Author: Ann Schiebert
Types of Reality Distortion Systems
Food Addiction – Overeaters, Part 2
Food addicts have no concept of quantity. They tend to be addicted to sugar and refined carbohydrates. These are addictive substances that influence mood, and, like other drugs, withdrawals, triggers and cravings, and isolation, are part of the addiction. In the digestion process, carbs turn into glucose – sugar. It takes 14 days to get refined sugar out of one’s system. Tapering yourself by reducing sugar/carb intake over several weeks can reduce withdrawal symptoms. Irritability, cold sweats, anxiety, and shakiness are some of the symptoms of withdrawal.
What to do to help offset withdrawals? Drink plenty of water. Exercise. Use sugar substitutes and purge your house of sugar and high carb foods. Secure support from family and friends. Change how you think about food. Food is NOT love. Eat to live. Don’t live to eat.
This is a very challenging addiction because there can be no complete abstinence from food. We have to eat to live. Culturally, we engage in eating as part of our social connectivity. Often, we focus on what’s being served at an event much more than we focus on who’s going to be attending. How we eat, what we eat, our beliefs about food, becoming conscious about when one is full, and how we socialize, all have to be changed if we are to get ourselves out of this RDS.
What to work on:
- Prepare for withdrawals.
- Get rid of your scale – don’t let your weight determine how your day is going to be.
- Purge your house of foods high in sugar.
- Before accepting a dining engagement advise your friends that you are redefining your relationship with food. Tell them that you are leaving sugar and carbs out of food selection options. This is NOT a diet. Diet’s don’t work because they are based on deprivation and not on maintenance.
- After accepting an invitation to go out to eat with someone, determine what restaurant and research their menu online. Can you really eat there? Call to see if they can accommodate your food needs.
- Research what quantities are, “normal,” portions. Is it a 6 ounce meat patty or a 12 ounce one? Is it two cups of cottage cheese or 1 cup?
- Organizations like Overeaters Anonymous can provide support about abstinence, portion control, and help one reframe one’s relationship with food.
Next post: How to implement new behavior.