I’ve never been one who gains and loses
weight fast.  My weight tends to shift 1
kg at the most throughout the year.  But
I can tell you right away that eating finely prepared delicious meals without
mixing one with another and savoring every last morsel of them is one of those
things I enjoy doing most.  Perhaps this
is why I feel suddenly enraged whenever people start conversations about losing
weight and telling how they go about their own diets or the things that you are
supposed to do to get on with your diet. 
The idea of denying myself such a pleasure or limiting it makes me so
uncomfortable that I suddenly feel my level of hunger increase as a
result.    

 

I’ve recently found out that I’m not alone
in thinking this way.  I noticed a book
titled “Food Addiction” on the next shelf while I was deeply engrossed in the
psychology section of a bookstore.   I
picked up the book, totally ignoring all those diet books piled up next to
it.  The author of the book is Mike Dow,
who is known in the field.   He is a
psychologist who treats addictions with the Cognitive Behaviorist Therapy
method. Dr. Dow also describes himself as an ex food addict. He used to be an
overweight person and has a penchant for eating high calorie food.   Although we are not exactly the same in that
respect, we seem to have the same way of describing the joy we have from
food. 

 

In his book, Dr. Dow addresses to those
who resort to food whenever they are worried or unhappy.  He describes the process, in the layman’s
terms, of how the food we prefer suddenly quenches the anxiety and unhappiness
but subsequently paves the way for a rapid depression through the chemical
system of the human body. 

 

He recommends a 28 day program for
changing this situation in a healthier way.  
In the first week of the 28 day program you are advised to include
regularly only 2 of the healthy foods or activities that would make you happy
or ease your anxiety (or increase your dopamine or serotonin levels as Dr. Dow
puts it) without altering your diet in any way. 
In the coming weeks you are advised to remove 1 unhealthy food in favor
of adding 1 healthy one.   The healthy
foods or activities that you add for reducing anxiety or increasing happiness
will naturally help you lose interest in the sugary or oily foodstuff that you
would otherwise take for want of such foods. You begin to crave less and less
for such foods and eat even less and less of them whenever you get your hands
on them. Because you no longer need them.

 

The most surprising part of it all is that
I’ve begun to take interest in less sugary or oily stuff than ever before,
despite not having tried the program since I’d read the book.    This is down to the fact that you somehow
aim to be happier and less anxious rather than actually losing weight when you
read the book.  When you have this aim in
mind, your choices seem to be guided by the thought “that whole grain sandwich
will make me feel good”, rather than the idea of distancing yourself from
fat and sugary stuff.   Your thoughts
automatically guide your feelings and behaviors towards the healthier
ones. 

 

If you are not suffering from a serious
eating disorder with life threatening risks such as anorexia or bulimia, then I
can recommend you the “Food Addiction” as a nice Cognitive Behaviorist Therapy
book that will help prevent unhealthy eating behaviors. It is meant for those
who live by the motto “I eat therefore I’m happy”…

 

Derya Gülterler, MS

Clinic Psychologist

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail
rssyoutubeinstagram