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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!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    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.
    2399 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    3149 days ago
    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
    3152 days ago
    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...

    3152 days ago
    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
    3152 days ago
    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!

    3152 days ago
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