T Nation

Unhealthy Food Addiction?

So I was offering to give some basic nutritional advice to a friend of mine, and he said that he didn’t need advice because he knew what he should and shouldn’t be eating, at least in a general way…he just didn’t.

He doesn’t seem to be making excuses either. He seems genuinely distressed by his problem, like a smoker attempting to quit. It isn’t a matter of him saying–I can’t do it, there is no hope.

He’s been trying a number of psychological techniques to break it, but he is still struggling. Perhaps he has a weak will or something, I don’t know, but he describes it as an “urge” that is “like torture”. Apparently normally he never eats or wants to eat this stuff (like McDonalds and high glycemic carbs) until he has such an urge.

So is it possible to have something like a carbohydrate addiction or something? And is there any way to help? He mentioned that he probably needs to keep him blood sugar more stable. Anything else?

yes you see it all over North America, that is why there are so many fat people around. I seriously believe there is a genetic predisposition to cupcake addiction.

lol…jokes aside, i’m pretty sure such a thing exists

Is he exercising? I find just getting people in the gym will clear up a lot of lifestyle stuff.

If he is, he probably needs more fat and veggies. Starches are not the end of the world for everyone, especially around training.

I think that it is less addiction and more habit. I can tell you when I started eating better it was tough to give up the things I normally ate. With time, strong will power, and maybe some support… You get over it

I guess you could compare it to smoking a little bit. I gave up smoking, and it was similar. I’m not trying to sound like an ass about it, but he really just has to try harder… there isn’t a shortcut and he has to shatter his habits.

I was a fat kid and I struggled for years to lose weight. It is hard, and you won’t go from eating garbage to eating clean over night.

The best thing to do is baby steps. Start by eating three real meals a day every day. Meat, potatoes, vegetables. Something like that. It doesn’t have to be perfect, a bowl of cereal for breakfast is better than nothing.

Once he’s got that down, cut out soft drinks. Not all at once, but try not to drink so many this week, even less next week until he is down to none.

Focus on changing one bad habit at a time and it won’t be so overwhelming and he will get there.

[quote]dg401 wrote:
I think that it is less addiction and more habit. I can tell you when I started eating better it was tough to give up the things I normally ate. With time, strong will power, and maybe some support… You get over it

I guess you could compare it to smoking a little bit. I gave up smoking, and it was similar. I’m not trying to sound like an ass about it, but he really just has to try harder… there isn’t a shortcut and he has to shatter his habits.[/quote]

I don’t think it compares to smoking because smoking is just one bad habit. Poor eating is like a hundred little bad habits, it’s like quiting smoking, and booze, and gambling and hookers all at once.

he won’t change unless he wants to, no one else can make it happen

[quote]cyph31 wrote:
he won’t change unless he wants to, no one else can make it happen[/quote]

Ditto.

Chances are he is at the: “I guess what Im doing isnt so healthy… maybe I should think about changing” stage.

Not the: “FUCK YOU CRAPPY JUNK FOOD I WANT TO BE LEAN AND HAVE A LONG AND PRODUCTIVE LIFE” stage.

OP’s friend needs to stop being a pussy!

I agree with dg401 - it’s not addiction, it’s habit. Which, I would argue, is just as strong, if not stronger, than addiction.

I would encourage your friend to check out th e(I’ believe it’s) “Transformation” article wherein Dr. Berardi assists Dave Tate in shedding his BF, thus revealing his identity as the Incredible-Fuckin’-Hulk.

[quote]cyph31 wrote:
he won’t change unless he wants to, no one else can make it happen[/quote]

Agree. His desire for change must be greater than his desire to stay the same.

[quote]Fiction wrote:
So I was offering to give some basic nutritional advice to a friend of mine, and he said that he didn’t need advice because he knew what he should and shouldn’t be eating, at least in a general way…he just didn’t.

He doesn’t seem to be making excuses either. He seems genuinely distressed by his problem, like a smoker attempting to quit. It isn’t a matter of him saying–I can’t do it, there is no hope.

He’s been trying a number of psychological techniques to break it, but he is still struggling. Perhaps he has a weak will or something, I don’t know, but he describes it as an “urge” that is “like torture”.

Apparently normally he never eats or wants to eat this stuff (like McDonalds and high glycemic carbs) until he has such an urge.

So is it possible to have something like a carbohydrate addiction or something? And is there any way to help? He mentioned that he probably needs to keep him blood sugar more stable. Anything else?[/quote]

I dated a girl once that belonged to a Food Addicts Anonymous group. I’m not kidding. I’d go with her to these meetings sometimes and the (large) room was filled with people who claimed an addiction to food.

The interesting thing was that most of these people weren’t fat. They showed pics where they used to be fat, but apparently thanks to this group, they lost that weight.

I believe it is an addiction. These people are addicted to the feeling of eating those foods.

I think all addictions are related:
adrenaline junkies
gamblers
alcoholics

I think there is a connection where people are predisposed to certain behavior.

Other people that do not understand simply are not genetically wired that way.

With that being said you can overcome the addiction but it will take small steady changes.

The reason he doesnt want to try is because he has tried and failed so many times his self esteem is nonexistent. He has tried and failed sooooo many times he can�??t fathom being able to succeed.

My name is Ryan, and I have eaten food every single day for the past 20 years.

I’m an addict.

There are bad habits and there are addictions. Unhealthy food can be both. If he really is having a hard time breaking it but is committed, he might actually be unable to control himself, or worse, have a compulsion to harm himself.

Maybe subconsciously he doesnt think he deserves his health. Some people have psycho issues that keep them from making progress etc. See a shrink.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
My name is Ryan, and I have eaten food every single day for the past 20 years.

I’m an addict.[/quote]

My name is Matt, and I have a problem.

I missed lunch today, and I started to get this…this pain in my stomach. It got so bad I called up my guy, and, thank god, he showed up at my house in less than thirty minutes–he has this guarantee, thirty or it’s free, and, well, once I got my fix, I felt better.

Food withdrawal is a bitch. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Fuck those abstainers in Ethiopia, it’s just not worth it.

I’ve been addicted to food, drugs, alcohol, and sex since I was 15 years old. To this day, the only thing I still struggle with is food-- in part due to its essential aspect to our existence.

Regardless-- eating disorders are very real and have been scientifically researched thoroughly. I am a binge eater-- I will go the whole day eating perfect-- completely on spot with my calorie intake, with regards to protein/carbs/fats the whole T-Nation deal, but nearing night time I still have to struggle to control this insatiable appetite that seemingly consumes me.

One night I ate 2 full pizzas, 6 carnitas tacos, a PB&J along with a bag of blue tortilla chips. Of course I felt terrible, both physically and mentally. The only thing you can do is to remind yourself there is another day tomorrow, and to have the mentality that that day is the first day of the rest of your life.

It may sound corny, it may sound feminine, but you have to kind to yourself and realize we all make mistakes and struggle with different aspects of our lives-- but you must also try your hardest to improve your life while striving to achieve what you believe you never could.

Basically, I would present your friend with an open and understanding demeanor while trying to bring him or her along with you when you do healthy activies, such as baseball/basketball/walks/runs whatever it may be.

Maybe sometime go grocery shopping with him or her and point out some good super healthy foods that are easy to do, some “did you know” foods that arent as unhealthy as some would think.

Ultimately it is his or her decision to make the lifestyle change and it is him or her that is struggling with the demon day in day out, but if you are truly concerned, you can take a few small steps to help cattle prod his or her progress.

Of course, never let these type of problems of others effect your life, but a little helping hand goes a long way.

Go Dodger’s!