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The Non-Addictive Food Diet

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Heidi 555

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2010, 04:25:18 PM »

Things are progressing well in terms of deprogramming my cravings.† I started doing enlightened tasting with food that I was addicted to in childhood.† Iíve been using foods that are too sweet or too junky for me to want to eat, like chocolate cake (or brownies) with chocolate frosting or barbecue potato chips.† It brings back pleasant childhood memories when I do the enlightened tasting with them.†

Iíve noticed that with enlightened tasting the flavor can become more neutral, but then Iíll still crave the food for its other properties like its taste or texture.† Eventually the food stops seeming appealing.† With some foods I continue to do enlightened tasting once the food has lost its appeal, because I think Iíd prefer to push the food into slight repulsion.† Although maybe I could stop when the food reaches neutrality and still be okay.

Today I had a significant breakthrough.† Iíd been hoping that once I deconditioned enough foods that I would no longer desire addictive foods in general.† After I ate lunch today, not only did I not crave any dessert, but I found that the idea of eating something sweet was slightly repulsive.† It felt like a small victory.† My cravings tend to be worse in the evening after dinner or at times when Iím really tired, so I know that I'll still have to deal with cravings then.† But Iím hoping that given more time I can eliminate them entirely.† Iíve noticed that Iím much less tempted to eat addictive food at other times.† This is new for me.† Before if temptation was in front of me, then I would partake.

The woman who contacted Seth about using a two pronged approach to quit smoking (see: http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2010/05/01/new-way-to-quit-smoking/) has been PM-ing me.  She is incredibly clued in to the conditioned mechanism of addiction, and has pointed me to some other approaches to addiction that are accomplishing the same thing as what I am trying to do.  She has been helping me out a lot with her ideas and understanding.  I hope that she will be inspired to post more, either here or on Toddís forum.

She pointed me to the Sinclair Method of using naltrexone to heal alcohol addiction.  Naltrexone is also used in low doses for autoimmune diseases.  For awhile now Iíve been feeling like my autoimmune diseases are very connected to my food cravings/addiction.  I am excited by the idea that I might be able to heal some chronic conditions that I didnít realize were being caused or aggravated by food addiction.

I have been reading up on the Sinclair Method.  I feel like it is very similar to what I am doing with food, except that I am using enlightened tasting instead of naltrexone.  The method promises a complete cure for alcohol addiction, except that a person always needs to take naltrexone before drinking.  I hope to be able extinguish my food addiction to the point where I no longer need the tool of enlightened tasting.  I also hope to get to the place where I can eat moderate amounts of bread and desserts without reinforcing addiction. 

Here is the forum for the method: http://www.thesinclairmethod.com/community/index.php

I highly recommend reading the FAQs:
http://www.thesinclairmethod.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=19
 
If I replace food addiction for alcoholism and enlightened tasting for naltrexone, then most of what is written holds true for me.  They say that it takes a minimum of 3 months to extinguish the addictive pathways.  For some it takes 7 months or longer.   
 
Here is a quote from the FAQs that I liked:
Quote
Addictive drinking has little in reality to do with the concept of ďpleasure.Ē Addictive drinking has everything to do with reflexive action. It happens at a non-conscious, automatic level. It takes time and many instances of drinking to strengthen addictive circuitry in the brain. Each time the person who is genetically at risk drinks, there is reinforcement to the opioid system via endorphin release. Eventually there is a broadening of existing opioid pathways into great drinking super-highways. In reality, we find that most people who truly suffer from alcoholism do not claim that they enjoy drinking. They get little pleasure out of it, much like heroin addicts do not gain much pleasure once they have become addicted. Certainly not enough pleasure to balance all the suffering caused by the alcohol or opiates. Alcohol abuse is not rational. That is also why it is a problem and why we should not confuse the terms ďpleasureĒ and ďreinforcement.Ē

