My guest today is Dr. Glenn Livingston, author of “Never Binge Again” and our topic is “How to Reprogram Your Mind to stop, binge eating,”
Let me give you a little bit more information about Glenn Livingston PhD, is a veteran psychologist and was the long-time CEO of a multi-million-dollar consulting firm which serviced several fortune 500 clients in the food industry. Dr Glenn has sold over 30 million dollars of marketing consulting services over the course of his career. You may have seen his previous work in major periodicals like the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago sun-times, the Indiana Star Ledger, the New York Daily News, American demographics, or any of other major media outlets.
Dr. Glenn can you tell us what makes you uniquely qualified to comment on eating disorders?
Well I’m not just a psychologist who wanted to work with people to help them lose weight; I’m a guy who had a very serious, binge eating, problem myself.
I know what’s happening in the addiction treatment field that we’re being told that we’re powerless over the food addiction, that it’s a disease.
An irresistible impulse that gets worse over time.
Here is Dr Glenn’s story on how He conquered, Binge Eating,
I discovered a weird thing when I was a youth. I’m 6’4” I’m reasonably muscular and I figured out when I was about 17, that if I worked out for two or three hours a day, I could eat whatever I wanted. So my diet was boxes of muffins, boxes of donuts, boxes of pizza, boxes of chocolate bars. I was eating six, seven, eight thousand calories a day and it was no problem.
Well as you could figure out, I couldn’t eat like that as I got into my 20’s.
When I got to be about 22 or 23, married and in graduate school, I was commuting to school, I had all these responsibilities as a husband. I could barely work out two hours a week, much less two hours a day. But I couldn’t get rid of the cravings for junk food. I started getting fatter and fatter. My triglycerides went through the roof, and I had doctors telling me that I was going to die in my 30’s if I didn’t find stop, binge eating .
I eventually figured it wasn’t what I was eating, it was what was eating me.
I had been doing some reading in alternative addiction treatment by a guy named Jack Trimpey. He wrote a book called “Rational Recovery” and he made it clear to me for the first time that the seed of addiction was really the, reptilian brain,.
The, reptilian brain, doesn’t know love. We’re all we’re all busy trying to love ourselves out of these addictions; but the, reptilian brain, doesn’t know love. The, reptilian brain, assesses something in the environment and says, do I eat it or do I kill it! There’s no love there, there’s no concern for tribe or family or friends or long-term aspirations or creativity or music or art. There’s none of that. It’s just eat, mate or kill, and when you look at the animal studies you see that is what happens when you short circuit the pleasure system.
You can walk a block in most cities and find a McDonald’s, a Burger King across the street. There’s a fast-food restaurant on every corner these days. So we don’t have physical electrodes in our brain; but there are chemical electrodes and concentrations of pleasure that we weren’t prepared to meet by evolution.
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Binge Eating, and what your choice of foods signifies:
- My research found was that people who struggled with, binge eating, chocolate was definitely lonely or brokenhearted.
- People who struggled with, binge eating, salty crunchy things, tended to be stressed at work people
- People who struggled with, binge eating, soft chewy things like bread or bagels or pasta, tended to be stressed at home.
I found out from my mom, the reason I struggled, binge eating, chocolate.
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How to reprogram your mind to stop, binge eating.
I tell people the best way to get started is to is to think of the single worst trigger food or eating behavior that’s getting you in trouble.
Maybe it’s eating in the car, maybe that’s where you do all the damage. Maybe you could create one rule that says: I never eat in the car or maybe it’s a particular food. e.g I can only have salami on Sundays. Maybe it’s about how you eat, maybe it’s more like you need to pause and be more mindful. e.g I’ll always put my fork down between bites.
If there’s something that you know is getting you into trouble, start with that one.
Don’t worry if making this rule will help you loose weight or not. Unless your doctor says that it’s really urgent that you do, don’t worry about your weight. I just want you to get the hang of the way this mental game is played, because that rule allows you to separate your thoughts from your, reptilian brain,
- Come up with a name for your, reptilian brain, I called mine my “pig”
- Some people call theirs their food monster or food demon or something like that.
- Then you want to listen for those destructive thoughts.
- You want to listen for what your inner food demon says is the rationale that you should break the plan with, binge eating, you can do one of two things when you hear it.
- 1. You can ignore it, because it doesn’t matter how smart what is saying, it doesn’t matter how logical it sounds, if you know that it’s coming from your food demon, your pig, you now it’s bad. So you might as well ignore it even if it sounds like it’s got a PhD from Harvard!
- 2. You could write out what the food demon is saying and you ask yourself where is the lie within it. Where is the logical fallacy within it. For example maybe the food demon says one bite won’t hurt you, or you can start again tomorrow, which is based upon the logical fallacy that you’ll be in the exact same place tomorrow.
If you reinforce the connection today between that craving and the actual eating of the food then, you’re going to have a stronger craving tomorrow. That means the food addiction and, binge eating, will be a little worse tomorrow.
One of the ways to attack your craving and, binge eating, is to create a food plan. The food plan would have some things that you always eat, somethings you never eat, and some things you eat sometimes.
- I always eat five servings of fruit or vegetables.
- · I always drink two whole glasses of water when I get up in the morning.
- · I will only eat pretzels at major league baseball games.
- · I only eat bread when I am out at a restaurant.
- · I never eat after 6 pm.
- · I never eat pizza.
- I never eat more than two squares of chocolate a day.