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Compulsive Overeating and How to Stop It

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Compulsive Overeating and How to Stop It


I zapped right into the addiction model in which the author likened sugary, salty, high fat foods to alcohol and other substances...couldn't agree MORE!

From the article: ...sees similarities between situations that trigger drug abusers and those that make some people automatically order popcorn when they see a movie.

"It's the same biological mechanism," says Volkow, who studies dopamine connections to drug abuse and obesity.

The institute is studying brain chemistry to develop strategies to help people control those urges to overeat.

"People need to learn to handle their eating behaviors better," Volkow says. "Be aware of your conditioned responses. You can avoid that activity."

...believes conditioned hypereaters can take back control. He also calls for the food industry to take another look at how it makes and markets products that he believes manipulate eating behavior.

"It's become pretty egregious across the board," he says. "You look at most appetizers and main dishes at where America eats, and they're just layered and loaded with fat and sugar and salt. And it's not obvious."

With food, he wants to raise awareness of the cues that set many people into a hard-to-break cycle of overeating.

Instead of simply going on a diet, conditioned hypereaters need to change the way they approach food.

Hey, sounds like the SPARKPEOPLE approach! :-)

Although I have to admit to my own tweaks which are not necessarily advocated by others. Your mileage may vary...! But for me, just as an alcoholic can't have "just a little," I have to view those sugary, starchy, baked goods, cereals, etc. in the same light as an alcoholic in successful recovery: I just don't go there! Removing all of these substances from my home, my life, has made ALL THE DIFFERENCE for me! I know in my bones that I simply can't have "just a little" without awakening the sleeping tiger within! Some may feel overly deprived or resentful...but I feel such RELIEF!

I was just congratulating a co-worker this morning as she seems to have "turned the page," "flipped the switch" and has transformed her lifestyle just as SO many of us here at SparkPeople have done. It's so difficult to explain to others how it is that this happens. You know, it'd be nice if we could pinpoint this and like write up a prescription for success...?!?!

Perhaps that's what Chris Downie is doing with his new upcoming book, "The Spark"...? I can't wait to see this come out and really push SparkPeople into the limelight! Woo hoo!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GITTYB 6/24/2011 1:34PM

    the problem with a food addiction is that you need to eat unlike a drug addiction of which you obviously don't need the drugs to live.
like you, i can't have a bit around or i end up having too much. the problem is i live with others who have it around and i really need to work on my self-control. thanks for the interesting blog.

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JIBBIE49 6/5/2009 2:00AM


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KEEPITMOVING 6/2/2009 10:35AM

    i got this same email, too. i'm learning that i CAN just have a little or a bite, lick, taste (BLT) of some "bad" things. in fact, it helps me with my self-control and gives me more strength with my mindfulness. i understand what you mean though, about not being able to have ANY of it around. too much of a temptation and VERY hard to change the thought pattern to make yourself stop. best to not have to deal with that at all, right? we humans....n

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DDOORN 6/2/2009 9:55AM

    Don't worry, Thania...Chris Downie will show him how to write the GOOD stuff!

Well I at least appreciate the SPARK of self-reflection that the article offered...


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THANIA1 6/2/2009 9:48AM

    Oh Don, I have just finished to read the book by Dr Kessler, I can not explain how disappointed I was and how empty is its content, POOR, POOR and poor...

Ok it sound attractive in media and it is all over the places in i don't know how many press items, radio , tv.. very nicely promoted . but oh boy is so empty in content, in the article sounds promising, but what is in the book , we know it at least for the past 10-15 years. Apparently he wrote a book on tobacco and smoking which was very good , which I haven't read.

What a waste of money and time for me.

The fact of course remains that the salt, fat and sugar makes us bing, we never binge on steaks but do so on potato chips, sweets,....etc.

Sorry Don , I felt really cheated by the book. Too much promotion for such a poor content. emoticon

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SEYSARAH 6/2/2009 9:22AM

    Don this is a great blog and after a couple of Sparking years myself I am coming to the conclusion that like an alcoholic or some other addictive problem....junk food is problematic and for me, best just left alone as a way of life vs just a bit won't hurt me...because ultimately it does and tends to derail me....some very good thoughts and points...thanks for the info and link!


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Another Great Day!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Slept in...YES! A rare treat! Then got out biking to a nearby town and back...18 miles or so. Then working on our garden for a couple of hours. Nice being out in the sun on this cooler, yet still sunny and clear day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 6/1/2009 10:52AM


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SASSYCHRIS1952 6/1/2009 7:40AM

    Enjoy your day! emoticon

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ZELLAZM 6/1/2009 7:08AM

    Sleeping in is a wonderful luxury, isn't it!? I got to do that today - It's a German holiday.

Hope your new month gets off to a good start!


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A GORGE-ous Day!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Today my DW & I ventured back up through Ithaca to return to Taughannock Falls State Park. I brought my bike along in case there was good riding opportunities, but that was a bust SO...I went hiking from Cayuga Lake in search of the BEST picture I could take of the falls!

I hiked UP and UP the trail to get to the lookout where one could see the falls from up high:

But I wanted to get a pic of the falls up close and personal...way down at the bottom where the water was roaring on impact! So where's the trail to the bottom? Oh, well...you have to go all the way back down the way you hiked UP and take a different trail...whew!

So down I FLY! Whizzing along running half the time feeling like a kid again...whoopee! Perhaps I'm getting *infected* by KSIGMA's love of running...! :-) I was careful tho to slow it down around the stoney tree roots, etc...no falls for THIS old coot thank you!

Here's a view looking down the gorge at the river, no, um TRICKLE down below:

So then when I get on the right trail to take me to the foot of the falls I get to see how parched the river bed is:

Really amazing for this time of year!

I'm enjoying running along here and there as I make my way up the gorge. Here is a shot of a little bit more water:

Here's a view looking all the way UP the gorge where I had been hiking earlier:

And finally I get to the foot of the falls! It is GORGE-ous and well worth the fun I had hiking up and down and all around and I am ready for my perfect camera shot when...

My battery dies.

So I took a pic with my cell phone camera...it'll have to do until the next time! I suppose there's a Boy Scout lesson in there somewhere...lol

Here are a couple links to web pages with MANY pics of Taughannock Falls:



Hope you enjoyed the pictures I DID take!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZIRCADIA 5/31/2009 6:41PM

    WOW!!!!!! :D BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D

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JUSTLYLE 5/31/2009 8:45AM

    Great tour Don, just about like I was there, except no loss of calories. All I have to do today after early church is spray corn and bean fields while wind is calm and no rain. Skeeter

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PTPHELAN 5/31/2009 8:23AM

    One of my favorite places. You brought a smile to my face.

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THANIA1 5/31/2009 1:23AM

    What a privileged place you live in!, Very beautiful and the autumn pictures of google are just Magic.

I am glad that you enjoyed your self, nothing is so precious than to be in nature , it has always been for me. When we go hiking , my husband is much faster than me (more muscles) up wards , and I am behind , going up slowly, but when is down hill boy I love to run all the way, I do zig zag, and use a stick. It feels great. Yes the three roots are nasty ,but the rest of it is fun.

Have a GORGE-ous Sunday too.


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OUTDOORGIRL69 5/31/2009 12:03AM

    Great pic.
thanks Don

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JIBBIE49 5/31/2009 12:01AM

    What a fun day.

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FALCONETTE 5/30/2009 11:47PM

    Wow! How beautiful!!! You're so lucky to have such awesome nature were you live!!!

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CHAS1949 5/30/2009 11:07PM

    Wow!! Thanks for sharing!!

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Memorial Day: Garden In, Enjoying Re-Done Park & Cookout!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Well, the majority of our garden is in...tomatoes, red peppers, onions, broccoli, summer squash, zuchinni, cauliflower, carrots...crossing fingers on how it will turn out!

Had enough time left over to cook out at Dorchester Park...glorious 70's cloudless sunshiney day here!

The park had been re-vamped with newly paved walking trails...woo hoo! :-)

Here's a couple of links about the park:

Don gobroomecounty.com/parks/dorchester

Someone else's pics of the area:


And the article about recent rehabbing of the park:


All in all, nice combination of being a productive, but enjoyable day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    The garden sounds wonderful!

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JAZZYJUDE 5/27/2009 1:44PM

    Hmm, let me know when they are sprouting and I'll bring my plate! Good luck green thumb!!
emoticon Jazzy!!

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ZIRCADIA 5/26/2009 5:28PM

    YAY for veggies and walking trails and sunshine! :D Also I finally went and submitted my info to the NWCR. :)

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JIBBIE49 5/26/2009 10:59AM

    Now that is nice.

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ANDALEX 5/26/2009 1:38AM

    mmmm, sounds like a tasty garden :)

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MARJIJANE 5/25/2009 10:39PM

    The Park looks wonderful! and it sounds like you had a productive day, as well!

Bet you can't wait to get out there and scout the newly paved walking trails!

Thanks for Sharing! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Spread the SPARK: Join the National Weight Control Registry!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I joined the National Weight Control Registry last year and they've sent me their annual questionnaire packet to complete to update their records. I LOVE being part of this study because I sing the praises of SPARKPEOPLE every time I correspond with them!

From the article below, here are the instructions on how to join:

Join the Registry: If you've lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year, you can join the National Weight Control Registry (which is especially looking for members of ethnic minorities and teenagers). Visit www.nwcr.ws or call 1-800-606-6927

Here is an article which summarizes what the NWCR is all about:


I think it's a terrific project to study successful "big losers" and to get the word out at to what has worked so others can join our ranks!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 5/27/2009 7:02PM

    I'm glad you posted your comment on my blog. I just realized I'd been reading the rules all wrong. I thought I needed to get to my goal weight before registering, even if I'd already lost more than 30 lbs. Now that I read it again, it's lose 30 and keep it off. There's a big difference there. I need to go back and see what date I hit the 30 lbs gone point and register if it was a year ago or more. THANKS!

[Edited to add: I just signed up! Thanks again!]

Comment edited on: 5/27/2009 7:05:56 PM

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JIBBIE49 5/25/2009 4:27PM

    Happy Memorial Day. Hope you are having fun today. emoticon emoticon

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KASHMIR 5/25/2009 2:19PM

    Don, I just sent them my stats through the website. Thanks for posting this!

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