women

Are we all addicts?

Michael Prager, US-based author of Fat Boy Thin Man (Fisherblue Press), comes at the issue from the inside. He was a podgy child and obese adult into his 30s. Eventually, he managed to lose the weight, and has kept it off for the past 20 years.

But his transformation only really began when he adopted the techniques that have been helping addicts for the past 75-odd years. Despite skepticism in mainstream medicine and popular belief, Prager insists food addiction is real.


Description: Despite skepticism in mainstream medicine and popular belief, Prager insists food addiction is real.

Despite skepticism in mainstream medicine and popular belief, Prager insists food addiction is real.


When I ask him how this works when, unlike cocaine, the offending substance is something we need for survival, he makes this point: “Food addiction does not describe a condition in which you’re addicted to all food. It’s a bio-chemical sensitivity some people display to certain foods. “Gearhardt’s team estimates this applies to as much as 11 percent of the population. She adds: “We don’t need French fries and milkshakes to survive.”

Not all carbs are equal

The biggest culprits are flour and refined sugar, says Prager. And it’s no coincidence that, just like cocaine, these begin as plants and, after brutal processing (often including bleaching), end up as powdery white stuff. Gearhardt agrees: “Highly processed foods mirror other drugs of abuse; they hit the system quicker and are much more potently rewarding than anything that occurs naturally.”


Description: The biggest culprits are flour and refined sugar.

The biggest culprits are flour and refined sugar.


So the food group itself is not the problem. In fact, says Cape Town nutritional therapist Chantal Deacon Daniel, fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes and tubers are the main carb-rich foods and no-one’s suggesting you forgo these.

“Whole foods contain the fibre and micronutrients necessary for healthy metabolism of sugars. Take the sugarcane plant. In its natural state, it contains fibre and a mineral called chromium. The fibre slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream stabilises blood-sugar levels. These are both removed in refined sugar.”

Can you get clean?

Carynn Wolff, 35, a theatre production manager, has tried to kick her carb habit several times. “It’s not easy,” she says, citing flu-like symptoms and a sense of “scatteredness” as part of her withdrawal. She’s cut down, but still admits to indulging her sweet tooth once a day.

The dietitians I quizzed agree that whole, untreated plant foods regulate the blood sugar making cravings less intense. Bruk suggests learning to read the body’s cues: “Drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day; we tend to crave carbs when we’re actually thirsty.”

But if, as Gearhardt claims, more than one in 10 of us may be in the grips of an addiction, it’s going to take more than water and self-discipline to pull out. “I think there’ll be a shift in the way we think about [refined carbs],” she says. “For a long time, society viewed alcoholics as weak and lacking willpower. These views now apply to obesity. But shaming people for their problem isn’t an effective response. The [addict] has a role to play, but there are also questions of corporate responsibility and adequate treatment.”

Top search
women
- 6 Ways To Have a Natural Miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
Other
women
- Are We Carb Addicts? (Part 1) - The fact about your fix
- Welcome to your Third Trimester (part 32) - Fuel for fitness, Getting up from lying down
- Welcome to your Third Trimester (part 31) - What’s in your hospital bag?
- Green Tea Lifts Athletic Performance (Part 2)
- Green Tea Lifts Athletic Performance (Part 1)
- Welcome to your Third Trimester (part 30) - Lie and presentation
- Welcome to your Third Trimester (part 29) - Calcium intake & Active birth classes
- Extreme Anti-Ageing (Part 2) - Diy hormone boosters
- Extreme Anti-Ageing (Part 1) - Hormone injections
- Get Supplement Savvy
 
women
Top keywords
women
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Women
Top 5
women
- Cinnamon: A natural treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain