Is Complete Abstinence From Junk Foods a Bad Idea?

Young Blonde Woman Eating PizzaJunk foods are addictive.

There is no question about it… they light up the same areas in the brain as drugs of abuse (1).

For many people, food addiction can become a very real and very serious problem (2).

The biochemistry of the brain gets hijacked and people lose control over their thoughts and behavior.

They end up eating way too much of these foods and are simply unable to stop, no matter how hard they try.

Junk Food Addiction and Drug Addiction Are Basically Identical

I am a recovering drug addict with a history of multiple rehabs, jail more often than I can count and several trips to the emergency room due to overdose.

I am also an ex smoker and have extensive personal experience with addiction (been sober since January 4th, 2007).

Several years after I stopped doing drugs, I started developing an addiction to unhealthy foods.

I had become highly interested in nutrition and health, but I had an extremely difficult time actually sticking to what I thought was healthy.

One day I realized that the cravings and thought processes were exactly the same as they had been for drugs of abuse like amphetamine.

There was no difference, only a different substance and the social consequences weren’t as severe.

Craving junk food felt the same as craving an addictive drug. Exactly the same.

I’ve since spoken to several of my friends who are also recovering drug addicts. They agree that craving junk food feels the same as craving drugs.

Even though a lot of people don’t even know that food addiction exists, I am personally convinced that it is a huge problem in society today and one of the key reasons it is next to impossible for some people to stick to a healthy diet.

Btw… you do NOT need to have problems with smoking, drugs or alcohol to become addicted to junk food. It is very common, actually.

If you think you might have this problem, then ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. Do you get cravings despite feeling full?
  2. Do you feel guilty after eating particular foods, yet do it again soon after?
  3. Do you make excuses in your head about why you should eat certain foods?
  4. Have you unsuccessfully tried setting rules (like cheat meals/days) about certain foods, but been unsuccessful?
  5. Do you feel unable to control your consumption of certain foods, despite knowing that they are causing you physical harm (includes weight gain)?

These are all typical symptoms of food addiction.

If you can relate to this, then you DO have a serious problem and you better start doing something about it, or it will only get worse and end up ruining your health.

The Law of Addiction

During my years of battling addiction, I learned many things that have stuck with me.

Woman Crushing French Fries

The most important lesson I learned is called the law of addiction:

“Administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.”

An ex-smoker who has a puff of a cigarette will become instantly addicted again and might be back to a pack-a-day habit the next day.

An alcoholic who has a sip of beer will relapse… with all the horrible consequences that follow. One sip can ruin an alcoholic’s life.

I am personally convinced that junk food addiction is no different. One bite, one “cheat” – that’s all it takes.

A food addict that has been abstinent for a long time and decides to indulge “just once” will relapse and start eating that food more frequently again.

Many people with a history of yo-yo dieting will be able to relate to this.

Although some food addicts may be able to control their consumption while they are highly motivated, these “cheats” or occasional indulgences will quickly turn into more regular habits when the motivation runs out.

What About Moderation?

Many nutrition professionals argue against “extreme” approaches like completely eliminating junk food from the diet.

They often say that people should make en effort to include these foods in their life, only in small amounts (the “everything in moderation” mantra).

Although this approach may be reasonable for some people, it is a complete disaster for people with food addiction.

When it comes to addiction, moderation fails. Every single time. There is no reason to believe that food addiction is different.

Telling a food addict to eat junk food in moderation is about as ridiculous as telling an alcoholic to drink beer in moderation.

It simply does not work, period.

We Don’t “Need” to Eat Junk Food

We all need to eat something… otherwise we’ll die from hunger. That is inevitable.

But it is very important to realize that not all foods have this effect.

Most people with food addiction aren’t binging on broccoli and eggs, they’re stuffing themselves with processed junk foods high in sugar, wheat and highly refined ingredients.

