The Right Mix For Addiction
When people were asked to rate 35 foods to determine which were most associated with addictive-like eating behaviors, it should come as no surprise that potato chips ranked near the top of the list .
Part of the reason chips are so addictive is their makeup. They contain easily digested carbohydrates mixed with fat and salt. This combination of ingredients sets off pleasure alarm bells in your brain that make you crave more. However, when it comes to processed snack foods like chips, pretzels, and flavored corn chips, the texture of the food also plays a role in our inability to stop eating despite the desire to do so.
Implement A Needs Based System
The next few words could forever change the way you approach dieting and weight loss.
Let me start with a few questions:
Why do we fail? Why are we food addicts?
If we know the risks of being overweight , why isnt that enough motivation to quit eating so poorly?
The answer is found in psychology.
Psychologist Ian Newby Clark, who studies habit and habit change, says:
Habits are responses to needs.
Im a huge Biggest Loser fan, and I know this to be true. Every season, its apparent that 90% of these obese peoples problems are mental. They run to food for comfort or happiness or relaxation. Those are their primary psychological needs.
Therefore, to succeed in weight loss, we must create an environment where we psychologically need to lose weight. Only then will weight loss be important enough to motivate us.
Leaning on Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, the famous theory in psychology that described patterns in human motivation, weve come up with the following list of motivators.
Low Carb But Crave Crunchy Salty Foods Heres Why & What To Do
Are you bothered by cravings for crunchy, salty foods? Some low-carb dieters have no problem giving up the sugary sweet treats, but when it comes to foods like potato chips, the pull is strong. This blog post shares why we crave salty, crunchy foods and practical solutions to avoid derailing your low carb diet.
Always Read Food Labels
Added sugar is in everything from pasta sauce to oatmeal so its really a commitment to be aware of whats really in the food youre eating.
Carmel checks every single label to look for sugar and all 61 of its aliases. She has a fifth ingredient rule, which says if sugar is the fifth ingredient or lower on the list, that food is good to go.
Avoid Alcoholic Drinks And Caffeine
As much as you can, avoid alcoholic drinks and caffeinated beverages . Evidence shows that drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages triggers poor eating choices.
Coffee can cause the body to crave sugary drinks or sweet foods. In addition, too much caffeine can cause anxiety, and an anxious person may end up resorting to binge eating comfort foods to feel better.
Drinking alcohol may also cause you to become hungry. For sure you have experienced this. After a night of drinking or bar-hopping with friends, eating whatever you see on the fridge, even junk food seems like a good idea. Because alcohol causes poor judgment in many people, so this can break your recovery.
Also, avoid soda because it has addictive substances and has high sugar contents. Dont make it a part of your every day life to consume sugar because this can trigger addiction to your brain.
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Crunchy Salty Food Cravings At
- Chips and other processed, crunchy snack foods contain an addictive combination of quick-digesting carbs, fat, and salt.
- The texture of crunchy snack foods adds to the sensory experience of eating chips, pretzels, and similar items, making them hard to resist.
- Dehydration can occur in low-carb or keto dieters due to the loss of water and electrolytes associated with lower insulin levels. Dehydration can mimic hunger.
- Youll feel more in control of cravings when you eat home-cooked meals consisting of whole foods and replenishing electrolytes.
- Low carb food swaps like pork rinds, trail mix, and popcorn provide a crunch but can still be easy to overeat.
How Do You Lose Weight When You Cant Stop Stuffing Yourself
So how do you lose weight when you cant stop stuffing yourself because your food addiction is out of control?
How do you lose weight when youre hating yourself because you cant stop eating, which makes you feel bad, and then you eat more food to try to feel better which just keeps the whole cycle of frustration running, which continues to stop you from losing weight for good?
Heres a hint: youve gotta do something radically New and Different to solve this problem.
The old ways of seeking out a new food diet just dont work, do they. Youve already proved that to yourself, over and over again. You already know that if a new food diet were the solution to solve your food addiction, then you wouldnt have this problem, right?
Does this make sense? Are you getting it? Does it make sense that if you could end your food addiction by doing the same things youve already done, then youd already have success. You already be at your ideal weight!
Does it also make sense that if you could just end your food addiction, then it would be easy for you to lose weight. How cool would that be! But, you have to do something totally new and different to get these results.
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Obesity Palatable Foods And Food Addiction
Some studies suggest that food addiction is a plausible cause of obesity, and the food addiction model even emphasizes being overweight or having obesity as one of the clinical criteria.
