Complete abstinence is the only thing that consistently works for true addicts to overcome their addiction.
But when your addiction is to food, something that you need to eat every day or you will die, the situation becomes more complicated.
Of course, if you don’t eat anything you will eventually starve, waste away and die.
Fortunately for most of us, we don’t have problems with all foods. There are only certain types of foods that we tend to crave and binge on. So-called “trigger” foods.
For me, trigger foods usually contain either added sugar or gluten. Cakes, pizzas, ice cream, doughnuts or “heart-healthy” *cough* whole-wheat bread.
I also tend to have problems with nut butters, whipped cream and artificial sweeteners.
My main goal now is to completely eliminate added sugar and gluten from my life, then be extremely careful with the other foods and do my best to avoid them.
Complete Abstinence (CA) – Too Extreme?
The most logical approach to overcoming food addiction is to completely abstain from these trigger foods.
I’ve consistently experienced, time and time again, that I can not handle these foods. If I eat them, I tend to binge on them… often for weeks.
Trust me, I’ve tried everything. Appetite suppression tricks, various supplements, even got a prescription for an appetite suppressant drug, I’ve tried cheating on the weekends, tried not cheating, tried low-carb, tried high-carb.
No matter what I’ve tried, I’ve failed. Every time.
This is an all-or-nothing phenomenon for me. Either I cheat all the time and face the consequences or I quit completely.
If you’ve had problems with the “eat in moderation” idea in the past… then perhaps you should consider complete abstinence as well.
Think about it… for some people, it’s either ALL or NOTHING.
Either continue the cycles of cravings, binges, relapses, weight gain and feeling miserable… eventually ending with something like diabetes, heart disease and death.
OR just stop it. Completely. No cheating, ever. Not ever.
Not on Christmas, not on Birthdays, not on New Years eve.
Personally, I don’t think complete abstinence is too extreme.
I am positive that it is the only thing that can reliably save me from this problem.
It’s the last resort.
Write Down a List of Pros and Cons
If this is something you’re honestly thinking about, then you should be prepared to make an informed decision.
Do your research first and think it over.
Then, you should write these two lists.
1. What are the cons of complete abstinence (CA)?
2. What are the pros?
The cons might include things like feeling a bit awkward in certain social situations, missing out on some quality ice cream time with the family, having fewer food choices, etc.
The pros will likely include a reduced risk of chronic, fatal disease like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, weight loss and a much better body, feeling better every day, having more energy, actually feeling good in your own skin, you get the picture.
Write down EVERYTHING. Every reason, no matter how small, how big or how weird. Many of us have some peculiar and vain reasons for wanting to lose weight, for example. Write these down!
These lists are for your eyes only, don’t hold anything back.
Then read them side by side and ask yourself:
Is it worth it?