There is no physiological need for junk food in the diet. This crap didn’t exist until very recently in evolutionary history and our genes haven’t changed since then.

Food addicts can eat most real, unprocessed foods without problems. But they DO need to avoid the trigger foods that cause cravings, binge eating and addiction.

People who manage to do this often lose a lot of weight without any major effort. That’s what happened to me and every other recovering food addict I know.

Complete Abstinence is The Only Thing That Works Against Addiction

So… what is the answer for food addicts?

What can they do to finally get rid of the nasty, disease promoting foods from their lives?

The solution is the same as it is with any other addiction… avoiding the addictive substance. Completely.

No junk food on birthdays, no junk food on Christmas. Nothing. Ever. Not a single bite.

For addicts, this is an ALL or NOTHING deal.

Either you avoid junk food completely, or you eat it constantly. There is nothing in between. A single bite will trigger a relapse and ruin everything.

Abstinence is the only thing that works against addiction, period.

This is Easier Than You May Think

You might think that complete abstinence is extremely difficult, but this really isn’t the case.

What IS difficult is trying to control a relentless biochemical drive (craving) using willpower. For someone with full-blown addiction, this is simply impossible.

On the other hand, when you’ve made a decision to never eat this stuff again, sticking to a healthy diet actually becomes much easier. Seriously.

When you don’t even invite the option of indulging, then there’s no need for you to start justifying anything in your head… so the craving may not even show up.

If you have had multiple unsuccessful attempts at “moderation,” then perhaps you should consider eliminating this stuff… completely.

It may end up saving your life.

53 Comments

  1. Jesus Garcia Godoy says:

    I hate Christmas for this reason… I can’t stop eating. At first I begin eating the good things, but I end up eating lots of sugary things and that stuff… My family doesn’t seem to know I have that problem, so when they see I eat all those things, they bring even more.

    This never ends… and it causes a bad psychological effect on me… and physical.

    I was fit a week ago and now I’m bloated.

  2. What if there were potato chips and crisps cooked in coconut oil? And they were consumed in moderation… like say once a week or even fortnightly.. would these still be classified as junk food and feeding an addiction?

    What if I made my own chocolate sweetened with rice malt syrup or dextrose? Is that classified as feeding an addiction? Is a home made baked good with no fructose or bad fats/oils classified as junk even though it doesn’t have the bad stuff in it?

    Just wanting to be clear about what exactly is being put in the junk food list here. Obviously I know all take out foods and drinks are, confectionery, biscuits, chips, soft drinks and pretty much the whole center part of any supermarket counts as junk BUT what about the stuff that is baked at home?

    Are you saying a food addict has to commit to only eating veggies/fruit/meat/fish/nuts/eggs, you get the gist, without ever veering away even for treats made with whole foods as doing so could risk a relapse?

    I know I just asked the same question in different ways just now but seriously I need this spelled out to me exactly as you intend it to mean. Thanks kindly.

    • I know that for me, personally, I can binge on “real” foods like peanut butter, raw cheese, dark chocolate, low-carb cake made with healthy ingredients, etc. So I need to avoid them.

      But a lot of people who have problems with processed junk foods are able to do fine with home made, healthy treats. I think it depends on the individual.

      • Thank you for your reply. I guess I have some experimenting to do! Starting with complete abstinence and living by your lchf guidelines for a time and then bringing in some home made treaty things and I’ll see how things go.

      • Shawn Jorgenson says:

        Hey Kris, I totally agree with the individuality bit. I know I can binge on just about anything! It’s a bit of a struggle now to not default to eating when I’m happy, sad, bored, etc. Do you follow any diet or take any supplements?

      • It’s interesting, I do think it’s an individual thing. I would never binge on dark chocolate, even though it’s very sweet, I can eat just one piece easily. I can make a bar last me weeks. However I can binge eat five Snickers, even though they’re slightly disgusting. So I have to refrain from eating them entirely. The food addiction approach makes a lot of sense to me.

