COMPULSIVE OVEREATING AND BRAIN CHEMISTRY

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COMPULSIVE OVEREATING AND BRAIN CHEMISTRY

Question:

For the food dependent individual is the solution a food plan abstaining from sugar and flour laden or high glycemic foods, and, is this always and forever? Food, unlike other substances, is necessary in life and all around us.

I find it difficult to imagine that an individual will realistically be able to completely abstain from those foods forever. Is it realistic???”

Reply:

No one has a definitive answer. My guess is that long before we “developed” processed foods, people got along fine without sugar, corn syrup, and most of the variants of refining sugars and flours along with most of the items you find in today’s supermarket. That said, I believe it may be dose dependent and would suggest someone would do better with long term “abstinence” from high glycemic foods. One can live (and eat) quite well without them.

The food dependent individual over time may (or may not) replace or regenerate the D2 receptors (as well as replace depleted stores of dopamine) and therefore approach “normalcy” – However, this only affects the physical piece – what about the learned / conditioned / psychological dependency? Also, lowering tolerance may be the net effect – with the individual soon destroying the D2receptors yet again through repeated use. Most of the foods we consume today that are “problematic” did not exist 100 years ago.

Anyway, the fact is one can attempt to reintegrate “trigger” foods and if, indeed, they relapse back into disordered eating then they have their answer. Problem is it can be insidious and take weeks or months until someone wakes up one morning and asks themselves how this happened again.

Hope this answers some of your question.

We have written an article on “What is compulsive over eating” As well.

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Marty Lerner, PhD
“I love working with such talented professionals and motivated patients who actively advocate for themselves and the betterment of their futures.” Dr. Lerner is the founder and CEO of the Milestones in Recovery’s Eating Disorder Program which he started in 1999. Dr. Lerner is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Lerner is a licensed and board-certified clinical psychologist who…