Some people who are overweight might not be aware that they’re addicted to certain food through no fault of their own. That does not make them lack a back-bone, gluttonous or a bad person. Although food addiction is usually regarded as a psychological or emotional problem, in fact it is often a biochemical issue. To put it bluntly, your taste buds, hormones, and brain chemistry have been kidnapped by the food industry.
So if you’ve been blaming yourself for having weight problems, don’t. It’s true that you require willpower and personal responsibility, but usually standing on their own is not enough to defend against the constant onslaught of super-processed, tasty, extremely addictive foods that food manufacturers through at us for sheer financial gain.
Whether you consume sugary or processed foods, refined carbs (such as pasta, bread etc.), artificial sweeteners or any other such highly-palatable foods and high glycaemic food, all turn into sugar in our body and cause blood sugar levels to spike. Recent research demonstrates that sugar affects the pleasure centres in the brain in the same way cocaine or heroin do. This means that sugar is addictive and therefore for most of us very hard to resist. That also explains why many of us eat foods known to be bad for us, make us feel guilty, cause bluntness and inflammation and inspire chronic disease.
As a matter of fact, this actually explains why 70% of Americans and nearly the same percentage of Europeans are overweight. The reality is that almost one in two people has a condition known as diabesity. This can be anywhere from mild insulin resistance to fully blown type 2 diabetes.
Many people turn to fad diets or sometimes even to surgery to battle the weight and health issues brought about by food addictions. However, many such ‘remedies’ fail because they are unsuccessful in fixing the underlying mechanism of food addictions. When we eat these foods, our biological programming causes us to consume a lot of them and to store the excess calories as belly fat for a forthcoming ‘famine’. The problem is that the ‘famine’ never arrives. This mechanism that saved our lives when we were hunters-gatherers is not killing us.
In order to reprogram our biology so we can stop overeating we need to detox from the types of food and drinks we’re addicted to. This is not an easy task because the food industry spends huge amounts of money to make sure that we can’t get cleaned from our food addictions. And judging by the results, they’re doing quite a good job of it.
If you look at any rehab ‘manual’ you will never find it saying ‘practice moderation’. It’s a known fact that to breakaway from addictions you need to go ‘cold turkey’.
The food manufacturers would have us believe that obesity is a consequence of bad personal choices. They are implying that people are fat because of gluttony and laziness, and not because the industry is manipulating people’s biology to crave their food products. They claim that if we make better choices the problem will be solved. If you believe them, there are no good or bad foods, it’s just a matter of moderation (and for good measure, they usually also throw in the need to get a bit of exercise).
It’s not the purpose of this blog to discuss how the conniving food industry is managing to get us hooked on their products. Instead, I would like to discuss how those of us who’ve inadvertently become addicted to process and sugary food can kick the habit.
When we’re talking about addictive foods, we’re not only talking about those food or drinks that contain sugar. Many processed foods have a high glycaemic index too. Our bodies need the starch and sugar which is found in healthy carbs (such as vegetables, whole grain, and low glycaemic fruit like berries), but refined carbs such as bread, pasta, crisps etc. are converted into sugar in our body, spiking our blood sugar level and cause cravings. And like any other addiction, you need more and more of the addictive substance to generate the same level of satisfaction. This is known as tolerance.
The good news is that you can kick this bad habit. The way to do it is to undergo a couple of weeks’ detox programme that will rest your biology and metabolism. There are different protocols for detox and many are very good and have a high rate of success. Many of my clients prefer my‘juice fasting detox’ protocol. a As well as kicking the habit, it will also help you reverse chronic symptoms, overcome the cravings, shed-off weight, and get back on the road to natural state of wellbeing.
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