    • I agree with Kris. I think it definitely depends on the individual. If you have problems with food addiction, odds are you know what your major trigger foods are. After all, they’re *your* cravings. If the homemade chocolate you make yourself is something you don’t constantly crave and are capable of monitoring how much you eat, especially when you know it’s sitting in your kitchen, then go for it! And good luck!

    • Sugars and starches are the worst (addiction) foods of all of them. Replacing sugar with sugar going by a different name does not help, it is still doing the same thing to your insulin and metabolic system. Coconut, butter and olive oils are a much better choice than vegetable and hydrogenated (yes margarine too) but not a good idea to fry up starches (potatoes) with them.

    • It’s whatever your trigger is. If veggie chips fried in coconut oil doesn’t create a problem for you, then it’s not addictive. If you have a hard time setting it down and continually think, “I want more of that”, then it’s an addictive food. You have to listen to what your body is telling you, and follow that.

    • Janice James says:

      I’m diabetic, it’s very easy for me to tell what I need to stay away from, it makes my blood sugar rise and then, when it comes down I’m craving more. If everyone had access to a blood sugar monitor, they’d have a better idea what those addictive foods are doing to their bodies. I have found that fake sugar products are no better than those with real sugar. When you’ve stopped eating junk food, you’ll be surprised at how wonderful a treat like an apple can be.

    • I totally agree with Kris. I have addictive tendencies also and even a healthy variety will lead me down an unhealthy path. If you can do the moderation route, I applaud you. I cannot do that. Once I make an excuse for the first bite, I will make an excuse for the whole thing and increase the frequency. This is not an easy road to take but a highly necessary one if we want to be healthier.

    • I appreciate this is an old post but 2 things:

      1. I’m going to do this.

      2. No, you cannot get away with home-made junk food. It’s still junk food, even if not “as bad”.

      Fact is, it will still trigger your dopamine receptors, meaning you will trigger the cravings again.

      After many years of wanting to quit, and trying all sorts of other methods, the only thing that allowed me to quit smoking was totally stopping, dead. I’ve never touched one since.

      As such this approach makes a whole lot of sense to me and is something I’ve even considered doing, as it worked for smoking. Seeing it written down by someone else is the nudge I need :o)

      But no, home made junk is still junk.

      • Hi, just to say that the guy who asked the question was, I think, referring to home-baked cakes etc. I certainly wouldn’t call these junk-food, and unless someone is free to bake all the time from scratch, it would be much harder to binge on them, than on the real junk-food that comes in packages and is full of harmful ingredients.

        At our local primary school in Spain, the only rules about the snacks they could bring in for break-time, were that they should be homemade and brought in a reusable container, which makes a lot of sense to me. (Of course, I wouldn’t count making cakes from package mixes as home-baked ;-) Don’t you agree?

  3. Very topical article! Everyone is clearly different. My holiday strategy is to give myself permission to cheat for a short period during the holidays. Now that Christmas is over, am I more tempted to eat badly? YES! But I know that a few days (3 seems to be the magic number) of clean eating and my cravings will diminish and I’ll be back on track again.

    • Bridget Scarbrough says:

      3 is my magic number as well and usually what I tell my clients… “it’s going to most likely take 3 good days… to see the cravings disappear.”

  4. I totally agree with the article. I stopped eating junk because moderation to me is foreign. I’m ONE chip/cookie away from finishing the whole bag.

  5. My triggers seem to be very emotionally driven, so I might not be a true addict. When I am not in a state of anxiety or hyper-arousal we can have whatever junk food we want in the house and I’ll only eat it when I want and in moderation. In fact, we end up throwing away the last bit of chips and cookies and even ice cream because they go bad before we have finished them.

