You ARE an addict, but it is NOT your fault....

Saturday, July 09, 2011

If you are fat like me, chances are you have been labelled. We all know it. Society thinks we have no self control, that we are gluttons. The fashion industry says we are unworthy of pretty, well designed clothing. Our doctors succinctly label us "non-compliant" in our charts.

I mean, how HARD is it to control the food we put in our mouths?

Messages like this have FILLED me with anguish, self loathing, disgust. I am a freaking nurse. I have had access to anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nutrition, MANY classes that told me that it is calories in/calories out and I should be oh so skinny in no time. I was told that if I was not losing weight, it was my fault.

I do take FULL responsibility for my size. I knowingly put every bite of food in my mouth when I was old enough to do so. What I DO take offense to is the fact that more and more research is coming out indicating that the foods we have been told to eat are now being shown to be HIGHLY addictive.

Research is starting to show some interesting things. The above link refers to an article from Nature Neuroscience. The study discussed was one in which rats were fed a "bad diet", one with fast food, cheetos, etc. What the researchers found was that the rats became ADDICTED to the bad diet foods. How do they know that for CERTAIN? Well, MRIs done on the brains of rats showed activity changes that looked IDENTICAL changes to those of heroin and opiate addicts.

What does that mean for everyday fatties like you and I? Well, what it means is that these foods cause your brain's own ability to make the feel good hormone dopamine to decrease. Let's repeat that: addictive foods do what heroin does: it acts like dopamine in our bodies, so our brain says "well, I am not making dopamine since this food is doing it for me."

So, what does this mean for the dieter? Funny you should ask. It means that for those of us who want to begin to "eat clean", it is going to be VERY hard for awhile. VERY. We are going to feel like crap. We are going to go through a drug withdrawal. Depressed, moody, gassy, tired. Our brain does NOT immediately begin to produce dopamine immediately, so we CRAVE junk food like a heroin CRAVES that fix.

The link above discusses how dopamine works, how long it CAN take for your brain to produce normal levels of dopamine again. It is a LONG process people. Studies have shown that drug addicts can take up to 18 months before their brain produces sufficient amounts of dopamine on its own again.

Let me sum what I am trying to say a bit more succinctly:

If you are having a difficult time losing weight, there IS a reason for this. Your brain is having a ROUGH time giving up those feel good chemicals that make us feel like LIVING. It is NOT your fault, you did NOT know that you were filling your body with addictive just thought you were eating those healthy meals the TV said would help you lose weight. This happened with those back in the 50's who were told smoking did not cause cancer. They just didn't know.

What can YOU do about it now? Well, I hate to say it, but every bit of research out there says we have to sober up. No more crap. Specifically:

1. Eat as little from a box as possible.

2. Drink at LEAST 8 glasses of water a day.

3. If you must eat from a box, make sure the ingredients in the box are 5 ingredients or less, such as Grape Nuts.

4. Go sit outside for 15 minutes a day. The vitamin D will help with the depression you WILL feel.

5. 30 minute of exercise a day. Even a slow walk will do.

6. Orgasms. They will increase your dopamine levels.

So there you have my rant for the day. I don't believe our medical professionals, our schools, our media are doing their due diligence in providing information to the People. We are intelligent people, and we deserve to know what we our doing to our bodies. AND THEY DO KNOW.

What do you think? You have withdrawals while trying to change your lifestyle?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog and great points. Use the spark.
    2813 days ago
    Great blog - thank you!
    2814 days ago
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    Great post! Thanks for sharing.
    2814 days ago
    Wow everyone, thank you for the links and the information. DDORN, I will definitely check out your blogs.

    And watermellen, I have read "the diet solution" and am on that team. I love that she lays out a day at a time lifestyle change. I am a big fan of cognitive psychology. Her plan is very good.

    I have got to say, since I changed my meal plans (you can see where they changed on my tracker), I have had little to no cravings for sugary, bad foods. I can EASILY stay within 1200-1400 calories a day, and I am eating real food again. I am trying to keep my carbs around 100, it is a bit tough, but it is FAR better than it was. I feel better for the most part too. I do see how that "blahs" can happen, but I can make them better with music or exercise.
    2814 days ago
    This is absolutely right. For years I followed the dietary advice. Calories in - calories out. Eat whole grains. 4 years I just maintained my weight. The dietary experts said I must be cheating. How insulting!

    Obesity rates are still rising in every single state in the US. Not a single state had a decline in the latest study. Well, as of yesterday, I am no longer obese or overweight. I am 'normal' by all current medical definitions. How did I beat the odds? I ignored the dietary advice for whole grains. I just eat vegetables, fruit, and protein. Minimal grains. Instead of that grain portion on the "Food Plate", I just add another serving of vegetables.

    You are right about the addictive nature of certain foods. I used to be addicted to sugars and starchy carbs. When I got rid of them, I went through withdrawals. But once I got through it, I don't crave them anymore. Craving is a sign of addiction, whether it is a drug or a piece of cake. I live my life substance free! The only vice I have is I like a glass of wine with dinner.
    2814 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/10/2011 10:10:34 AM
    This is a very important and well written blog: I "liked" it.

    Best strategy I've found myself for dealing with the "addiction" and "learning to think like a thin person" is Judith S. Beck's "The Diet Solution" -- applying techniques from cognitive psychology. There is a Beck team here at SP: the book (and workbook) are well worth the investment.

    2814 days ago
    Such vitally important points you make! And they all apply THROUGHOUT our efforts to sustain a healthy lifestyle, whether at the beginning, middle or maintenance: beware those trigger foods that suck us right back into the downward spiral of out-of-control eating!

    Here are my own personal soapbox rants which I keep repeating to everyone I know:

    Since the government has passively stood by while allowing corporations to take over the media and "feed" us a bazillion messages on how "delicious" and "delectable" all their mass produced, high-sugar, high-fat foods are I think the government owes us citizens a major overhaul within the media and should begin to shape our eating habits toward (as Michael Pollan says): Real food, mostly plants, not too much. That simple, sensible message may not APPEAR to have much promotional razzle dazzle BUT: Given a mega-bazillion dollar advertising campaign courtesy of the federal gov't as an investment in the future of the health of our country we could begin to make inroads toward re-shaping our perception of food and making healthier choices!


    Viva la Pollan! :-)

    2814 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/10/2011 10:34:47 AM
    Well said, and thank you for the links! There's definitely a detox process. When I began getting rid of processed foods in my diet 15 years ago, I happened to be keeping a symptom diary for my autoimmune symptoms.
    OH yeah--withdrawals, big time!!!

    2815 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/10/2011 5:30:37 AM
  • PUMA8406
    i had been reading jillian michaels' "master your metabolism" and it is so incredibly crazy how our bodies are literally built to BECOME addicted. those chemical releases in our brains when we taste something (or take a hit of drugs) that make us want more and more and more. CRAZY!!!!!
    2815 days ago
    Yeah lol, my husband said he would be more than willing to help me increase my dopamine levels. He especially liked #6 too he he.
    2815 days ago
    Nice blog
    2815 days ago
    I'm on board for all of them but am particularly looking forward to #6. emoticon
    2815 days ago
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