On a not as good note, I have been a lot more tired than usual.† It might be due to allergies or it might be withdrawal symptoms.† I no longer give myself the quick sugar or carb fix for energy.† Also, I had a flare of some old health symptoms yesterday, which seemed to coincide with my breakthrough today.†

I think that the deeper emotions underlying my food addiction have to do with fear, scarcity, and not feeling nourished by life.† I am composing some affirmations to address these issues and hopefully reprogram the emotional level as well.
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It took 1 year of nose clipping
to lose 20 pounds (from about 140 to 120)
Dropped from size 8-10 to size 4
I'm 5' 4.5"

Read about my success nose clipping regular food instead of doing oil or sugar: http://boards.sethroberts.net/index.php?topic=5903.

TalkingRat

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2010, 05:06:39 PM »

Heidi, glad the Gabriel audio is useful.  I am starting to read about visualization and affirmations, so I may get to the point of making my own audio.  I'm hoping DS can help me when he gets home, he probably knows how to add voice to music, and then I can add visualization on top of theta or alpha/theta waves. 

I haven't been inspired to start a Gabriel thread yet.  It's a low energy week, I didn't even post on my progress page.  It was Anacara who called my attention to Jon Gabriel's book and audio. 

Since my coffee experiments, I have had an interest in cashews only once, on a day I had not eaten my minimum protein and it was about two hours after dinner time, which I'd skipped.  If I had made some decaf, I have no doubt that would have stopped the craving, but I figured it was cashews or dinner, so I got lazy and didn't make it an experiment.   :lol:
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NTB

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2010, 07:10:27 AM »

I have been reading up on the Sinclair Method.† I feel like it is very similar to what I am doing with food, except that I am using enlightened tasting instead of naltrexone.† The method promises a complete cure for alcohol addiction, except that a person always needs to take naltrexone before drinking.† I hope to be able extinguish my food addiction to the point where I no longer need the tool of enlightened tasting.† I also hope to get to the place where I can eat moderate amounts of bread and desserts without reinforcing addiction.†

If I replace food addiction for alcoholism and enlightened tasting for naltrexone, then most of what is written holds true for me.† They say that it takes a minimum of 3 months to extinguish the addictive pathways.† For some it takes 7 months or longer.† †

Great post, Heidi!† I'm really intrigued by the Sinclair Method.† I spent some time yesterday reading through the site you linked to and it is fascinating. The naltrexone works as an opiate antagonist, so it blocks the pleasure pathways. So if you drink alcohol (or engage in any addictive activity) while taking the naltrexone, you are providing the stimulus without the reinforcement, and eventually the addiction is extinguished. This is classical extinction theory, but it is so clever because it allows the entire stimulatory behavior to occur -- right up to the final reinforcement in the brain, but the reinforcement is blocked.† In this way, it resembles your Enlightened Tasting and Non-Addictive Food Diet approach, which allows† the entire stimulatory behavior (the smell, taste, texture and even chewing behavior of food) to proceed as completely and normally as possible, but withdraws† the last step -- reinforcement by blood glucose and fat, and their hormonal and neurochemical responses in the brain.† †As Conklin and Tiffany observed in their study of cue exposure therapies, the more realistically you can stimulate the cues and actual behaviors, while blocking the actual reinforcement, the more effective is the extinction.† Your method and the Sinclair Method take this to the extreme -- allowing the entire behavior right up to the end point.