    However, if I am in an anxious state or state of trauma because something has triggered an emotional reaction, I don’t care what it is as long as it is in my mouth…

  6. Hi Kris; great article and so many of your points resonated with me. I am using will power to resist the vast amounts of rubbish we have in our house at the moment because I am experiencing huge cravings thanks to having eaten a lot of white chocolate a few days ago. Really, you just need to not keep this stuff in your house.

    Like a lot of people, I claim I have bought it for others (because it’s so harmless for them too) when I have really bought it for myself. Do you think l-glutamine supplements work well to curb cravings? Thank you.

    • I’ve heard of l-glutamine being helpful with cravings before, but never seen any studies on it.

      I’m sure it wouldn’t work on me, I’ve tried all kinds of crazy stuff to get rid of the cravings and nothing ever worked consistently. I suppose it could be worthy of a self-experiment if you’re interested in trying it.

  7. Hi Kris – once again a great article with some honest insight.

    We all need to be more honest with ourselves especially at this time of year when there are far more bad food temptations in our way.

    Keep up your great blog.

    All the best, Jan.

  8. This is one of the very best and most honest reports I’ve seen on the topic. Thank you!

  9. I can’t eat junk food at all and by junk I mean stuff that is filled with sugar. If I choose to do it even for just a day, I have cravings many days forward which causes me to feel unsatisfied even though I’m full and overeat.

  10. It has been over a year now since I gave up the junk food, not 100%. I must admit still believing that the occasional ‘treat’ now and again was perfectly acceptable. I was a total sugar whore, until one evening I went through McD’s and ordered a quarter pounder, fish burger and large fries (I had stuffed them down before even leaving the drive through).

    I could almost feel it hitting my system like a grenade going off, the initial taste was mind blowing and my eyes rolled to the back of head, OMG this is the best taste/feeling in the world… and then… boom, the taste of grease in my mouth, my skin started to itch, I was thirsty (and drank about 3 litres of water through-out the night). I had a headache that would quit, and a sleepless night that had me up pacing the floors praying that feeling of wanting to throw up would just get on with it…

    I’ve read enough on the subject to know that I had thrown my system into overload, and that this was going to take 24 hours to get all services operating again, including having the insulin calm the f down and my liver forgive me…

    I can’t eat crap foods anymore, and I actually do crave vegetables and salads, but my good ole brain will still get a whiff of fries or baked bread and almost talk me into having another wee go… but after negotiating with dark side and explaining what will happen, and that I’m just not prepared for 24 hrs of hell.

  11. I have been off junk food for almost 15 months, and I have been good, not even one little piece of candy. Two holiday seasons now, without eating bread, or processed sugar. (I am gluten-free now, and I do eat natural sugars — at first I didn’t even eat those, but I eat sucanat, raspadura, maple syrup and raw honey, oh, and coconut palm sugar in moderation).

    The problem is that I have an addictive behavior. I cannot stop at just one candy bar. I need 10 (and for some weird reason I am not overweight!) My husband tells me “just eat this one treat” and I know it doesn’t work that way for me. Maybe for him. And for others. But not for me. I have no control. It is all or nothing.

    I have made my choice and am sticking to it.

    It actually hasn’t been hard for me to go without. In fact, it would be harder to eat a small bite than to completely go without :)

    Thanks for the article and sharing a bit about your past.

  12. Yep, you got it, brudder.

    I came to the same conclusion several weeks ago. I kept trying to dip into junk food using small amounts but no matter how hard I tried, the cravings were overwhelming and I caved every time.

    I finally concluded willpower was not the answer in this case. Willpower is helpful, yes, but alone it does not work. I realized complete (total, bar none, all-the-way, etc.) abstinence was the only answer. Since the week before Thanksgiving I’ve not indulged. I have not touched any kind of junk food, not even an artificial sweetener. Nuttin’, zero, zilch.

    The really weird thing here is how easy the abstinence turned out to be. There were a couple of touchy moments but having made the simple decision to avoid all, life was suddenly a lot easier. Wishy-washy decisions of “should I?” and “how much?” just make life difficult. Simplicity comes from making a hard-and-fast, no-gray-area, rule and sticking with it. Period. End of discussion.

