Sugar Addiction: Eat More Protein and Crave Less Sugar

Sugar Addiction: Eat More Protein and Crave Less Sugar

Sugar addiction – a behavior of binge eating sugary foods – is a problem reported by many people, especially at this time of year, when Halloween candy is so prevalent! Some “sugar addicts” attempt to abstain from sugar, only to find that restriction can trigger binge eating. As I discussed in my last blog (August 18, 2016), carbohydrates are essential for health, and sufficient carbohydrate consumption can reduce cravings for sweets. Now, let’s look at the importance of protein. I find very few of my clients are fearful of protein, which seems to stem from the messages from the media telling us that if we consume lots of protein, that means we will lose weight and fit into society’s view of perfection. I specifically just read an article saying protein can help us lose belly fat. Honestly? Let’s think about that a minute. How can eating a chicken breast cause fat in our belly to shrink? Keep in mind that everything we eat breaks down into calories. If we over consume calories, we gain weight; if we restrict calories, we’ll lose weight. We should consume a variety of nutrients from all food groups. We do not gain or lose weight from certain foods, but rather from calories. For example – if we eat fat, it does not immediately turn into fat in the body, nor does protein foods immediately turn into muscle in the body. All food breaks down to calories and the body uses them where they’re needed or burns off what isn’t needed. To better explain this, let’s say you overall eat a balanced diet and your weight is...
Eating Disorders Therapy: How Is Therapy Like Doing Laundry?

Eating Disorders Therapy: How Is Therapy Like Doing Laundry?

Eating disorders therapy can be very beneficial, and in fact necessary – and yet, eating disorders therapy can also seem like a lot of work, so it might be tempting to let issues pile up until they absolutely have to be dealt with. And then, by facing these issues a little bit at a time with lots of guidance and support, the work in eating disorders therapy isn’t so hard. The outcome of fresh perspectives and a sense of freedom from past pain is worth it! Isn’t eating disorders therapy a little bit like doing laundry? Introduction to Erica Faulhaber’s blog post written by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey, MSEd, PhD, LPC, CEDS, Owner & Clinical Director at Positive Pathways ***** Laundry – the necessary evil to get out dirt, grime, stains and unwanted stench.   A task resulting in revitalized, fresh and clean garments to go forth into the world. Doing laundry for most involves time, sorting, detergent, water and folding skills. Manufacturers provide labels that suggest hot or cold water, low or high heat and “lay flat to dry” or the fan favorite “dry clean only.” Who really likes doing laundry? There may be a few folks out there that enjoy this task, but for the most part it is just something that needs to get done. Like laundry, therapy is an option to get out the gunk – it may take longer than the standard seventy-minute wash cycle, but it will be well worth it! I think of coming to therapy (including eating disorders therapy) like coming into a laundromat. You bring a bag or two or three, and we will start to work...
Food Addiction vs. Binge Eating Disorder

Food Addiction vs. Binge Eating Disorder

Does it seem like you can’t stop eating once you start? Are especially unable to control your intake of sugar? Have you ever wondered if you are addicted to food? Food is NOT a drug! It’s physiologically impossible to be addicted to food, in the same sense that an individual can be addicted to alcohol, cocaine, heroin or other drugs. Drug addiction is a progressive disease of the brain, where an individual develops chemical dependency with chronic drug use over a period of time. Once drug addiction develops, an addict “needs” that drug to prevent painful and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. However, with proper abstinence-based treatment, the addict in recovery can function without drug use of any kind. We don’t need drugs to live. But we need food to live. Sugar is NOT a drug! It is a carbohydrate which our bodies use for energy and brain function. Table sugar — or sucrose — is a simple carbohydrate, like lactose (the natural sugar in milk), or fructose (the natural sugar in fruit). Whether fructose or lactose or sucrose, once in our bodies, all simple sugars are broken down into the simplest — glucose. If you have ever had your “blood sugar” measured, it’s actually the level of glucose in your blood which is being assessed. It’s very normal and necessary to have sugar in our blood, brains and bodies! So if we’re not really addicted to food, and specifically sugar — then what the heck is going on when it feels so impossible to stop binge eating, especially foods which contain sugar? Just like an alcoholic is told, “One drink is too many,...