I was listening to the 2022 Food Revolution Summit and heard a quote that really resonated with me. It was in an interview about the dangers of food addiction. The quote is:
"None is Easier than Some."
I actually think this is true for any addiction. If you are a smoker, it is easier to quit cold turkey than to quit by cutting down. The same is true for someone with alcohol addiction and even drug addiction. But what I'm talking about is processed food addiction.
If you dabble just a bit, your brain will be screaming for more until the supply is gone. If the addictive stuff is in your environment, it will be calling you day and night until you give in.
There’s a saying ‘once a pickle never a cucumber (again).’ This helps me understand what is happening in my brain. Once those dopamine pathways are formed, they never totally go away. And that's why a little can lead to a full relapse.
"None is Easier than Some."
It is much easier to live in a clean environment. To have a home without the temptations of highly processed foods.
It is much easier to abstain from addictive processed food if you don’t even taste it.
Sure, the cravings for a particular addictive food diminish over time with abstinence. Especially if you keep it out of your environment. But once you have one taste of it, those pleasure pathways are wide open again and you are on the path to a relapse. (Remember the ad campaign: 'Bet you can't eat just one!')
A clean environment is critical to your success. That way you won't have to rely on superhuman willpower to get back on track.
You may even have to avoid particular stores or aisles in the supermarket. At least until you feel comfortable seeing that food without partaking.
I was so addicted to chips and chocolate that I had to avoid going to the dollar store for about 6 months. I didn't have the resolve to handle the gauntlet of cheap junk food while waiting for the cashier.
Now I can go to the store without even being tempted. I remind myself that these foods aren't made to nourish us. They are concocted to keep us eating more and buying more. They are made to make money for the company.
The last thing you want to do is trigger your brain with a dopamine rush from these hyper-palatable foods. There is no such thing as moderation for addictive foods. Once you open that bag or package you are on the road to inevitable weight gain and misery.
So, if you find yourself in trouble this week. If you start ‘bargaining with yourself’ to get that addictive food here's how to get back on track.
You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel and how calm your brain will become.
So, in short, say your mantra, "None is Easier than Some." Eat a big compliant meal. And remember how a little bit of an addictive food can lead to weeks of misery trying to control the addiction.
If you need help creating a clean food environment, you can read about it in my book BREAK THE CYCLE.