Are You Suffering from "False Hunger" Pains?

Stop overeating. It's a phrase you've probably muttered to yourself hundreds—maybe thousands of times. Here's how to end your unhealthy relationship with food—for good.

September 13, 2013

Learn how to avoid false fixes and manage your food addiction.

Adapted from the New York Times bestseller The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction by Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.


You hunger for a better life, the freedom to do what you love and to enjoy and embrace every single moment. But you’re stuck with a different hunger. A gnawing, craving, tearing-your-insides-out, desperate, and frantic search for just one more food fix. Just one. But the hunger is insatiable. It never ends. And it’s standing in the way of your ability to live your life to the fullest.

There is a way to fix this addictive hunger. In The Hunger Fix, I outline how chronic exposure to your False Fixes has led to False Hunger. Your brain's reward center has been hijacked, leaving you with an itch you just can't scratch.

Luckily, you can manage your own biology and reclaim your reward center to quell the craving and free yourself from the viselike grip of food addiction.

Using the latest neuroscience research, I have developed a program that systematically addresses each facet of the powerful reward system, capitalizing on a specific sequence of natural triggers, to make the entire cascade of neurochemicals work for you instead of against you.

While there are 3 main stages of the program that include mouth, mind, and muscle, here's a sneak peak into how you can jumpstart your detox and start making healthier choices that will path the path for a lifelong healthier relationship with food, like how to identify and then abstain from your "bingeable" or False Fix foods, and how certain food nutrients and ingredients can keep your dopamine levels elevated.

Shoot for 20 grams of daily soluble fiber We’ll also shoot for 20 grams of daily soluble fiber. A recent study found that for every 10 grams of increased daily soluble fiber intake, you'll experience a 3.7 percent decrease in accumulation of toxic visceral fat. In "food" terms, you could hit (and even exceed) your soluble fiber target by eating the following foods over the course of a day:

• ½ cup oatmeal (3 grams fiber)

• 1 small banana (3 grams)

• ½ cup cooked red or black beans (7 grams)

• 1 small apple (5 grams)

• ½ cup lentils (8 grams)

• ½ cup blueberries (3 grams)

Find your "safe highs."
My patients have found that safe high foods are "freeing" because they decrease the sense of deprivation. Safe highs are characterized by a combination of fiber and protein (with or without a healthy carb or fat). Protein increases satiety and kills the addictive carb craving. Science shows that when you have that fiber and protein combo, the body senses the macronutrients, and the sphincter muscle that leads from the stomach to the small intestine closes to allow the food to rest longer in the stomach, prolonging the breakdown of the protein and fiber. This creates a greater sense of stomach fullness, decreasing appetite as well as hunger.

Here are some examples (pick one from each list to create a safe high):

Fiber List: Berries, apple, celery, Wasa crisps, wheat bran, broccoli, carrots, peppers

Protein List: Cottage cheese, peanut butter, almond butter, coconut butter, Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese, hummus, black bean dip, vegetarian baked beans

Seed safer substitutes. Choose diet and seltzer water over sugary soda, then transition to still water. Replace bacon cheeseburgers with lean beef and turkey burgers, and then bean burgers. Choose romaine lettuce with creamy dressing instead of a salad made with iceberg lettuce, and then ultimately switch to romaine lettuce and spinach with balsamic vinaigrette. Replace fast food fries with homemade baked fries, and then ultimately transition to roasted sweet potatoes. If you love chips, move to air-popped popcorn, and then carrot sticks and kale chips.

For the complete plan that will help you healthily deal with your food addiction once and for all, order The Hunger Fix from your favorite retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Rodale Store

Tags: weight loss