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Moderation Won’t Work If You’re Addicted, but Are You Sure You’re Addicted? #tbt

A #tbt from five years ago, where I explored food addiction and intuitive eating.


sharma-obesity-chocolateWhenever I talk about moderation in eating, I always hear from people who have at least some foods that they do not believe they can moderate. These foods are usually things like potato chips and cheesies, cake and cookies, nuts and pretzels, chocolate and ice cream.  To a lesser degree, some avoid things like pizza and french fries for similar reasons. They can’t eat just a little bit.

My initial reaction to this claim of the inability to moderate is skepticism.  The intuitive eating approach that I’ve been following lately, and that has miraculously freed me from all rules about food and from overeating pretty much anything, works on the premise that when we release ourselves from the idea of forbidden foods and eat what we want, when we are hungry, in a mindful fashion until we are satisfied (not stuffed, satisfied), we will achieve a peaceful relationship with food.

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3 thoughts on “Moderation Won’t Work If You’re Addicted, but Are You Sure You’re Addicted? #tbt

  1. Here’s a thing I wonder about. What if some foods, very processed, highly designed foods, are designed to bypass our usual satiety signals. It’s a better explanation of the phenomena of those foods we start eating and can’t stop eating. Not addiction. Rather a design feature of the food. That might be a reason that’s not an addiction reason to avoid those foods.


  2. I suppose that would be another reason to avoid those foods, yes. But I think there are some foods that it would be odd to expect satiety from but that may just be an orientation that I have towards food where not all foods are equally satisfying when I’m hungry. I don’t expect to get full or feel satiated from chocolate and donuts and potato chips, for example, if I’m actually hungry (for a meal). And for that reason I don’t usually turn to them when I’m hungry unless there are no alternatives. They’re more like fun food or occasional food — snacks or accompaniments — not food I would rely on for satiety. So for someone who approaches food like I do, it wouldn’t be an issue (since we’re not seeking satiety from those foods and so are not looking for the signal–I mean, I almost never stop eating chocolate from “feeling full.” It’s more like I have a couple of pieces and I feel as if I’ve had enough of that thanks. Served its purpose.). However, even for someone who approaches food like I do, there may be some foods they’re addicted to and can’t stop eating (regardless of whether the food bypasses the signals or they in fact feel they’ve had enough but still can’t stop).

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