help and support based off traditional 12 step programs. Although the steps in each differ, they both believe in these basic principles.
- Honesty with yourself and others this is a core belief in any of the 12 step programs. In order to complete the steps outlined, you have to be honest about your addiction and who it hurts.
- Hope for a better future without hope for recovery the program will not work. Being hopeful that things can get better is how most are able to work towards recovery.
- Trust in yourself and the higher power you have to trust yourself as well as the higher power. Giving yourself over to a higher power is a big part of any 12 step program. If you do not trust that it will help, it cannot.
- Connection with yourself and others without a connection to your feeling and others, you cannot develop the sense of community that is integral to the programs ability to help.
Most of the 12 steps boil down to these basic principles. Without them, 12 step programs do not work.
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Program Origins Membership And Facilitation
All 13 websites reported originating in the United States. Only 1 website reported on member numbers . However, it was not reported when this membership number was from or how membership numbers were obtained. The use of credentialed health professionals in the establishment or delivery of the programs was reported by 3 websites only with counselors , psychotherapists , and social workers used. Moreover, 2 websites encouraged, but did not enforce, the use of general practitioners and dietitians. Costs for the self-help groups were highly variable , 8 websites reported that programs were offered free of charge. Of these 8 free programs, 4 websites encouraged individuals to purchase specified literature related to the program, 1 website held an annual convention that included a registration fee, and 3 websites had no fees or other costs associated for individuals. A total of 5 websites reported having a fee-for-service ranging from US $15 to US $5300 . No websites reported their program had been evaluated for outcomes of diet, food behaviors, or success rates of food addiction symptoms.
How I Found The 12
I found the program through a dear friend. She briefly mentioned it to me when I was pregnant in early 2019, but I didnt think twice about it then.
After my baby came, and I kept breaking daily commitments to myself to eat better, I reached out to ask her for help.
She told me to attend a meeting, so I did.
Everyone at the meeting was so nice and welcomed me. Most of the attendees appeared to be in their right-sized bodies, however, many of them shared major weight loss numbers.
I mostly identified with the word unmanageable they used to describe their lives before finding the program.
I didnt have to say anything other than stand and introduce myself, Hi, Im Amanda. Im a food addict. And then someone provided a welcome pamphlet and a list of potential sponsors to officially get started.
I liked what I saw and heard in that meeting. But I called my friend first to discuss it. She kept saying, Weve gotta find you a good sponsor. And in the meantime, she offered to temporarily sponsor me.
A few weeks passed, I hadnt found a new sponsor. I prayed about it and kept feeling the prompting to ask my friend to sponsor me.
When I told her I felt she was supposed to be my sponsor, she said she had been praying, too, and felt the same way. So we moved forward.
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According To The Dictionary What Does Restore Mean
- To return to its original or usable and functioning condition
- To regenerate: return to life get or give new life or energy
- To give or bring back
- To repair: restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken
After doing the work in the 4th and 5th Steps, I could truly see how insane my thinking was, not only about food, but about life. The lies I told myself built an enormous tower of resentments I could have never dismantled without the help of God and a wise sponsor. Before every slip or binge was a resentment. Under every resentment were lies and fears.
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A Loved Ones Food Addiction
- They have become socially withdrawn and eat alone on an increasingly frequent basis
- You notice them taking extra breaks at school or work with little to no explanation
- They demonstrate sudden mood swings, changing from sad and irritable in one instance to happy and hyperactive the next
- You have witnessed them hiding food amongst their belongings
- They obsessively talk about food and calories or, on the contrary, actively avoid the topic of food when raised
- You have recognised that their weight regularly fluctuates every few weeks or months
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Eat Clean And Healthy Foods
If you want to overcome food addiction, your goal is to avoid eating unhealthy meals and cravings for addictive foods. So if you cant eat high-sugar, high-fat, or highly addictive food, it makes sense that you should start eating healthy. This doesnt mean, though, that you have to buy everything in the supermarket that contains low-sugar or fat-free foods because, in reality, they have sweeteners that have far more negative effects.
Start eating healthy by resorting to something fresher, like fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats, and maybe something organic. Once your body gets used to not eating junk food or anything high-sugar or high-fat, you will see that you wont be having those unhealthy food cravings anymore. Also, dont forget to drink lots of water.
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Alternatives To The 12
Some people dont like or are not interested in the 12-Step model, even with the variations above or through organizations that facilitate the 12-Step model. Some people dont like basing their recovery on the idea that they cannot control their addiction, when there is evidence that there are ways of practicing internal control over the recovery process.
Some of the programs based on this active control model include groups like SMART Recovery and Moderation Management. These groups use a similar peer-sharing model, but they dont rely on the idea of surrender. They instead promote the empowerment of the individual to exercise control over the treatment of and recovery from addiction
Basic Structure Of Food Addiction Recovery Programs
The structure primarily revolves around the tools of the program. The tools are intended to set the framework for your new habits and new relationship with food as you begin to let go of your old ones.
Note: this is an addiction recovery program, not a weight loss program, although weight loss is naturally an appealing aspect of the program. As they say, Come for the vanity, stay for the sanity.
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Variations Of The 12 Steps
Since its origin with AA, the 12-Step model has been adopted and altered by many groups to fit other programs for addiction treatment and otherwise. Many groups, like Narcotics Anonymous, use the steps exactly as they were conceived by AA. Others have modified the steps to fit their own needs and cultures. For example, a Native American group has combined the 12 Steps with the Native American concept of the Medicine Wheel to create a program designed specifically to help indigenous Americans who struggle with alcoholism and addiction, the Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps program. Others have come up with similar ideas to integrate the basic ideas of the 12 Steps into a cultural framework that makes sense for members of that culture.
Another variation comes from the fact that some people are uncomfortable with the specific, religious aspects of the 12-Step program. As stated above, and as evident by the steps themselves, the 12-Step model originated from a Christian point of view. Those who are not Christian have modified the steps to refer to their specific religious or spiritual practice as a way to connect more with the structure of the 12-Step program. In addition, a number of non-religious 12-Step groups have modified the steps to fit a secular model that can help those who are agnostic or atheist practice the program without feeling forced to adhere to a religion they dont believe in.