  13. I ALWAYS tell people that I have an “all or nothing” personality. I’ve never heard anyone else use that before! If I’m going to work out, I’m training for a marathon. If I’m having a wine, I’ll probably finish the bottle, etc.

    Moderation does not work for me… glad I’m not the only one!

    Thanks for the article, it was great!

  14. Kris,
    You say: “I can binge on “real” foods like peanut butter, raw cheese, dark chocolate, low-carb cake made with healthy ingredients, etc. So I need to avoid them.”

    Why do you need to avoid the above foods as they are good for you?

    • They’re not good for you if you binge on them and have obsessive, overpowering cravings for them. I do eat cheese with recipes, but eating it raw is a huge problem for me.

  15. Great article! And so applicable with the holidays. I usually eat really healthy but on holidays everyone is always encouraging me to treat myself and “enjoy it.” However, as exhibited this year and every year, once I eat a cookie, I want 5 more. Then I want to try the pumpkin pie and the pastries. It’s a downward spiral. I think abstinence from “junk food,” or at least the ones I have a problem eating in moderation, makes sense. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Linda Morken says:

    Great article. I believe another thing to consider around cravings is our gut microbial state. Our gut has been called our second brain. I think craving signals are representative of the needs of our most dominant gut bacterial population.

    Researchers like Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (author or Gut and Psychology Syndrome) are saying that if the healthy bacteria that thrive on wholesome nutritious foods are out-numbered by pathogenic bacteria that thrive on high carb junk foods, all kinds of health problems ensue.

    Re-balancing one’s gut with traditional highly probiotic foods like beet kvass, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc. goes a long, long way towards ending cravings, resolving disease – and our all important immune system becomes equipped with what is needed to keep us healthy.

  17. So glad you are writing about this. I hope everyone knows about a great 12-step program for food addiction — FA — Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. See http://www.foodaddicts.org

    Happy New Year!

  18. I grew up with people who are addicts like you described (food addicts, shopping addicts, beauty addicts) and somehow it gave me great self-control.

    I absolutely LOVE cake and chocolate and any kind of sweets, and my stomach becomes a bottomless pit when I see more that I want to eat (especially if it is free, like at a company dinner buffet) but I can totally have a gallon of ice cream, a box of cookies, a bag of hershey’s kisses, and eat a few bites, and put the rest away for later, with absolutely no problem.

    My family members I described, well, they just simply lack that ability, it seems. The line about yo-yo-dieting also applies to them. Not only have they bragged in the past about their unhealthy weight loss but I have seen the Atkins diet, the raving about how much their life has changed and how they don’t want to eat junk food anymore, and then a few years later they are back to the old habits, buying a bag of cookies and eating the whole thing in a day, buying cupcakes, cake, etc.

  19. Kris, the last several posts you’ve written have been beyond awesome and do a great job clearly and succinctly explaining the successful cutting edge in nutrition science for fat loss and overall health. Bravo! You have lived up to and past the “Authority” title so far… Keep them coming…

    And when I also see your posts near the top of sites like Business Insider on a regular basis, it’s nice to know that the paleo/primal type healthy eating style, with higher good fats/proteins, and lower carbs/no bad carbs/no sugar is finally getting through to the average person more and more…

    Cheers, Jay

  20. Thank you for the article. By choice, I cut sweets out of my life for a year and a half, but started again for the last 9 months out of weakness.

    You are right it is an addiction, snow ball effect. Time to get back on the wagon.

  21. You are so right on! I am saving this article to share, I feel like it is so hard to explain to people that I do actually have a food addiction! I am completely all or nothing. I lost 127 lbs years ago (by eating meat, veggies and fats and some high fat dairy) and kept it off easily for many years until I got pregnant with twins. My dr said I must eat carbohydrates (whole grains etc), that was like telling an alcoholic they must drink one drink per day!

