Author Topic: Food Addiction  (Read 531 times)

Offline MickeyNDY

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Food Addiction
« on: February 22, 2017, 04:26:26 pm »
How can someone who's whole life has revolved around the tastes of foods break this attachment? Everything tastes so good, I keep going backwards. I'm so attached, I've never been able to complete a fast ever. This is my biggest hurdle of my spiritual quest. If I can't be free of this attachment, how will I ever begin to know the bliss of knowing myself?


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Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 11:39:14 pm »
How can someone who's whole life has revolved around the tastes of foods break this attachment? Everything tastes so good, I keep going backwards. I'm so attached, I've never been able to complete a fast ever. This is my biggest hurdle of my spiritual quest. If I can't be free of this attachment, how will I ever begin to know the bliss of knowing myself?

Taking Saffron is a natural way of reducing your appetite. It's a very expensive product if bought in your local supermarket, but buying larger quantities over the internet make it affordable.

Another way of reducing your appetite is to remove, or at least reduce, the amount of fructose in your diet.
Fructose is a form of sugar which is different from normal sugar, which comes from 'sugar cane', and which is mostly sucrose.
Fructose is cheaper and sweeter than normal sugar derived from the sugar cane plant. The production of fructose is a multi-billion dollar industry in the USA, and is derived from corn syrup.

So many processed foods in tins in the supermarkets, contain fructose, which is not always labeled as fructose, but labeled simply as sugar.

Fructose, in significant quantities, has the characteristic of interfering with the hormones and biological processes which inform the individual who is eating, that he/she is full, or satiated.

If the food is tasty, one is able to continue eating more than one should, or more than the body needs, if one's biological system has been affected by excessive amounts of fructose.

I speak here from personal experience, as well as from scientific research articles available on the internet.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 03:42:28 am »
There are food addiction courses I've read about, which use mindfulness practice to help with problems like this. One of the academic papers I read is: Jenkins, K. T. & Tapper, K. (2014). Resisting chocolate temptation using a brief mindfulness strategy. British Journal of Health Psychology, 19(3), pp. 509-522. doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12050  Hope this helps.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 05:25:05 am »
Quote
MickeyNDY:  "How can someone who's whole life has revolved around the tastes of foods break this attachment?"

Like all addictions, food addictions result from many different factors.  The way to counteract these factors is really simple, but takes a great deal of work and devotion to the task.

Being a compulsive overeater literally all of my life, I will provide suggestions to you, which worked for me.  That is all anyone can share of any value to you.  Anyone who gives theoretical advice, which they have not personally experienced and practiced has not really understood the problems and solutions.  The same is true for all Buddhist teachings. Practice is key to understanding.  Unless they have done what they suggest, be very skeptical as to the value of the suggestion.  Even if those giving suggestions have experience, be skeptical as well until you have tried and succeeded yourself.  Only in this way is your understanding solidified, through personal experience and practice.

So, with the caveate above, here are my suggestions:

Suggestion #1:  Begin by writing down when you eat, where you eat, and with whom you eat.  Also note what made you want to eat.  Also note what you are feeling both physically and psychologically as you eat.  The goal is to make you aware of what you are doing, when you are doing it, with whom you are doing it, and why you are doing it.  Call it a food consumption log.  Consider it a form of food consumption meditation and mindfulness.

As you progress with your log you will begin to see patterns in your food eating behavior.  Understanding your eating patterns is a good thing, because you will eventually learn how to  break those patterns, which are leading to you overeating, or eating foods, which are not healthy for you.

Suggestion #2:  Find someone of the same gender, a friend you trust, who is not an overeater like you, or better yet, was an overeater like you and beat "her" addiction to food.  Share your log with them.  Ask for help in the form of feedback and suggestions.

Suggestion #3:  Make a food plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) every day and enter this plan into your log.  Compare your actual consumption to your plan.  Continue to share this information with your trusted friend.