There's even another analogy between naltrexone and Enlightened Tasting, that is predicted by Solomon's opponent-process theory that I've been writing about on my blog. By preventing activation or binding of the opioids or endorphins in the brain, the brain actually compensates by more gradually ramping up the level of opioids in order to increase the overall level of pleasure.  Not immediately, but over time. In fact, this is apparently the mechanism of how low dose naltrexone works in autoimmune diseases like MS.  Apparently, in MS  and other autoimmune diseases, their is a deficiency of endorphins, which leads to spasticity.  The naltrexone first blocks the opioid receptors in the brain, around plaques.  But the brain responds by upping the general level of endorphins, which counteracts muscle spasticity.  This is all addressed at this website: http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/ldn_and_ms.htm

It is absolutely fascinating to me to see the common mechanisms in these different approaches to extinguishing addiction and modulating the balance of pleasure and pain to forge new neural pathways and change our behavior by changing our brain. I've continued this discussion on your thread over at the GS forum (http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,24.msg224.html#msg224)

Todd
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Heidi 555

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2010, 06:02:53 PM »

TalkingRat, the info that you've been posting on the brain and audio waves has been really interesting.  I researched all of that a long time ago, but have forgotten most of it.  Let me know if you make your own tape or come across any other good free downloads.

Todd and I have been continuing this discussion on his forum: http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,24.0.html

Here's my lastest update that I just posted over there:

Iíve come to prefer Enlightened Tasting more than actually eating desserts and junk food.  (I still much prefer to consume healthy, nourishing food Ė those foods leave me feeling good.)  Every once in awhile I still want to eat a piece of bread.  But most of the time the Enlightened Tasting alleviates my cravings and leaves me feeling satisfied.  After I do it I still feel good.  If I ate that kind of junk food, it would leave me feeling crappy.   When I thoroughly indulge in Enlightened Tasting, I end up reaching a state of over saturation.  The food and process ends up seeming gross and disgusting.  But those feelings pass in a matter of minutes.  Had I actually eaten all that crap, I would feel stuffed and gross for hours. 

Iíve come to feel that the food that Iím addicted to isnít real food.  Itís food manufactured solely for addiction.  I use to think that it was okay to indulge in dessert and treats.  But doing this process has me acutely aware of the subtleties that go into creating addictive food substances.  Even the packaging is filled with lies and deception.  Originally my goal was to be able to eat desserts without being addicted.  But perhaps Iíll stop desiring those kinds of foods completely.  Iíll have to see where this process leads me.  I know Iím moving in the right direction.  It will be interesting to see where I end up. 

Iím not sure yet, if the Enlightened Tasting will function as a replacement addiction and Iíll then have to wean myself from it.  It is obviously but gradually working.  I can tell that Iím much less addicted than I use to be.  Iíve lost my desire for lots of kinds of junk food.  Itís an incredible relief to not be as addicted as I use to be.  I look forward to no longer having any food addiction.  This method has been incredibly easy for me.  If need be I could sustain it for a long time.  But Iím hopeful that after awhile I can let go of it as a tool. 

Iíve had this food addiction for a really long time.  The foods that are the hardest to decondition are the ones that were deeply reinforced in childhood.  At this point I have no problem being patient because I can feel how well itís working.  In the beginning I felt like I was taking a big risk, but the Sinclair Method, Toddís posts, and my success so far have been really reassuring. 

Iím no longer focused on losing weight.  I make sure that Iím eating enough good healthy food.  Originally I had thought that I wanted to go a few pounds lower than my goal weight.   But now that Iím here, Iím more concerned with maintenance than losing more.  Itís nice to have my focus solely on eliminating my addiction.   Itís easier being singly focused.
Logged
It took 1 year of nose clipping
to lose 20 pounds (from about 140 to 120)
Dropped from size 8-10 to size 4
I'm 5' 4.5"

Read about my success nose clipping regular food instead of doing oil or sugar: http://boards.sethroberts.net/index.php?topic=5903.

TalkingRat

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2010, 08:42:36 PM »

Heidi, Glad you are continuing to make progress with your Enlightened Tasting.  My short experiment with cashews and coffee is still working for cashews.  I have no interest yet.  But I got some pistachios for DS, so I need to try pistachios and coffee. 

Interesting thing about bread, after being away from flour for a few months, I have been able to add it back to my diet a couple times a week without the 3 lb overnight weight gain.   I have had similar success reintroducing  rice and milk.   

