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Food Rehab: Final Thoughts

Monday, July 22, 2013

I am a food addict. I like Cosco carrot cake and Baskin Robbins ice cream. I like to have Pizza Hut pizza and garlic bread at Olive Garden.

But the thing is - these companies know this. They realize that when a product tastes good, more of it sells. And because of our biology, our affinity for foods with fat and salt and sugar, that means the foods with the most of these end up being a bane for people like me. I know I need to eat healthy. I know I need to stop. But WHY does my body do this to me? Why can't I stop? What makes me attracted to these foods - and is it even possible to ever be healthy, to be in control of my urges.

David A. Kessler's book, "The End of Overeating", was eye-opening. It made me realize how little in control I could be over what I ate. It made me realize that my issues with food were startlingly similar to an alcoholic's relationship with alcohol - or a drug addict's desire for cocaine. It made me realize that the previous methods of trying to lose weight would never have worked for me - because trying to portion out one serving of Oreos or Doritoes or eat just one burger were failing because I was addicted.

This book has been valuable to me. It has reinvigorated my drive to get these remaining 20 pounds off and to move into maintenance - into lifelong health. It has shown me a highly adaptable plan of HOW to do this, the basics being:

+ Don't eat your emotions away

+ Remove all the tempting foods from your life

+ Make a plan for your eating habits

+ If you come in contact with tempting foods, have a plan

+ Integrate exercise to give you that "happy boost" food used to give you

They are simple ideas, ones that you hear all the time in weight loss literature, but the way Kessler presents them in his book just clicked with me.

I've said it many times in this series, but I highly recommend reading Kessler's book, "The End of Overeating". There are some really technical portions, but in between the "sciency bits", there are so many good, helpful ideas. It really helped me find my second wind; hopefully, it will be as helpful and insightful for you!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It sounds great. I'm going to see if our library owns a copy! Out of curiosity, what is your plan for when you encounter tempting foods? I clearly don't have a good plan as I ate 2 pieces of cake at my mother's last night....she made a cake because she knew I was coming by and it was delicious. They weren't large pieces but of course I should have had maybe half a slice instead of 2!!!!!
    1766 days ago
    I agree - it was an eye-opening book for me too!
    1766 days ago
    emoticon info!! emoticon emoticon
    1766 days ago
    Great tips. Most of the diet book writers have the theory that "if it isnt there, you cant eat it" and it is so true....which is why it is best to do a clean out and keep it that way. If you cant trust yourself around food and buying the wrong stuff...ask a trusted friend to shop with you is another good idea I read in a "how to diet" book.
    1766 days ago
  • WILDKAT781
    1767 days ago
    Thank you for sharing the things you have learned by reading Kessler's book. It sounded so good from the start that I rushed out and ordered it, now I just have to read it and identify myself in his words which I don't think will be too hard based on what you have said about it and the preview I read online.

    You will kick those last 20 pounds in no time!!

    1767 days ago
  • TINYRN2011
    Thanks for posting this! I'm going to hunt down the book as soon as I can. I am pretty sure I am addict where some foods are concerned!javascript:void(0);
    1767 days ago
    Sounds like a good read. I, too, struggle with food cravings, but for now I'm doing well just staying within my calorie range and tracking what I eat.

    I know that when I get down to my goal weight it will be a matter of maintaining....and to be honest, for me, that's the hardest part of weight loss. Not losing. Maintaining. This book will probably do me a lot of good, too, when I get closer to goal weight. I will need something to give me a kick in the pants to stay on a good maintenance plan. Hope that makes sense.

    I wish we could make a list somewhere of "good stuff I need to read."
    1767 days ago
  • KJACOBS1111
    I don't disagree with the psychology of food addiction, but keep in mind all of those processed foods also have added chemicals the company put in there to increase appetite and cause addiction chemically. Yes, fat+carbs+sugar is addicting, but then add chemicals known to increase appetite and chemically bind to our pleasure receptors. What's in Your Food? : The Truth about Additives from Aspartame to Xanthan Gum by Bill Statham (2007) is a great guide to understanding all those chemical names on ingredient lists and what they do and whether they are known to be harmful.
    1767 days ago
    emoticon I will check out this book!!
    1767 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/22/2013 1:37:36 PM
    Thank you for sharing how helpful this book has been for you. I am painfully aware of my addiction to food, but always find that I am in a constant argument with myself over food. I think I will take a stab at reading this as well.
    1767 days ago
    Thanks for the recommendation!!
    1767 days ago
  • TONYAB2000
    Thank you for sharing! I will look for this book so I can read it, too.
    1767 days ago
    I wish I had read this, but I think I have learned the lessons just from trial and error in the past. So glad it has helped you! It really does feel like I sometimes need a support group like AA or a sponsor!
    1767 days ago
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