From Medline: “Addiction means that a person has a strong urge to use the substance and cannot stop, even if they want to. Tolerance to a substance (needing a higher dose to get the same effect) is usually part of addiction.”
From ASAM: “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
From Merriam Webster: “Addiction – a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)
an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something”
From Merriam Webster: “Suicide – : the act of killing yourself because you do not want to continue living
a person who commits suicide
an action that ruins or destroys your career, social position, etc.”
From the World Health Organization: “Suicide is the act of deliberately killing oneself.”
From The American Heart Association: “What is “carbohydrate craving” or “carbohydrate addiction?”
These terms are used in a theory about the relationship between carbohydrate, insulin and appetite. (The body uses the hormone insulin to convert sugar, starch and other foods into energy.) We know that eating carbohydrates raises insulin, which then lowers blood sugar. This causes a desire (or craving) for more food and, in some people, carbohydrates.
Is carbohydrate addiction real? I say yes and I don’t care if anyone disagrees. This statement isn’t born out of arrogance, it is simply my conclusion. I never have the need for someone else to be wrong, for me to be correct.
I have experienced this addiction first hand. For years, I have talked about it, but inside I was one of those people who didn’t truly accept it as a genuine condition. After regaining about 80 pounds, again, and reexamining my eating habits, and why they devolved, I have come to the acceptance that not only is carbohydrate addiction real, and that I am a carbohydrate addict, but also it is a slow form of suicide.
I’m not utilizing the term suicide for shock value, and I am not using it only as the cessation of physical life, which carbohydrate addiction caused obesity can most certainly lead. I also view suicide from carbohydrate addiction as cessation of living an active, healthy and fit life.
A couple of thoughts before we begin.
I don’t believe that all obese people are carbohydrate addicts. There are definitely other causes, including: medical, hormonal, genetic, emotional, psychological, etc… that can lead one to be obese.
I don’t believe that all carbohydrate addicts are necessarily obese. While many who overconsume carbohydrates end up with lifelong weight battles, there are those that simply, for whatever reason, don’t express the overconsumption of carbohydrates in the form of obesity. Does that mean that these folks do not have the potential to suffer from the same issues? No, it does not. In my career as a chiropractor, I have found as an incidental finding on MRI, cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in non-obese people. I know non-obese type II diabetics. And, I am all too familiar with those who suffer the down moods, mood swings, and general malaise brought on by the overconsumption of refined, processed carbohydrates and sugars.
In the above cases carbohydrate restricted diets have made significant improvements in those cases’ health.
When I am talking carbohydrates, in general, I talking processed carbohydrates that cannot be found in a natural state. Included are breads, pasta, oatmeal, etc… Unless you can find a bread bush, a pasta plant or an oatmeal tree, you should stay away. For some reason, fruits, and even some starchy carbs such as rice and yams, don’t trigger the “eat at all cost” response. This is my opinion, if you feel these carbs impact you, and trigger addictive behaviors, don’t eat them.
I invite you to read Carbohydrate Addiction: A Slow Suicide and follow one 30 day journey in my attempt to gain the upper hand over this addiction, my struggles, my victories, my losses and the lessons I have learned since first writing Fat Then Fit Now.
There will be no pictures of progress, if you want to see a transformation you can check out Obesity Undone, or Sometimes The Bastard Returns, both are available on Amazon.com. The purpose of this book is not weight loss and fitness, although they will be included, the main purpose of this book is dealing with the underlying cause of my obesity — Carbohydrate Addiction.