The Proof Is In The Milk Shakes
The science of food addiction is clearer now than ever before. A powerful study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that higher-sugar, higher-glycemic foods might be addictive in the same way as cocaine and heroin. David Ludwig, MD, and his colleagues at Harvard proved that foods with more sugar those that raise blood sugar quickly or have what is called a high-glycemic index trigger a special region in the brain, called the nucleus accumbens, that is known to be ground zero for conventional addictions like gambling or drug abuse. This is the pleasure center of the brain that, when activated, makes us feel good and drives us to seek out more of that feeling.
Ludwig and his colleagues gave 12 overweight or obese men between the ages of 18 and 35 a low-sugar, low-glycemic milk shake. Four hours later, they measured the activity of the nucleus accumbens. They also measured blood-sugar and hunger levels.
Then, several weeks later, the researchers gave the same subjects another round of milk shakes. Think of these as trick milk shakes. They tasted and looked the same, were engineered to deliver precisely the same flavor and texture, and had exactly the same amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. They were designed to be exactly the same in every way except in how much and how quickly they spiked blood sugar. In contrast to the first shakes, this batch was higher in sugar and had a higher-glycemic index.
How To Lose Weight Eat Less Sugar: Woman Loses 175 Pounds By Breaking Addiction
As an eating disorders therapist who couldnt control her own weight, Molly Carmel was desperate to get a hold on the problem.
She spent years trying most every diet and exercise program, and underwent bariatric surgery, but nothing worked in the long-term. At 5 feet 7 inches tall, she reached 325 pounds in her 20s. Through it all, one food was a constant.
I would turn to sugar of course I would. It soothed me, it numbed me, it comforted me, Carmel, now 42 and author of the new book, Breaking Up With Sugar: Divorce the Diets, Drop the Pounds, and Live Your Best Life, told TODAY.
It was my great love I thought it was my solution when it was really my problem.
It started when she was a child. If Carmel went to the amusement park, she couldnt get to the churros fast enough. When she went to a friends house, the big draw was eating cookies. By the time Carmel was 7, her family put her on her first diet, concerned that she was chunky, she recalled.
She entered the familiar cycle of dieting, losing weight, having the diet fail, feeling demoralized and turning to sweets for comfort. By the time she reached her maximum weight at 23, she couldnt tie her shoe laces or walk more than a few steps without being short of breath.
It was terrible, Carmel said. I was hopeless, I stopped seeing my friends, I stopped traveling, I was very reclusive at that time.
Sweet Swaps: Healthy Swaps For Junk Food
Have you ever removed an entire food group as a desperate attempt to lose weight? Deprived yourself on a 1,000 calorie plan each day? Followed the latest and greatest fad diet that you recently discovered on Google? No shame in that game. I think its safe to say that the vast majority of us have been there at one point in our lives.
Over the past 20-30 years, society has repeatedly told us that counting calories, avoiding fat, relying on artificial sweeteners etc. is truly the way to lose weight.
Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth.
Those days are over my friend. Let me help you lose weight in the safest and most effective way possible.
What exactly do I mean by that? It means we will be starting with the cornerstone of weight loss, arguably the most essential part of in the process: the removal of added sugar.
In todays article, we will discuss healthy swaps for junk food as added sugar is your number one enemy when it comes to weight loss.
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Physical Food Addiction Symptoms
- Inability to control cravings for food or to control amount of food that is eaten
- trying many different weight loss or diet programs but still excessively consuming food
- vomiting, using laxatives or exercising in excess to avoid weight gain as a result of over consumption of food
Each of these physical symptoms of food addiction can lead to long term consequences. Those who vomit regularly to overcome the fact that they ate a large amount of food are likely to suffer from tooth decay, esophageal problems, malnutrition and a range of other issues as a result of their addiction. In time, an obsession with food, whether its an obsession with not eating, overeating and dieting to cover it up or using diuretics or other methods to reduce weight from overeating, a food obsession can lead to rash physical problems and could even result in death if left untreated.
How To Beat It
Theres no quick fix or magic pill to make you stop wanting sugar or foods that you crave. Ultimately, you crave what you regularly feed yourself. So the only way to reduce your cravings is to take a break. If you regularly have something sweet to eat after dinner, its very natural for you to always feel like eating something sweet after dinner. Youre in a bad habit, thats all. Research has shown that fasting particular foods doesnt increase the cravings like it does with true drug addiction, it actually reduces them.
Changing your habits and behaviour is hard work. So you need to get prepared. Here are are few tips to help you beat the sugar high and get in control of your eating.
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How To Get Help For Addictive Eating
Willpower alone is rarely a strong enough defense against food addiction and the vicious cycle of cravings, overindulging and guilt it creates. In fact, trying to fight your cravings can even intensify them.
Dr. Albers recommends working with a psychiatrist or psychologist who can help you address both the physical symptoms and the underlying emotional factors that might be contributing to your food addiction. You might also find support groups like Overeaters Anonymous that host free in-person or virtual meetings in your area.
Learning what triggers your addictive behaviors will be an important first step. For some people, its stress or despair that leads them to turn to food for comfort. If you can learn your triggers for overeating and break that cycle, that can be important because we cant always control whether those addictive foods are going to be around us, Dr. Albers says.
The more youre aware of the forces at play in your cravings and what strategies can help combat them, the better your chances of breaking free of them and healing.
Food Addiction: Is It Real
Lets start at the beginning: Can you really be addicted to food? That question doesnt have a simple answer. In fact, its kind of controversial.
