Dopamine receptor sites trigger a rush of pleasure in the brain and the body. Every time you eat something high in salt, sugar or fat, you experience “happy chemicals” that create a pathway in your brain, resulting in a habit that eventually leads to addiction.
Emotional eating and food addictions ruin not only your health, but your relationships as well, because both addictions have the potential to cause irrational thinking and behaviors.
Addiction is addiction. When one is addicted to any health damaging substance, whether it is sugar, salt, carbs, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, heroine, or prescription drugs; to live in freedom from the addiction will require a radical commitment to abstinence. Including possibly finding new friends and activities that support the decision to remain free . . . for life!
According to Dr. Fuhrman, “The facts are that fast food and junk foods cause a thousand times as many premature deaths compared to cocaine; and it’s condoned.”
Read More from Dr. Joel Fuhrman here:
•Do you enjoy eating a fresh mango or juicy slice of cantaloupe?
•Do you get excited over the taste of seasoned bok choy with roasted garlic and shiitake mushrooms simmered in carrot juice?
•Do you look forward to some steamed greens, zucchini, beets, and onions poured over a bowl of warm lentils, currants and sun dried tomatoes?
•Do you enjoy sweet peppers, red onions, sliced plantain, and shredded carrots in your salads? Doesn’t a dressing made from blueberries, cashews and a little blueberry vinegar poured over sound good?
•When cherry tomatoes have ripened on the vine, do you pop the delicious morsels into your mouth like you used to pop in junk food? And, feel good that you enjoy the health giving sustenance from nature?
If you don’t genuinely enjoy eating nutrient rich foods, it’s a telltale sign that you have not broken free from toxic food addiction.
If eating for health is a burden, but you force yourself to do it anyway to lose weight or survive; or because you know it’s better than the alternative of premature death, then you are still held captive to the standard American diet. You are a food addict. Most likely, when no one is around, or when the food is right there in your vicinity, you make excuses to yourself and eat toxic foods at almost every opportunity.
Many people have trouble breaking free. For them they need a prolonged period of abstinence to conquer their perverted cravings for destructive food. Like any drug addiction, in order to be free from food addiction and its all-consuming cravings, you have to abstain from the toxic American diet for a full 8 – 12 weeks, no matter what.
If you do not strictly follow nutritarian eating for at least that amount of time, your taste buds will never adapt, and consequently you’ll never get to the point that you prefer eating natural, healthy food.
You have to put in the time of abstinence up front to get the results. If you’re always jumping back and forth due to toxic cravings, you won’t build the strength and sensitivity in the taste buds that make natural foods so delicious.
In other words, just do it!
You can’t live with one leg in nutritarian eating and one leg in standard American (self-destructive) eating. It just won’t work, and you’ll miss the wonderful privilege of living in freedom from food addiction and enjoying optimal health. Yes, there’s a seemingly sacrificial price to pay up front because cravings can be strong and withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, but these disappear shortly and the results will pay you back a hundred fold for the rest of your life!
Here are my 5 easy tips for ending food addictions:
1. Don’t give up! Make your health a priority. If you truly want to become healthier, you can and will! 2. Find healthy swaps for processed foods – food that are high in fat, sugar and salt. For example, instead of having potato chips, eat some nuts, seeds or avocado. Have fresh berries instead of candy!
3. Be aware of your physical and emotional responses to food. Particularly foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt. The more aware of your reactions to food, the easier it will become to make a new, healthy choice.
4. Keep “trigger” foods out of the house. Out of sight, out of mind.
5. Be prepared. Keep you fridge and cupboards stocked with healthy (and delicious) options. Raw nuts/seeds, plenty of fruit.
Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help! Consult a qualified nutrition professional if you need guidance and support.
Eat Healthy & Thrive