Stop Food Addictions To Sugar And Processed Foods

stop food addictionsBelow is an interview with Danielle Pashko, my personal go-to nutritionist – who is always giving me the best advice on how to stay my slimmest, healthiest and most energetic self.

As you might know, I’m a recovered emotional eater – who lost 20 pounds in 3 months. I’ve kept the weight off for 4 years – and counting. I’m committed to helping people to stop emotional eating – and to stop people from gobbling down crappy food! For this reason, I launched the DO IT Program – a digital home course you can download right away – do at your own pace – and keep for life.  Click here for lots more tools to slim down and healthy up.

Q: Why is sugar so darn addictive?

Eating sugar increases the neurotransmitter “dopamine,” that gives us the same kind of high that we get when we drink alcohol, take drugs, gamble or fall in lust with someone.  If you’re feeling addicted to sugar, I recommend eating something with cinnamon or taking cinnamon supplements. Cinnamon has been shown in research to help to reduce sugar cravings by controlling blood glucose levels. Another helpful tool to break sugar addiction is to resist sugar for at least 7 – 14 days in a row –  so your body’s response to sugar can be reset – and the strength of your sugar cravings will be diminished

Q: Why are chips and pretzels and other processed foods so addictive?

Food manufacturers sneak in lots of ingredients to keep you hooked. Most carby, processed foods literally make you feel good – by raising seratonin (the feel good hormone). SSRI’s (anti-depressants) also work on improving our seratonin levels. Plus, besides the chemical effects, these foods also taste really good. Eating a commercial brand of chips, pretzels or cookies will most likely be more addictive than a health food version – because of the sneaky added chemicals. Plus there’s more bad news about why they’re addictive: Processed foods are essentially refined sugars. They alter your glucose levels by giving you an initial spike – followed by a crash. The only way to feel better (maintain the high) is to keep shoveling in more. Similarly to sugar, if you can completely stop eating processed foods for 7 to 14 days in a row – not a single chip –  you can get control back over your cravings. Another very helpful tool: I recommend committing to eating some protein with your snacks. Many times cravings are due to imbalanced blood sugar levels. The remedy for that is protein. Often people will keep snacking and snacking on snap peas or carrots and their craving isn’t gone even after an entire bag. But then they eat the original desired snack anyway. Try having a little protein like a hardboiled egg, organic string cheese, a few almonds, 2 oz of turkey etc. You will soon discover the hunger and craving will diminish. This “protein strategy” also applies to cutting back on sugary foods. If you really want that piece of dark chocolate- don’t deprive yourself. Just have a hard boiled egg first – so you have the self control to eat one chocolate square – and not an entire candy bar.

poster best ab crap mediumQ: Why do we love food from childhood so much?

Sometimes foods lure us in not simply because they taste good, but because they trigger memories from the past.  Some foods can remind us of things like walking on the boardwalk with your parents while eating pizza or snuggling up to your boyfriend while sharing ice cream. We can have nostalgia from the good times in our life. Even smelling and sensing things from our past can trigger memories that we want to recreate. Still to this day if I walk into an IHOP I want a happy face pancake.
Need support to stop food addictions? Check out my DO IT PROGRAM by clicking here now.
Danielle PashkoScreen Shot 2016-08-19 at 4.01.58 PM is a NYC-based wellness guru.  She is the author of Smile at YourChallenges and the upcoming Breaking Your Fat Girl Habits: Weight Loss Mistakes Even Healthy Chicks Make! Danielle has successfully overcome her physical setbacks and nevertakes how well she feels for granted. Her knowledge has led to lectures, articles and videos on healthy living for several publications including The NY Post, Yahoo Shine, Fox News,Women’s Health Magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Jewish Week, Galtime, Betty Confidential and Daily Burn.

Written by Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.