Food addiction is not an official medical diagnosis, though addictive food behaviors have been linked to medical conditions including obesity and binge eating disorder.
And whether food itself is addictive is still up for debate.
Some people believe you cant be addicted to a substance that you need to survive and that food itself is not actually addicting, Dr. Albers says. After all, food doesnt put you in an altered state of mind like addictive drugs do.
Theres also not oneingredient that can be singled out as being addictive. For some people, its greasy fast food. For others, its sweets. But even then, you wouldnt binge on a bowl of granulated sugar. It seems to be processed foods with some combination of ingredients that become problematic for people.
Yet other researchers argue that food is indeed addictive. Certain foods light up pleasure centers in your brain and trigger the release of feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, much like other addictive substances do. In people who are more predisposed to addiction, those chemicals can overpower other signals from the brain that tell them theyre full or satisfied, which can lead to a cycle of overeating.
Sometimes, researchers say, people resort to addictive eating behaviors as a way to cope with stress and emotions.
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Overcome Food Addiction With A Friend Or Family
Its nice to know that youre not alone during your treatment. So if you can reach out to family and friends to help you get through with it, then do so. If you ask your family to do this with you, you can all agree not to buy junk food in your house anymore.
It also helps if you reach out to your friends so the next time you hang out and have lunch, youd pick a healthy restaurant rather than a fast-food chain. Its also nice to have a friend watch out for what you eat. It may be annoying, but you know its for your own good.
You can also share recipes for healthy meals and cook healthy foods for one another. Going on a diet is much easier if you have a support system helping you overcome food addiction. You can even exercise together.
Fighting The Love Of Morning Strudel Or Sugar Laden Bowl Of Cereal
How does one avoid the aisles of rainbow-colored, sugar-sweetened cereals and toaster treats?!
For many, this breakfast habit was ingrained in us growing up. After all, foods like cereal and strudel taste sweet and they are extremely convenient when rushing around in the a.m.
The problem? Despite the calories in a bowl of cereal or breakfast pastry being fairly low, the nutrient composition of these foods is poor. These heavily processed items consist primarily of refined flour, sugar, and artificial coloring. Protein, fat, and fiber are virtually non-existent. When it comes to weight loss and setting yourself up for success for the rest of the day, you lost after the first bite.
Just remember, one of the biggest keys to weight loss is controlling blood sugar throughout the day.
Foods such as cereal, pastries, and dessert are the biggest offenders when it comes to disrupting blood sugar balance.
Instead, create a flavor profile in your smoothie or bowl of oatmeal that matches your favorite treat. Check out these sweet swaps for inspiration:
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Closely Examine Your Relationship With Sweets
Take a look at what youre eating and identify the sugar problem spots. Is it first thing in the morning when you need an ultra-sweet coffee to go with your glazed donut? Is it the chocolate bar during your 3 oclock break, or are you craving cake late at night?
Think how you can switch out foods during those times to get rid of the sugar. A good option is fruit, which has vitamins and fiber, but not fruit juice, which is straight sugar, Carmel said.
Love the food youre eating and find food that loves you back, she noted. Look for options that come from the earth, like fruits, vegetables and grains.
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How To Stop Overeating: 5 Easy Tips
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Overeating is a huge problem nowadays. Were all guilty of it, we all try not to do it, but we still end up overeating over and over again and regretting it every time. And since eating is the main factor that leads to weight loss and weight gain, its important to get rid of this bad habit and learn how to stop overeating. Especially if youre trying to lose weight!
You probably know what its like to overeat so much that you end up laying on the couch unwilling to even move because of how full you are.
This just makes you feel bloated like a balloon, sick, and disappointed in yourself. Sometimes overeating can even make you feel like youre hopeless of losing weight because it almost feels like you cant control yourself.
I know how you must feel because I used to overeat like crazy before almost every day! But I decided it was time to change this and over the years Ive gained a lot of knowledge about healthy eating habits.
No matter what you are suffering from, binge eating, eating addiction, compulsive overeating, emotional eating you need to put a stop to it. And I really hope I can help you with that .
And in this article, I will give you some great and easy-to-follow tips if youre trying to stop overeating for good! Instead, you will learn how to practice mindful eating and how to break that food addiction.
So, without further ado
What To Drink To Help With Weight Loss And Bloating
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Mental Hack #: Emotional Learning
For many of us, emotional eating has become a habit of comfort in other words, its a behavior induced by certain cues like situations, feelings, people, commercials, etc.
In the vast majority of people, uncontrolled eating happens in two situations:
- Stress events
So heres how you use emotional learning to take the smart approach to beating food addiction, which ultimately revolves around your habits.
Ive previously talked about this quite a lot in a post called Why all diets fail and why you dont need a diet to lose weight, but heres a recap for emotional eaters.
#1 Figure Out Your Cues
Most of us emotionally eat because of cues outside or inside of us.
For example: were at a company party. Food is there, so we eat it .
Another example: Its 2:30 at work, and youre on the home stretch. You start getting low energy, and youre looking for something to do so you go upstairs to the cafe and grab a cookie .
So the secret for many of us is to A. learn our cues, and then B. avoid them.
A technique I commonly recommend for figuring out your cues is what I call the Awesomesauce Index Card Method.
But to keep it simple, spend time for 1-2 weeks recording a few things:
- What time of the day do I crave food?
- What moods make me crave food?
- In what situations do I usually over eat?
- With what people do I usually eat the wrong foods?
- What places usually end up causing cravings?
#2 Swap The Routine
Another incredibly common origin of bad habits is boredom.
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