Four Stages of Breaking a Food Addiction
Nowhere do the four stages of food addiction come into play more powerfully than they do when you resist changing a habit relating to the foods with which you self-medicate. For most of us those foods are the instant, and easily available –- bread, beverage, dessert, or alcohol. For others they are the fatty foods, and plenty of them. You might choose huge portions of steak, hamburger, and French fries, enormous bowls of salad with globs of dressing. Perhaps chunks of cheese appear as a part of your daily food consumption.
Whether it is a basket of bread, a huge salad, or a box of cookies, your body takes so much extra time to slog through the extra food – more food than you’re able to burn – that it cannot easily process it. The body wears itself out. You get tired.
Calories are units of energy. After eating your meal you want to feel energized, not tired.
Eating more than you need causes you to feel as if you are in a drugged state. This altered state, zones out the brain, and helps you to escape from feelings.
Stage One – Resistance to change
My program comes along and says: “Let’s not have a beverage at every breakfast. Sometimes, choose to have a beverage every two, or even three days. Soup is a meal. Put your fork down between bites. Weigh yourself twice a day.”
This is scary stuff. You may be thinking you’re comfortable this old way. Therefore, a new way can’t be as comfortable. You erroneously conclude you’ll feel uncomfortable. You don’t know this will be the outcome; you’ve never tried the new way before; but you resist change even though you know the old way is not working. One component of addiction is that you continue doing what you’re doing even though there are negative consequences.
It is your old addict peabrain resisting change by projecting a negative outcome even though you don’t have any knowledge or experience that your projection is valid. The addiction twists your thinking to justify your behavior.
Stage Two – Begrudging attempts
You join a weight loss group or purchase a book and decide, however grudgingly, you’ll give it a try. “I don’t want to do this, but I’ll pick one no-coffee day. I don’t want to weigh myself twice a day. I don’t want to write down everything I eat. I don’t want to eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I don’t want to eat breakfast, but I will because I want to weigh ________ pounds.