Haven't got around to exploring the idea of making my own affirmations tape, but I have some library books on visualization and mindful eating, so I am getting more ideas.  Perhaps too many ideas and not enough implementation. 



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NTB

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2010, 02:01:19 PM »

Heidi,  It's great to hear that ET is working so well.  I'm also glad to hear that this has allowed you to focus on eating healthy foods, as opposed to weight loss.  Yay!

I found that your ET approach helped me in cutting back on the frequency of drinking alcohol, for which I had acquired a certain taste.  (The approach was remarkably similar to what professional wine tasters do...I'll bet that this iimmunizes them to some extent against becoming alcoholics! It would be nice to know if there is any research on that).

It's interesting to hear that you and Talking Rat are able to eat (or re-introduce) foods that used to be addictive and still enjoy them.  I think that once the deconditioning effect kicks in, the secret to avoiding relapse is to be diligent about limiting the frequency and amount of consumption of the previously addictive foods.  Now that I'm drinking no more than 2 drinks a week, I have extinguished any cravings.  Sometimes I think to myself it would be nice to drink on a third day, but I let the thought pass for now.  I want to be sure I have a stable pattern that is reinforced.  This is predicted by Richard Solomon's opponent process theory (http://gettingstronger.org/2010/05/opponent-process-theory/) He found that addictive behaviors can only get started if the intensity, and frequency of the pleasurable stimulus exceed a certain threshold, beyond which cravings are induced.
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Heidi 555

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2010, 05:03:39 PM »

TalkingRat, thatís great that youíve had success reintroducing problem foods and with your coffee/cashew experiment.

Quote
It's interesting to hear that you and Talking Rat are able to eat (or re-introduce) foods that used to be addictive and still enjoy them.
Todd, I donít feel like Iíve eliminated my addiction with any foods yet.† Perhaps my standards are set too high because I truly want to be free of food addiction.† So far I feel as though Iíve turned down the volume of my addiction.† It is not as loud and blaring as it use to be.† Iím not as much at the mercy of it and am making better choices.†

I spent a lifetime trying to channel my addiction into good substitutions, but doing that suppressed and strengthened the addictive urges.† My addiction was like a wild beast underneath that I wasnít fully conscious of, and yet it was ruling my life.† Eating a non-addictive diet combined with enlightened tasting is the first thing that Iíve done that seems to have genuinely lessened my addiction.†

Originally I had hoped that nose-clipping would heal my addiction, but even though I wasnít tasting food I still had addictive cravings.† Nose clipping helped me to quiet my addictions and make healthier substitutions, but it didnít address the core of the addiction.† I hope that the enlightened tasting will lead to a permanent change.† Iíll explain more in my response to your questions at your forum. http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,24.msg247.html#msg247

Quote
Now that I'm drinking no more than 2 drinks a week, I have extinguished any cravings. Sometimes I think to myself it would be nice to drink on a third day, but I let the thought pass for now. I want to be sure I have a stable pattern that is reinforced.
Forgive me for mentioning things that you already know, but I keep thinking that you might want to approach your drinking like you did your diet changes.† You could very gradually mess with the variables so that you come to a place of complete freedom with it.† Maybe before upping to a third drink, you might want to try for 1 drink and then none.† Even though you donít want to give up drinking completely, in order to be free of any compulsion you have to be able to easily move it in any direction.† When reinforcing a stable pattern you can end up in a narrow range.† Gradually and unpredictably changing the timing, days, and number of drinks will increase your range.† Iím curious to hear your thoughts on this.
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It took 1 year of nose clipping
to lose 20 pounds (from about 140 to 120)
Dropped from size 8-10 to size 4
I'm 5' 4.5"

Read about my success nose clipping regular food instead of doing oil or sugar: http://boards.sethroberts.net/index.php?topic=5903.

