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Food Junkies: Recovery from Food Addiction

Author: Vera Tarman

Publisher: Dundurn

ISBN 10: 1459741978
ISBN 13: 978-1459741973

A fact-filled guide to coping with compulsive overeating problems by an experienced addictions doctor who draws on many patients' stories of recovery.

Overeating, binge eating, obesity, anorexia, and bulimia -- Food Junkies tackles the complex, poorly understood issue of food addiction from the perspective of a medical researcher and dozens of survivors. What exactly is food addiction? How is it different than an eating disorder such as bulimia or binge eating?  Is it possible to draw a hard line between indulging cravings for "comfort food" and engaging in substance abuse? For people struggling with food addictions, recognizing their condition remains a frustrating battle. Diagnosis and treatment evades the suffering food addict. 

This revised second edition contains the latest research  on food addiction as well as practical recovery strategies for people facing the complicated challenges of comfort overeating, eating disorders and food addictions. This book offers an affirming and manageable path to healthy and sustainable eating habits. 

You will learn: 
  • How to identify the trigger foods that you are powerless to resist so you're never caught off guard.
  • Tricks on how to stop eating sugar or use food as a crutch, two of the hardest habits to break. 
  • Stop binge-eating or grazing all day and avoid piling on weight.
  • End the night eating so you fall asleep faster, sleep better and feel great the next day.
  • How to stop feeling ashamed when you step on the scale and are tempted to drown your sorrows in the kitchen
This book is for anyone who has experienced yo-yo dieting, food obsessions and food cravings and for people suffering with an eating disorder. It is for anyone who wants to stop eating because of stress or boredom. If you feel guilty about your eating or ashamed of your body, and if you want to lose weight and keep it off and still love your food, this book is for you. 
Questions about food addiction, sugar addiction or binge eating disorders:
1) Is food really addictive? 
Food, especially sugar and flour, are extremely addictive. Especially if you have a history of obesity and drug addiction in your family. Food addiction can be disguised as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and can affect your health the same as alcohol and cocaine. 
2) What foods are addictive?
Sugar and flour are addictive, especially when in chocolate, bagels, soda, muffins, cereal, popcorn and pizza. These are the most addictive foods. 
3) What does a healthy diet or food plan look like? Eat "real" foods, that are NOT processed. Vegetables, fruits, proteins (salmon, chicken) and fat (nuts, seeds, olive oil). Some people find diary and grains also too triggering and may have to eliminate these. Quit sugar and flour!
4) How hard is it to quit sugar? Sugar detox is challenging but doable. It takes three weeks or less of  "cold turkey" detox from sugar. If you slowly stop sugar by quitting soda and candy, it may take longer - weeks until you quit completely.  
5) Do you have to stop eating sugar forever? Some people who are truly food addicted find that they have to stop eating sugar completely, even sweeteners. Try to cut down and eat moderately, but if you find that you obsess and eat foods compulsively, you may have to stop eating sugar, one day at a time. 
6) Why do I lose weight, only to gain it more back later? 
Obesity, like addiction, is a chronic progressive condition that is partly genetic. This means that it gets harder to control both over time. A normal approach does not work for an abnormal genetics or body chemistry / brain neurochemistry. 
7) Is it important to treat food addiction? Can I just eat sugar, even if I wont' lose weight?
Any addiction is chronic and progressive.  The compulsion to eat and overeat gets stronger over time. You may find that you eat more  and more junk food and more often. You may find that you have food obsessions and may choose junk foods over healthy foods. You may get sick with diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, obesity.