Hidden in Plain Sight: Food Addiction Reset - Issue 44

Hidden in Plain Sight: Food Addiction Reset - Issue 44

Go Ahead Make My Food Addiction Worse

We'll reveal the results of our Facebook poll on members' biggest holiday problems. And, you'll be receiving advice from the world's leading expert in processed food addiction, Dr. Joan Ifland.

1. How do I deal with stress without eating?

2. How do I go about eating differently than my family/guests?

3. How can I stick to my budget and eat clean when my expenses are so high during the holidays?

4. How do I get my family to understand how sick these processed foods make me feel and act?

The first question is also the toughest if you don't know how the brain works. If you don't know that the brain runs primarily on messages from mirror neurons, then you might think that you could hang around with stressed out people without being stressed.

I know the brain doesn't work that way. The brain copies the people around it, and if the people around you are stressed, then the brain will direct you to be stressed as well.

Have you ever had a date with a calm friend? No matter how stressed you are when you meet that person, you know you'll be happier at the end of the time spent together.

So the best answer to how to avoid stress-eating is to fill your calendar with dates with quiet people. 

Distorting Science

2. How do I go about eating differently than my family/guests?

 What a good question! Our brains want us to conform to the people around us so being around people who are eating toxic processed foods can be a real problem for us. Let us work through some simple steps.

1. Make sure clean food is on the table.

If you're the host, you get to choose what's going to be on the table. Choose a lot of clean foods that most people like. Clean hamburgers (no bun), chili (a vegan chili is a great option here), meatloaf, roast chicken or turkey, and broiled salmon are all foods that most people enjoy. Most people like rice or bean dishes and many like salad. Cut up fruit makes a gorgeous dessert. That's a great meal right there. If you put lovely foods on the table, often people won't even notice what's not there. In this scenario, you're eating the same as everyone else.

If you're invited to someone else's home, call beforehand to get the menu. Just explain that you've recently learned that you have severe food allergies, so you're checking on what you need to bring. Maybe they're serving a clean protein and salad, but the starch is loaded with dairy. Take a baked sweet potato and slip it onto your plate quietly. If anyone asks, share the line about food allergies. If someone pushes, change the topic to, 'Tell me about your day.'

The truth of the matter is that people are not all that interested in what you're eating. You can quietly eat differently and still enjoy the company.

Many of these strategies also help ease the stress of eating differently from your family day-to-day. Go over the list of Unprocessed Foods and pick out those that everyone in your family will happily eat. Supply those foods. Leave them out on the counters in the kitchen to provide a visual trigger to household members. Keep those foods cooking regularly to stimulate your family to want those foods. You can do this.

Insider Tips About Loss of Control

3. How can I stick to my budget and eat clean when my expenses are so high during the holidays?

Clean eating is cheaper than eating processed foods because processed foods take our energy and clear thinking. With energy and clear-thinking, we have our creative powers to carry us through a season of gift-giving and entertaining and eating clean.

First, let's cover gifts. People are so starved for attention these days that giving the gift of time can be treasured by the recipient. Give people a date for a walk or a visit to a museum or a shared time at the public library. These dates can be spread out over the next few months so any expense can be postponed. Your recipient will have a fun time to look forward to and loving memories forever.

To reduce expenses, remember that buying in volume is a great saver. Buy a big chicken which can yield up to 12 4-oz servings of protein. And, prep time is really minimal. Just 5 minutes to put it in a roasting pan upside down, add a few inches of water and a bag of carrots. Done! Come back in a few hours to take it out and enjoy.

Beans are incredibly cheap and yet are highly nutritious food. A cup of beans and a cup of brown rice costs about 60 cents. Add carrots for a true dollar meal. (Ignore media messages about negative effects from beans and grains. They're just protecting the fast food market. People have been eating beans for hundreds of thousands of years.)

A lot of anxiety about money can be because processed foods provoke stressful thoughts. So getting off of processed foods can reduce worries about money. It's worth a shot.

Research Missing in Action

4. How do I get my family to understand how sick these processed foods make me feel and act?

Getting the people around you to understand is not easy. For the last few weeks, I've been working with animation software to create a presentation showing how sensitive our brains are to triggers, especially from people close to us. Please watch your email and the Facebook group, 'Food Addiction Education' for notices of presentations. In the meanwhile, here are two Handouts that I wrote for you.

 The first is "Availability is a Problem."

It explains why leaving processed foods around the house is so dangerous. Just knowing that a processed food is available causes the craving pathways in the brain to start pumping out craving thoughts. The longer this goes on, the more blood flow goes to the craving part of the brain and the less to the restraint center in the brain. Eventually, craving wins out over restraint and we're helplessly eating something we don't want to eat. This is practically the definition of anguish, isn't it?

The second Handout is, "Food Cue Management for Households." This explains the reactions in the brain when food cues are flashed around a household. I would encourage you to go over this Handout with family members so they can begin to understand the impact on the brain of food cues. 


Why This is NOT Your Fault

Take a minute to think about how stressed out the people in your household and workplaces are. Being around stressed out people is stressful and research shows that relationships are a leading cause of relapse. There's a big part of your answer right there. Please consider surrounding yourself with the positive, relaxed people in the Addiction Reset Community. It's easy to use with three online video or conference call chats per day. Don't wait to sink into the relief of being around people who deeply understand what you're going through.




Join us for the LIVE broadcast of:

Hidden in Plain Sight: Food Addiction TV
Every Wednesday Night at 8pm/7pm (Eastern/Central)
Just Click Here to join our LIVE airing OR to set a reminder!

If you can't make the LIVE event you can come back here to watch the replay.

Whenever you are ready here are some things you can do:

Here are some written resources you might be interested in:

  • PROCESSED FOOD ADDICTION: Foundations, Assessments, and Recovery  Click Here to buy the textbook on Amazon.com
  • The Food Addict's Meal Prep Manual: Save Yourself from Food Addiction in Only 2 Hours A Week  Click Here to Buy on Amazon

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