Suggestion #4:  After making your food plan, call your trusted friend on the phone, or meet with them for coffee, or tea, and share your plan with them and share your food consumption results, before your begin your day.  Change your food plan at your trusted friend's recommendation.

Repeat for the rest of  your life!  (No kidding!)

Suggestion #5:  Where you see events and patterns in your life  (from your log results) which indicate that your life is focused around food, begin to substitute other activities:  mild exercise (for example),  meeting with friends, playing cards, working in the garden, and etc.  Make these things you enjoy and which you have always wanted to do more.

Suggestion #6:  There are also meetings of folks, who have similar food addiction problems as do you and I.  Here is a link to one of them.  Use it to your advantage, when you are ready.   :hug:

OA    https://oa.org/




Quote
" Everything tastes so good, I keep going backwards. I'm so attached, I've never been able to complete a fast ever. This is my biggest hurdle of my spiritual quest. If I can't be free of this attachment, how will I ever begin to know the bliss of knowing myself?"

Find someone who has what you want and ask them for assistance.  You are likely to find such folks at OA meetings, which has been my experience.

_/\_  Ron
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 06:08:15 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline MickeyNDY

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2017, 12:35:11 pm »
There are food addiction courses I've read about, which use mindfulness practice to help with problems like this. One of the academic papers I read is: Jenkins, K. T. & Tapper, K. (2014). Resisting chocolate temptation using a brief mindfulness strategy. British Journal of Health Psychology, 19(3), pp. 509-522. doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12050  Hope this helps.
Thank you. I'll look into that.


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Offline MickeyNDY

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 12:37:13 pm »
Quote
MickeyNDY:  "How can someone who's whole life has revolved around the tastes of foods break this attachment?"

Like all addictions, food addictions result from many different factors.  The way to counteract these factors is really simple, but takes a great deal of work and devotion to the task.

Being a compulsive overeater literally all of my life, I will provide suggestions to you, which worked for me.  That is all anyone can share of any value to you.  Anyone who gives theoretical advice, which they have not personally experienced and practiced has not really understood the problems and solutions.  The same is true for all Buddhist teachings. Practice is key to understanding.  Unless they have done what they suggest, be very skeptical as to the value of the suggestion.  Even if those giving suggestions have experience, be skeptical as well until you have tried and succeeded yourself.  Only in this way is your understanding solidified, through personal experience and practice.

So, with the caveate above, here are my suggestions:

Suggestion #1:  Begin by writing down when you eat, where you eat, and with whom you eat.  Also note what made you want to eat.  Also note what you are feeling both physically and psychologically as you eat.  The goal is to make you aware of what you are doing, when you are doing it, with whom you are doing it, and why you are doing it.  Call it a food consumption log.  Consider it a form of food consumption meditation and mindfulness.

As you progress with your log you will begin to see patterns in your food eating behavior.  Understanding your eating patterns is a good thing, because you will eventually learn how to  break those patterns, which are leading to you overeating, or eating foods, which are not healthy for you.

Suggestion #2:  Find someone of the same gender, a friend you trust, who is not an overeater like you, or better yet, was an overeater like you and beat "her" addiction to food.  Share your log with them.  Ask for help in the form of feedback and suggestions.

Suggestion #3:  Make a food plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) every day and enter this plan into your log.  Compare your actual consumption to your plan.  Continue to share this information with your trusted friend.

Suggestion #4:  After making your food plan, call your trusted friend on the phone, or meet with them for coffee, or tea, and share your plan with them and share your food consumption results, before your begin your day.  Change your food plan at your trusted friend's recommendation.

Repeat for the rest of  your life!  (No kidding!)

Suggestion #5:  Where you see events and patterns in your life  (from your log results) which indicate that your life is focused around food, begin to substitute other activities:  mild exercise (for example),  meeting with friends, playing cards, working in the garden, and etc.  Make these things you enjoy and which you have always wanted to do more.