Some researchers have also associated food addiction with certain eating disorders, particularly
highlighted that a substantial number of individuals with BED do not have obesity and that most people with obesity do not experience disordered eating or food addiction symptoms.
This brings the ability of YFAS to diagnose food addiction into question, and some researchers that this scale simply identifies eating disorders and not an addiction.
Furthermore, palatability is not necessarily a factor in overconsumption and obesity, as reported that even a nonpalatable food meaning one that is not high in fat or sugar can become the subject of food cravings.
The Living Phit Food Addict Definition
Food addicts come in all shapes and sizes. They may be 10 lbs or 200 lbs overweight.
A food addict is anyone who WANTS to lose weight, and KNOWS how to eat healthy, but CANT follow through.
Therefore, a food addict is not necessarily obese, and not all overweight people are food addicts.
Some people simply dont know the effects of eating high-glycemic carbs or having acidic pH levels. Theyre not addicts. They just need PROPER education.
Others are real addicts, who know better.
If thats you, get ready to open your heart and your mind, because the following words could change your life forever.
Accept that Conventional Weight Loss Tips are Worthless
If youre an addict, your inability to lose weight is not your fault.
Thats because 99% of what youve read about weight loss wont work for you.
You dont need another set of weight loss tips, or another low carb recipe book, or a p90x workout DVD.
Those things might help in the short term, but ultimately, youll backslide.
Nope. You dont need tips.
You need a system.
a system that will NOT allow you to fail.
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Health & Wellnessdoctor Names Best Healthy Diet For Losing Weight + 8 Weight
Bariatric surgery helped her lose 100 pounds at first, but the medical procedure didn’t solve what she called a deeply behavioral and emotional problem, so she ate through it and started regaining the weight.
It was the end of the 1990s, when the low-fat diet ruled and Carmel remembers eating lots of honey mustard pretzels and frozen yogurt.
Thats when she started researching sugar and decided to quit it cold turkey, inspired by her brother who was the first to give up sweets. Carmel thought it would just be a brief fad diet, but when it started working, she stuck with it.
I dont think I recognized what a true enemy sugar was. Thats the bait-and-switch that comes with sugar the short-term, said Carmel, who is also a licensed clinical social worker and founder of The Beacon Program, a treatment center for binge eating and food addiction in New York.
I never recognized that in the long-term, it was incredibly abusive and holding me back from virtually everything I was trying to do.
After about a year of avoiding added sugar, Carmel dropped to 150 pounds, a weight she has maintained for about 10 years. Experts warn eating plans that are too rigid usually don’t work, but Carmel found it to be the right fit for her.
Here are her tips for breaking up with sugar:
Forget About Cheat Days
Many eating regimens allow people to break the rules once in a while, but theres a biochemical activation that happens on cheat days, Carmel warned.
You re-ignite that love and taste for sugar, she said. I have very rarely seen somebody who is successful with just a cheat day its usually more like a cheat week or a cheat month.
Idealizing abusive foods like sugar as once-a-week treats is problematic, she added. Just commit to sticking to the rules.
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Dont Eat Past A Certain Time
Did you know youre more likely to not lose weight if you eat at night?
Thats because youre about to go to bed. When you eat before bed, your metabolism slows.
As such, you should decide on a certain time to close the kitchen. Dont get up and eat in the middle of the night. If you find the urge to eat impossible to ignore, try eating something healthy a bit earlier.
Know The Truth About Junk Food
Most of us eat junk food without really knowing what we are eating. Finding out the ingredients in your favorite junk food can gross you out and make you crave it less.
For instance, processed foods like sausages and Tang contain carcinogens, which have been shown to increase the risk of cancer.
A quick google search will show you all the gross ingredients in your favorite food. You may even want to go farther and research how these foods are prepared.
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How To Lose Weight If You’re Addicted To Food According To A Cognitive Scientist Who Struggled For Years
- Losing weight is tough work, but for some people, it can be especially hard.
- Susan Pierce Thompson, a cognitive scientist who struggled for decades with her weight, advocates a radical approach to eating that goes against popular nutritional wisdom.
- Instead of “everything in moderation,” Thompson advises her clients to set up clear boundaries against foods that they are at a high risk for overeating.
- The approach won’t work for everyone, she cautions, but it could be a “path to freedom” for others.
Susan Pierce Thompson struggled for decades to lose weight. She tried everything, from diet books and rigid workout regimens to running a marathon. She even considered having a gastric bypass, an intensive surgery that can involve months of counseling and preparation.
Somewhere along the way, she found a 12-step program geared toward food addiction that set off a light bulb in her mind: the conventional rules about eating “everything in moderation” simply didn’t apply to her.