TalkingRat

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2010, 05:57:57 PM »


Here's a freebie -- the EFT Tapping World Summit.  With some freebie bonus MP3 interviews.   Besides the bonuses, the daily stuff is only available for free for the 24 hours after it airs.

http://products.mercola.com/tapping-world-summit/
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NTB

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2010, 02:39:21 PM »

Todd, I donít feel like Iíve eliminated my addiction with any foods yet.† Perhaps my standards are set too high because I truly want to be free of food addiction.† So far I feel as though Iíve turned down the volume of my addiction.† It is not as loud and blaring as it use to be.† Iím not as much at the mercy of it and am making better choices...My addiction was like a wild beast underneath that I wasnít fully conscious of, and yet it was ruling my life.

Those are great, vivid metaphors:† turning down the volume, taming the wild beast.† I think the metaphors capture the fact that addictions are a continuum -- not a black or white thing -- that need to be tamed progressively & gradually brought under control.

Quote
Forgive me for mentioning things that you already know, but I keep thinking that you might want to approach your drinking like you did your diet changes.† You could very gradually mess with the variables so that you come to a place of complete freedom with it.† Maybe before upping to a third drink, you might want to try for 1 drink and then none.† Even though you donít want to give up drinking completely, in order to be free of any compulsion you have to be able to easily move it in any direction.† When reinforcing a stable pattern you can end up in a narrow range.† Gradually and unpredictably changing the timing, days, and number of drinks will increase your range.† Iím curious to hear your thoughts on this.

This is an excellent suggestion, Heidi.† I should have thought of it myself!† But you are right that varying the pattern is useful in preventing the establishment of a new pattern.† To some extent, I'm already doing that, since I drink two days a week, but typically on different days, with different types of drink (sometimes beer, sometimes a cocktail), so the pattern is not too regular.† But I will try being even more unpredictable, and vary the number of days per week down and up.† Of course, I'm going out to celebrate my birthday tonight with family and relatives, and I will definitely have a drink with dinner, so I will wait until tomorrow to start this!!

Thanks
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shovelqueen

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2010, 02:59:20 PM »

Happy Birthday, Todd!! :D
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Pinkmug

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2010, 03:02:36 PM »

it is Todd's BD??? Well Happy Birthday, Todd!...  8)
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NTB

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2010, 03:56:42 PM »

Thanks, SQ and Pinkmug.  Getting older is OK, especially considering the alternative!

By the way, nice new photo, Pinkmug!
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nougat

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2010, 08:58:09 PM »

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Todd!!!


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Heidi 555

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2010, 12:31:20 PM »

TalkingRat, thanks for the link.

A belated happy birthday to you, Todd.† I hope that you had a nice celebration.† Iím glad that my suggestion was helpful to you.† Youíve offered me, as well as other people, so many helpful suggestions.† It was nice to offer you something in return.† Hereís the update that I just posted on your forum:

Thanks Todd for mentioning about the potential for an underlying nutritional deficiency.† I havenít supplemented with chromium, but Iíve tried all the other supplements that youíve mentioned.† It would be wonderful to discover some simple and easily remedied underlying nutritional cause.

Also thanks for explaining what Iím doing from a Pavlovian point of view.† I guess Iíll have to wait and find out over time if the enlightened tasting becomes addictive in and of itself.† Also, Iíll have to wait and see if it actually leads to extinction and a permanent shift in circuitry.† It definitely is a long slow process.† There are so many things that I havenít deconditioned.† I had been hoping that my body would generalize more.† But mostly itís been item by individual item.†

It seems like with chips and crackers that Iím getting to a place where Iím no longer desiring them in general.† Yesterday I went to the store that has the free chip samples.† It was before dinner and I was really hungry.† There was one new kind of chip.† I hesitated before trying it, which was a good sign.† There was a feeling like I really didnít want any chips.† I was glad for that feeling.† I tasted the new kind of chip.† It was good in some ways and not so good in other ways.† I was relieved that I didnít have an addicted response.† I was able to walk away after eating just one chip.† It was another small but hopefully significant success.