Suggestion #6:  There are also meetings of folks, who have similar food addiction problems as do you and I.  Here is a link to one of them.  Use it to your advantage, when you are ready.   :hug:

OA    https://oa.org/




Quote
" Everything tastes so good, I keep going backwards. I'm so attached, I've never been able to complete a fast ever. This is my biggest hurdle of my spiritual quest. If I can't be free of this attachment, how will I ever begin to know the bliss of knowing myself?"

Find someone who has what you want and ask them for assistance.  You are likely to find such folks at OA meetings, which has been my experience.

_/\_  Ron
Thanks, Ron. I've gone to OA meetings before. They were quite cold. Guess I should look for another group?


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Offline openmind

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2017, 08:22:54 am »
 I some ways we are all addicted to food. We can't stop eating it. :) Here is a story of Ramakrishna love for food....

"Ramakrishna loved all foods, not just sweets. Perhaps he experienced the divine through his sense of taste. Not strange. As food went past his taste buds and entered his stomach a sense of joy radiated and filled his entire body. Sometimes he would walk out of a gathering of disciples, run to the kitchen, smell or taste what was ready and dart back. His wife, Ma Sarada, at times felt embarrassed wondering what people would think. But Ramakrishna was oblivious, for he knew that some mysterious power was in control and he was doing its bidding. He never talked about his weakness for food because he said he did not wish to attract a following of gluttons."

As I get older I love to eat more ( sometimes quantity too - can be problem ), because the rainbow of tastes.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2017, 04:52:27 pm »
Quote
MickeyNDY:  "Thanks, Ron. I've gone to OA meetings before. They were quite cold. Guess I should look for another group?"

Yes.  Check around and attend as many different groups as you can till  you find someone with whom you feel comfortable. 

Whatever you do, don't give up!   :hug:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2017, 07:48:02 pm »
There seems to be some confusion here. We're all 'addicted' to food in the most fundamental way. It's necessary for our survival. When we are hungry, we feel uncomfortable, and eating something dispels our discomfort. Nothing wrong with that.

The problem is not an addiction to food, but an addiction to the artificial ingredients introduced into the processed food we buy. Such ingredients have been designed to make the food as tasty as possible so that we buy more and eat more.

The goal of every industry is to expand and make more profit for the owners or shareholders. The food industry is no exception. Some food industries, from what I've read, employ scientists who experiment with various mixtures of additives to produce the most enhanced taste they can discover.

Books on cooking recipes, and cooking programs on TV, are among the most popular of subjects. The impression I get is that the main priorities for any professional cook are the appearance of the food (on the plate) and the taste of the food. Nutrition comes last. In fact it's rarely, if ever, mentioned.

There are basically two 'broad' options for those seeking to lose weight, or escape from their addiction to taste. The first option that most people try, is to transfer their food budget from the purchase of 'normal' processed food and tasty meals in restaurants, to specialized diet programs which are often even more expensive, and often don't work on a long term basis.

The second, broad option, is to switch to a natural, wholesome and nutritious diet, consisting of, for example, brown rice, wholemeal bread, full cream butter, full cream milk, lots of fresh vegetables (as opposed to tinned vegetables), and if you like a bit of steak now and again, make sure it's from 'grass-fed' cows.

Also, try to include in that second option, reducing the number of meals you eat each day. We tend to think that 3 meals a day is normal, natural and healthy. However, I think the reality is, it's simply a development due to increased prosperity in combination with gluttony.

Another advantage of this 'second' method is that it will also save you money. It's very cheap to eat smaller quantities of more healthy food, and the savings in future medical expenses can be huge.

Those very successful ancient civilizations of the Greeks, Romans and Hebrews, were successful on just one meal a day. That was the norm. The following site discusses the issue: http://www.theiflife.com/wisdom-day-meal-frequency/

As I mentioned in my previous thread, a major additive in most processed foods is fructose, which tends to interfere with the body's sensation of satiety, allowing one to continue eating simply because the food is tasty, despite the reality that the tummy is full and you've eaten enough.