She needed real rules. Rigid ones.
Since then, Thompson has made a career by speaking to people who’ve faced similar struggles. She advocates a radical approach to food which she calls “Bright Line Eating.” The program isn’t for everyone, she cautioned. Instead, it’s geared specifically toward people who’ve grappled with their weight for years – those who find themselves engaged in a constant internal battle in which they berate themselves for eating more than they initially planned.
Icular Foods That Drive A Greater Dopamine Reward
Getting a dopamine hit from food is a good thing. We should enjoy the food that nourishes us. Although these hyper-autumnal foods can play a role in our lives , we should be able to trust our cravings for food that help us seek out what we need at a particular time.
Experiments back in 1990 demonstrated that rats experience hyperphagia when they are exposed to foods that are a combination of energy-dense foods that contain a similar amount of energy from fat+carbs.
Our analysis of MyFitnessPal data shows a similar trend. We tend to eat significantly more when our food matches the autumnal carb+fat profile.
This 2018 paper in Cell Metabolism showed that we get a supra-additive dopamine hit from foods that are a mixture of fat+carbs. We are willing to part with more money for these foods on a calorie for calorie basis. From an evolutionary biology perspective, you can see how these foods would have been highly valued because they enable us to consume a lot of energy quickly.
Energy was hard to come by, and energy-dense foods that quickly filled our fat and carb fuel pathways were rare and highly valued. This double dopamine hit ensures that these fat+carb comfort foods have a special place in our hearts. We go out of our way to get them if they are available. And when you start, you probably wont stop until theyre all gone.
Rather than telling yourself I am addicted to food it may be more useful to say to yourself:
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Highly Processed Foods Are Addictive
Dr Ashley Gearhardt: In our society, there is widespread knowledge that excess consumption of highly processed foodslike chocolate, pizza, and pastriescontributes to excessive weight gain and poor health. Millions of people try to cut down on highly processed food intake every year, but few find lasting long-term success. People fail to change their diet even when they are facing severe negative health consequences, like amputations, blindness, and early death. As highly processed foods spread around the globe, we see rates of obesity and disease rise with them.
Addictive drugs and highly processed foods are created using very similar processes. For example, humans refine and process a naturally occurring substance and process it into a product that has unnaturally high levels of a rewarding substance and then add scores of additives to further enhance it. These addictive drugs hijack the same reward centers of the brain that are so powerfully activated by highly processed foods. In fact, highly processed foods and addictive drugs are often consumed for the same reasonto experience a sense of pleasure and to reduce negative emotions. Whether it is a highly processed food or a drug, a substance can become so highly rewarding that it can trigger compulsive behavior . This is good news for industries that profit from selling these substances, but bad news for the rest of us.
The Verdict Further Research Required
Food industry practices contribute to overeating and obesity however, disagreement remains in determining whether highly processed foods meet the criteria to be considered addictive. Future research will help inform this debate and guide next steps on the best ways to promote healthy eating.
Featured image by RitaE via Pixabay
Ashley N. Gearhardt, Ph.D., University of Michigan
Johannes Hebebrand, Ph.D., University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
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I Used To Be A Complete Sugar Binge Eater And It Even Seemed Like I Had No Hope To Get Rid Of This Habit
But NOBODY can claim they have no hope. Because if I managed to get rid of my sugar addiction, so can everybody else, including you! You CAN stop eating sugar and you will.
And trust me. After you start your sugar cleanse, you will definitely notice a huge difference in the way you feel in terms of health and happiness, like I did! So let me explain this sugar detox in more detail and answer the big question:
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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Quick Note From Lisa:
For over half my life Ive been either vegetarian or vegan. However, it wasnt until I started eating whole food plant based did my health and weight change.
At age 40 I sat in a doctors office in tears. At my highest weight of 327 lbs, I was depressed and confused as to why I weighed so much. I had a healthy, beautiful baby boy and I kept thinking that I should be happy, but I wasnt.
The doctor gave me a prescription for Zoloft and told me to look into weight loss surgery. I left his office feeling defeated, questioning everything. I knew I needed to take charge of my health if I planned to be the Mom I wanted to be. On Presidents Day of that year I became vegan and shortly after, I started eating a whole food plant based diet. It was then I rediscovered my joy for life and food.
Ive lost almost 135 lbs and Ive never been happier. I am enjoying life to the fullest, raising an amazing son, and being an example of what is possible.
Closed captioning available.
Lisa, I had the most amazing talk with you. You are so full of love. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and being vulnerable about overcoming food addiction. It was an honor.