    I fell off the wagon and gained most of the weight back. It’s only been 2 weeks but I cut out dairy, grains and sugars and FINALLY after a 4 year struggle the cravings are gone. I know I can’t have a single bite of any of those things again (dairy wasn’t a struggle before… but heavy cream in my coffee and cheese are too much for me now!)

    Everybody is different but if you are a food addict, abstaining from your binge foods is absolute, that is the only way to lose weight and your mental obsession… and I take L-glutamine 3-4 times a day between meals, it does help take the edge off. Thanks for your blog!

  22. Diane McCarthy says:

    Great article Kris! As I was reading it, I kept thinking, me too! I can’t have a lot of “firsts” also. I was feeling great and I splurged on sugar and carbs during the holidays and couldn’t stop even though I wanted to. I read your article and have completely surrendered and I am starting over. Here’s to a Happy and healthy New Year!

  23. I also have stopped eating junk food, not that I was a huge eater of it. Junk food, as in sweets, yup, stopped that too.

    I see people often rewarding themselves with a forbidden food because they have stayed on their diet. They don’t understand that that cookie or that chocolate bar restarts the whole shebang just like one cigarette does and they are back where they started. It’s sad really… and programs like Weight Watchers encourage this sort of thing with sweet treats and their lfhc “diet”.

  24. Peggy Holloway says:

    After 14 years, I have found that the best motto is “just say no” to addictive junk food. It is much easier to simply never eat any sugar, starch, grains, or processed food. Over time, it becomes the norm and I’ve found I have no desire to eat sweets or other junk foods, even during the holidays. Health, energy, and overall well-being at the age of “almost 61″ is the only treat I need!

  25. I tend to agree with you on this article for the most part Kris. Congrats on maintaining several days in a row from using. I have been clean since 8/18/04. When I got clean, I ate junk food, smoked, got in unhealthy relationships and drank a BUNCH of coffee, but did not use no matter what.

    After about a year I got serious about “health” for the most part, meaning what I thought was healthy (conventional wisdom) was not. Today I feel that I am clearer about what is healthy and what works for me.

    People in general can become addicted to all sorts of things these days, but yes addicts are especially venerable to replacing one thing for another and might not be aware without an inventory. I have seen people with 30 plus year of clean time but extremely obese.

    You might have heard the term “recovery ruined my using”, when addicts speak of addiction. Well, this is what has happened to me as it pertains to food as well. My wife and I are organic grass fed non grain eating people (I don’t like to use labels because it limits my ability to be open minded when it comes to health).

    For me… and I speak for me because this works for me and may not work for you, but I can have a few cheat meals on the weekend and get back on track with no problem. Listen, I don’t have much in my life that I can abuse without messing up my life or losing it haha… so I enjoy my junk food on the weekends.

    I make sure to have good quality junk food too haha… but allowing myself to indulge a bit on the weekends HELPS me make it through the week of healthy eating. What gets me back on track is the feeling I get from eating good healthy whole foods. Now, when I tried using on weekends back in the day THAT DID NOT WORK!

    I am aware of the difference in how I feel after indulging. My wife and I are so spoiled and sensitive to food that we only have a few places we can eat out and we live in a foodie town.

    For me these days, the spice of life is food. I am on a health journey and the longer I am on this journey the more enlightened I believe I become. So, who knows… maybe one day I wont even feel the need or crave a weekend cheat meal, but for now hello organic rice chips and dark chocolate almond clusters! :)

    Keep up the good work! I enjoy your blog.

  26. Hi Kris, Loved the article.

    Just for the sake of accuracy – our genes HAVE changed since the invention of junk food, they change rapidly through mutations. They just (probably) haven’t changed in a way that causes us to need junk food.

    Jonathan.

