Archives for addiction

Food Addiction?

The only argument I’ve seen against describing overeating as ‘addiction’ was that it cannot be precisely defined. Where does it begin and end: before dessert or after? One square of dark chocolate or 50? Or somewhere in between? But exactly the same problem applies to smoking, as there are those who only smoke one or two a year. There are few such smokers, but there’s still no absolute marker between not addicted and addicted.
Read More

Winning at Losing

If you plan to eat less, would you do better to eat less carbohydrate or less fat? A Stanford University study evaluated health and weight-loss benefits of these styles of eating over one year. The study began with 311 women randomly divided into groups to follow one of four diets that varied in proportions of fat and carbohydrate.
Read More

Q&A: Am I Addicted?

The Question: I’ve read your book twice and I like a lot of it but stuck on the subject of addiction. I want to ask you if this is going to work for me if I’m not addicted? I can go a bit crazy with cakes and pastries sometimes, but then I really do forget all about them for weeks. Surely if someone is addicted, like smokers, they are physically hooked so there’s a need to do it every day?
Read More

It is a Pleasure

Just like many others, I own way too many clothes that I don't actually wear. It's not because I buy so many, it's that I'm very reluctant to throw them away. I keep a dress I bought in the 1980s, and guess I’ve worn it twice. It's way too big for me now, as I've steadily lost weight over the past years, and the style of it wouldn't suit resizing.
Read More

Chocoholism

Are you a chocoholic? Is chocolate good for you? And is chocolate addictive? It’s possible you’ve answered a resounding yes to all three. To look first of all at its addictiveness, here's a study from the University of London's Division of Mental Health.
Read More

Matter and Mind

Discovering the cause of a problem leads us towards its solution, so with any health issue we may ask ourselves, "is this a physical problem with my body or a psychological one created by my mind?" This is especially true in the field of addiction: is it created by a physical dysfunction of hormones or deficiency in neurotransmitters, for example, or the result of the ways in which I think, my beliefs and attitudes?
Read More

Q&A: Full of excuses

The Question: I love your book Eating Less, I’ve underlined or highlighted most lines on most pages. There’s one sub-heading that stands out more than anything else, and it is “Full of Excuses” in Chapter Five. I think of that so often because that’s exactly me, full of excuses. Any excuse to eat something.
Read More

Ancient Brain in a Modern World

One thing I hear often, and am always a little surprised by, is that my clients think they’re the only ones who struggle so much with food. Are you one of those who see your overeating as a personal shortcoming, a private torment, unique to you? Surely it's self-evident that the overwhelming majority of the so-called developed world is overeating, given the problem of weight in our culture and the massive (pun intended!) dieting industry.
Read More

Creating Desire

In my last blog I wrote that we live with a continuous, largely automatic and unconscious, two-way communication, in that our bodies have an effect on our minds and our minds have an effect on our bodies. The ‘White Coat Effect’ is a well-known example, where concern about having blood pressure checked by a doctor actually causes a rise in blood pressure. This happens so automatically it can be tough, if not impossible, to know what is creating any particular problem we may encounter.
Read More

Desire, Craving and Preference

Whenever you eat any food you don’t really need, what you’ve done is to satisfy your addictive desire to eat. No blame intended here; it’s just that when we name it we can make progress. As you may know from my books, taking control of overeating is the process of releasing and healing this desire for excess food. To some extent, it’s likely you’ll always satisfy some addictive desire. But if you can satisfy it less often (maybe a lot less often), that would deliver the results you want. Assuming, of course, it lasts long term.
Read More