Trying to quit sweet food when temptation is all around
Hi have quit carbs for 2 years now (past rice bread) but i can t resist sugar when i am bored especially when i watch tv show (that i am probably also addicted to as well) and would like to stop sugar and sweetener but temptation is all around since i am living with friends so even if i don t buy sweet food i end up stealing their food and replacing it afterward (sometimes their carbs as well)! plus i am often going out with friends so can t really quit alcohol (willing to stop if no other alternative though) do you have any recommendation or am i hopeless :p ? thank you in advance for any suggestion!
You are asking a great question about relapse prevention.This is why addiction is so difficult to treat or recover from, as it is both progressive and CHRONIC: the addiction does not go away. People often feel that once they have quit their drug (via treatment or a successful diet) they can restart their substance (whether it be alcohol, a drug or sugar) with better control the next time around.
However, the very nature of addiction is that a person can not re-engage in the drug without the 'phenomenon of craving' driving them back into the 'out of control' eating behaviour.
You have not identified if you are a food addict. You may not be - as the desire to eat sweets and junk food is hardwired into all of our brain's, regardless of if we are addicted or not. The food addict is the person who simply cannot stop eating, once they have started, whereas the 'social' or 'emotional' eater can stop once the food has created the desired effect ie soothed or numbed the emotions or pleasured the palate. Identifying whether you are a food addict is important, since this will mean that you will have to abstain from your trigger foods permanently. There is no amount of 'controlled eating' possible if you are a food addict. Please see my website addictionsunplugged.com to determine if you are a food addict. I have the questions and much information about food addiction on this site.
Even if you are not a food addict, the way to prevent relapse to eating the 'tempting' foods is mainiy by applying the technique 'out of sight, out of mind'. We say in the addiction field - get rid of the 'people, places and things'. In other words, don't have any of the substance or the associations of the substance in your sight. Throw away all the candy from your cupboards, the ice cream from the freezer, the Christmas goodies from the fridge. Tell your friends to not offer you tasty treats. Call the restaurant ahead to see if they can offer foods off the buffet and don't go near the buffet.
Of course the technique of 'out of sight' for food is difficult to do; every coffee shop, TV ad, friends and family will invite you to eat tempting foods. You will have to actively keep these reminders away from you. I want to warn you that this will require diligence on your part. It is simple but NOT easy! The goal is to not have to rely on willpower - which, even for the best of us, is no match for the limbic reward pathway which is fired up whenever even the THOUGHT of junk food exists. We can only say NO for so long.... it is called 'frontal lobe fatigue'.
You may find that you will have to quit alcohol as well - since alcohol will suppress your willpower even more.
Hopefully this is helpful. Just be aware that the tools of relapse prevention are time consuming, and must be applied daily. Addiction is relentless, and you must be to counteract the tendency to relapse - even if you are not a food addict. These junk foods are made to be additive and foster addictive behaviours.
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