  27. Have you read Julia Ross’s books? She’s a psychologist specialized in addictions (drugs, sugars, etc.) and among other things she uses amino-acids to help her patients fight their addiction. She wrote ‘The Mood Cure’ and ‘The Food Cure’.

    And have you read about psychologist Bruce Alexander’s study with the rat park he built and morphine? That’s fascinating stuff. When the rats have enough space, distractions and fun their need for the drug goes away. One would think morphine would be stronger than exercise and play but in the rat park it wasn’t. A lot of humans live in cages but they’re not aware of it.

    • I actually have one of her books sitting on my shelves, haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

      Unfortunately, 5-HTP is illegal in my country (Iceland) so there’s no way for me to try it out, but I do take an SSRI and although it cures my depression, it has no effect on my cravings or food addiction.

  28. I love this article. I know how you feel about being inspired by health and nutrition but being so addicted that you cannot stick to what you believe. I was that way for years. I have studied nutrition for years and yet just this past year I have given up the things I know were not in my “belief system” when it came to health.

    I now do not eat any refined sugar and really limit my natural sugars to every now and then because I know I am addicted to them. And even though natural sugar is not bad per-say, it can lead me back down a path of addiction. Thanks for wording how I feel about junk food and addictions.

  29. Norma-Jean McCreedy says:

    I’ve been enjoying your posts for a few weeks now. I appreciate how clearly written and well researched they are. I was pleased to discover you are Icelandic. I am half Icelandic myself. I’m just coming off a Christmas sugar binge (including my Paleo version of Vinaterta). I appreciate your perspective on addictions, having coming to the same conclusions myself. It always helps to have support.

  30. I’m pretty positive I was (am?) addicted to sugar, and last night was my proudest moment since I stopped eating desserts and other super-sugary foods two weeks ago. People around me were eating a chocolate cake, and the cake – of course – was sitting pretty much directly in front of me. I could smell the icing and people kept saying things like, “Just have a tiny piece!” and “You’ve been so good – you deserve it!” but I didn’t touch it. The smell alone was enough to trigger a craving for sweets, but, for what I truly think was the first time in my life, I didn’t cave. I laugh when people put down those of us who have to meticulously watch what we eat to avoid binging and weight gain, because “everything in moderation” isn’t universal.

  31. I just found this article and I am so glad that I did. Kris hit on all of the things that I wondered about for a long time. I am an ex-smoker and I have always thought I might be addicted to food.

    However, seems like I can lose 50 pounds by avoiding certain carbs. Get to my goal weight and eat one dessert or a slab of bread with butter, and in no time I am gradually gaining the weight back and eventually binging on high-carb/high-fat foods.

    Like Kris said, one puff on one cigarette and you are hooked. For me, eat one of my addictive foods and its over in due time.

    Great article.

  32. Kris (and others) you might want to look into Gillian Riley’s approach which specifically treats overeating, binge eating (food addiction in general) as any other addiction. She also has a very renowned book for smokers and she uses similar principles for food addicts as well.

    I’ve started to see real and genuine changes with my addiction to food after using her approach… I’m still in the process but it’s already a big improvement for me after 11 years of yo yo dieting which led to eating disorders…

  33. It’s like you are writing my story!

    I am 8 months sober and have completely turned to wheat/sugar to “fix” me. I’ve tried everything to moderate, but nothing has worked. Time to give it up for good. Do you have a support group? :)

  34. This method is the only thing that has ever worked for me. 2 months and feel awesome (and lost 20). I am also interested in a support group.

  35. Hi Kris,
    You’re website and story are inspiring, thanks for all that you do. I can relate deeply to your food addiction story. It wasn’t until I went keto that I dropped it cold turkey myself, it was like taking down one of the biggest walls of my life.

    My question to you is, if you don’t mind, did you go through detox reactions or a healing crisis?

    I sure have, for the last 15 months of being keto, my body has been in repair mode and it hasn’t been easy. I think as my health got worse, so did I develop the food addiction.

    Thanks again,
    Alison

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