Today I ate out for work.† They had warm homemade bread.† I debated whether or not to eat it.† I did end up eating it and it tasted okay, but not amazing.† I had no desire for another piece.† I was amazed and relieved.† This diet is really working!† Warm, freshly baked bread with butter has always been a HUGE addiction for me.† I canít believe that it just tasted okay, but not fantastic.† My mind canít believe that my taste for bread has actually changed that much.† Itís strange having something that youíve always been crazy about, no longer be that appealing.† Weird but wonderfully so.† Iím grateful for the success.

Sweet baked goods are taking longer to decondition than starchy carbs.† I keep buying new dessert items.† Having something new to decondition usually ramps up the cravings.† It typically takes about 3 enlightened tasting sessions for the heightened craving for that particular item to settle down.† Then it can take many more sessions for the food to lose its appeal.† There are a few items that are taking a very long time to decondition.† With those items the texture and combinations of sugar, fat, and salt are especially seductive.† The addiction remains hooked into those elements even after the flavor has lost its appeal.

I read a little more on the Sinclair Method web site.† They said that it takes a minimum of 3-4 months for extinction to occur.† If someone has success before then, then it is not due to extinction.† For most people itís more like 6-7 months.† Iíve been thinking a lot about habits and long term changes that Iíve made in my life.† Iíd say that it takes 3-4 months to really establish a new pattern.† And then it seems to take 6-7 months before that new habit becomes really deeply ingrained.† Then maybe it takes a year or more before it becomes so natural that I no longer think about it.† After a year or so it becomes really hard to remember the old pattern and how things use to be.†

Also, I read a thread on the web site discussing whether it was best to just keep drinking and taking the naltrexone as much as desired, or whether it was good to make a conscious effort to cut back on oneís drinking.† The responses were in alignment to what Iíd been feeling with the enlightened tasting.† People suggested waiting 3 months or so until cravings had somewhat subsided, before making more of conscious effort to shift oneís habit.† Once the cravings have subsided it doesnít take much in way of willpower. (Willpower typically doesnít work so well.) When cravings arenít so strong, then thereís a feeling of having a choice.†

I have been purposefully allowing myself to do enlightened tasting as much as I want.† Mostly I do it once and sometimes twice a day.† Sometimes itís very brief, just a few tastes of one item.† Often itís longer and I do a series of items.† I usually try to wait an hour after eating before doing enlightened tasting.† Once I feel like my cravings have really subsided, then Iíll work on cutting back on the enlightened tasting.† Iím hoping that my desire to do enlightened tasting will just naturally wane over time.† Weíll see how it goes.
Logged
It took 1 year of nose clipping
to lose 20 pounds (from about 140 to 120)
Dropped from size 8-10 to size 4
I'm 5' 4.5"

Read about my success nose clipping regular food instead of doing oil or sugar: http://boards.sethroberts.net/index.php?topic=5903.

TalkingRat

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Re: The Non-Addictive Food Diet
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2010, 07:11:54 PM »

There was an addictive behavior EFT session tonight, the link is supposed to work until 8 pm EST tomorrow.  This interview started out a bit slow, but I did like the visualization in the tapping session.  I used grapes as an addiction, since I've been eating them today even though I'm not hungry.  The therapist has you make a picture of the addiction in your mind, let the size grow really big in your mind, and then let it shrink back.  It was quite a visual, kinda scary when it got huge, and more in control as it shrank.  Later I ate a few more grapes, and felt really full fast.  When I'm alone and eat when I'm not hungry, I tend to eat way past full.  So it will be interesting if the tapping visualization creates control over appetite as well as behavior. 

I think there's still another session on eating addiction coming up in the next few days, so I'll post that one when it's available. 

http://www.tappingworldsummit.com/live/mercola/greenRoom_Day6_EFT.html

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