When I was overweight, only by a modest 15-20kg   :wink1:  , I used to quench my thirst by drinking large quantities of natural, pure fruit juice (diluted with water), on the basis that it was nutritious and good value because 90% of the nutritional value of the fruit is supposedly contained in the juice.

I used to drink the equivalent of an undiluted litre or more a day, especially on hot days when working in the garden. A litre of undiluted apple juice is equivalent to a couple of kilograms of whole apples. Who would eat two kilograms of apples a day plus 3 normal meals. That's crazy. It's no wonder I became overweight.  :wink1:

The Buddha understood the health benefits of one meal a day, which is why that's the rule for Buddhist monks. Why not learn from them?

Unfortunately, many monks obviously do not abide by that principle. Even the famous Buddhadasa who appeals to many Westerners because of his style of philosophical interpretation of the major Buddhist precepts, is clearly overweight. Look at the photo of him in the wikipedia article below.  :wink1:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhadasa

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2017, 09:47:20 pm »
Ha ha. Yes, saying you're addicted to food is like saying you're addicted to air.

Buddhadasa isn't the only Theravadan monk who is overweight. One meal a day apparently isn't a solution to overeating.

I eat two meals a day -- a late breakfast and an early supper. I also try to fast every fortnight. Fasting one day a week would be even better for someone with food issues. It's hard at first. Start slow, don't give up. It will make simple foods taste better and give you willpower. There's a link on my post on fasting which spells out all the benefits -- http://www.frogzen.com/uncategorized/fasting/

Also regular VIGOROUS exercise, especially weight training and yoga, speeds the metabolism up (again, start slow or you can hurt yourself). Do it naked in front of a big mirror for inspiration.

I think SPD is right, mindfulness is essential. Self-discipline has been a lifelong struggle for me. I'm writing a post on that very subject next week. It requires constant mindfulness.
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2017, 10:44:24 pm »
Also regular VIGOROUS exercise, especially weight training and yoga, speeds the metabolism up (again, start slow or you can hurt yourself). Do it naked in front of a big mirror for inspiration.

Taking regular exercise is definitely an important aspect of good health, and should be combined with any changes in diet, reduction of meal frequency, and reduction in total food intake.

However, exercise alone might not be particularly effective without a change in diet, because it might tend to increase one's appetite. Calories expended due to exercise might therefore be met with increased food consumption.

The problem has to be tackled by reducing one's excess food intake, and in order to do that we should apply the wisdom of the Kalama Sutta.

Don't assume that all 'authorities' are right, such as dietitians who are employed by the food industry, and who might recommend low-fat margarine and expensive, low-fat milk., and low-fat yoghurt, and so on.

Consider other points of view, and work things out for yourself, with the help of the wise, such as me.  :wink1:

Offline openmind

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2017, 06:20:34 am »
  I know about addiction getting in the way of practicing mindfulness. The remedy I have used is to continue to meditate frequently, and then keep practicing "no mind". If you engage in the so called habit, it becomes a minor incident. You just do it and be done. Then go about your business.
  I am also aware of the hundreds of ways to eat optimally for your health, and of course exercising. If one is really addicted to food in a fashion like heroin, they probably need therapy.

Offline The Artis Magistra

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Re: Food Addiction
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2017, 06:38:18 pm »
I'm going to give you a kind of terrible crappy answer to your question.

You seem to be saying you really experience pleasure from eating and do not want to experience pleasure from eating.

People respond typically that do this or that to stop pleasure from eating. Why?

Can you just enjoy your food, be grateful, let the joy remain for as long as it does, and do other things as well?

Why worry so much about what you can't do or try to make yourself feel bad about eating or to appreciate food as little as others do. I think this whole idea is bad. No one has asked you to do this, and even if they did, are they going to take you somewhere by their efforts? No.

So just happily enjoy your food. I doubt your appreciation of food is going to do you any harm if you convert it into gratitude and appreciation.

 


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