Category Archives: Addiction

A Hot Fudge Sundae Life

Paleo-sundaeNever underestimate the power of the mind, or a Hot Fudge Sundae for that matter and the grip of habit it can have in our lives!

Many of us have such contrary lives, working hard at jobs we can do but would not chose to do if we had such a choice.  We work long hours, commute hard and then hope to spend those few precious hours of choice remaining at the end of the day in some sort of peace with our loved ones.

How easy it is then to let habit and thought get in the way of diet and lifestyle and for self- sabotage to creep in and spoil our day.  That insidious thought that says we deserve a little something to make it better.  And it goes something like this: walking to work, downhill, half an hour’s brisk walking, and it’s cold, barely light and tiring and that before the work day has even started.   Walking now past the shops and the bakers has it’s light on, it’s busy inside: hustle and bustle, laughter.  And the smell of buns is good.  It brings with it a sense of love and comfort; bright, pretty icing colours and a moment of glory beckons as we eat the rich carrot cake and thick creamy icing, the sense of pleasure hurtling us toward oblivion.  We are checking out of our lives.

Like cigarette smokers and alcoholics know, this is addiction. Read more here on the impact of the fat/sugar combination and what it does to the brain: Paleo, Cupcakes, Sugar and Cocaine, likening the pleasure sequence generated as akin to the pleasure sense triggered by opiate abuse or cocaine addiction: and that is what you are up against particularly if the pattern of behaviour is entrenched.  But talk to anyone with food addiction and you will find that it is never about the food, it’s never about the food.

For now, we are back outside that baker’s shop window and in that moment we have a choice.  Buy it or not?  Walk past the window or go in?  And don’t think that willpower will get you through.  As explained in a previous article (Weight-Loss Willpower: is it working for you?), willpower is an easily exhausted muscle that can use up its energy in simply walking to work downhill, going somewhere you don’t want to be, moving against your will.  So how do we get past this?

Let’s rewind this scene to early morning rising and try this.  When you rise make sure you eat breakfast within thirty minutes of exiting bed and make sure that your breakfast has at least 50–70 g of protein and fat and throw in some eggs for good measure.  You will know if you have the balance right later when you sail through work that morning not giving food a second thought.  If you are hungry again adjust your food on rising and try again.

And now when you walk past the bakers this morning, it’s easier because your tummy is satisfied with breakfast and the hunger has gone.  You become focused, pausing instead to look at the holiday destinations in Thompson’s window and noting this year they just might be in budget and the dress at Dorothy Perkins that brings with it the promise of going out tonight and the job adverts in the Post office window bringing with them the promise of change.  Lose that moment of short term gratification and you are looking ahead now and at possibilities and that’s the difference. Do you have a hot fudge sundae life?… tell us how it’s working for you, we love to hear your stories.

geneen roth“We don’t want to EAT hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to BE hot fudge sundaes.” – Geneen Roth

Related Articles:

Stop Emotional Eating

How Do I Stop Feeling Hungry

Obese: A Year to Save My Life

Did you see the show “Obese: a year to save my life”?  It aired last night on Sky 1 at 9 pm and we watched Claire – here is her story.

Claire is 32 but feels twenty years older.  She is constantly juggling a busy and stressful job with the needs of her energetic four-year-old son. And when the stress spiralled out of control, Claire took comfort in food.


Name: Claire

Weight before show: 26st 7lbs

Metabolic age: 47

Actual age: 32

Since adolescence Claire would go from yo-yo dieting to extreme binges, and on a bad binge day she could pack away more than 8000 calories.  She turned to food to heal past emotional problems and even though she’s undergone therapy, she’s never been able to take control of her eating disorder. She was also at the point where she worried that she couldn’t keep up with her son.

Claire longed to break this vicious cycle and desperately wanted to get her life and her weight under control, so she could play a more active role in her young son’s life.

It’s a familiar story?  And handsome weight loss coach, Jesse Pavelka flew in from America and told Claire to eat less and exercise more.  That’s it in a nutshell really.

Claire-obese-afterAnd Claire did lose weight.  A staggering amount of weight……BUT…

What happens when the cameras leave and the attention fades?  Can you fill in the gaps?  What’s your experience of conventional dietary wisdom?  And why don’t these shows ever record a follow up 6 months, one year, two years down the line?  Because you’ve probably guessed it, Claire will have put the weight back on.  In the interim, the staggering transformation makes for perfect “fairy tale” television.

Sadly,  anyone watching this type of show with excess fat to lose can’t help but take on board the fact that to get from morbidly obese to “normal” involves getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning; putting in 2 to 4 hours of training per day and eating less that 1500 calories for each meal.  At least that’s what conventional dietary wisdom tells us.

And watching Claire’s secret diaries recording her binge eating during her diet when the stress of it all got too much for her (6 large bars of caramel chocolate in 4 hours on one occasion) suggests that things are not under “control” and that the long cycle of yo-yo dieting may well return.

jesse-pavelkaOh and did you catch Jesse Pavelka’s response when Claire fell so spectacularly off his wagon?  He blamed her and her “issues”.  This is horribly common amongst health professionals who will always blame the slimmer’s lack of will power and tend to believe that slimmers delude themselves about their eating and exercise habits and don’t stick to the rules.

At Paleo Works, we say that it’s not because people don’t work hard enough at “eating less and exercising more.” People don’t succeed because the strategy itself is based on flawed science and simply doesn’t work!  We say so called ‘healthy eating’ causes more problems than it solves and even leads to weight gain and ill health. We say “Eat More and Exercise Less!” This may go against the grain of what we’re told to believe but it’s absolutely true. If you just want to lose weight then it is entirely possible with diet alone, remember exercise is a fitness tool, diet is the weight loss tool.

Take a look at the Minnesota Starvation experiment.  Read the conclusions (and this was on a diet of 1560 calories per day)

 “Among the conclusions from the study was the confirmation that prolonged semi-starvation produces significant increases in depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis as measured using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Indeed, most of the subjects experienced periods of severe emotional distress and depression. There were extreme reactions to the psychological effects during the experiment including self-mutilation (one subject amputated three fingers of his hand with an axe, though the subject was unsure if he had done so intentionally or accidentally). Participants exhibited a preoccupation with food, both during the starvation period and the rehabilitation phase. Sexual interest was drastically reduced, and the volunteers showed signs of social withdrawal and isolation. The participants reported a decline in concentration, comprehension and judgment capabilities, although the standardized tests administered showed no actual signs of diminished capacity. There were marked declines in physiological processes indicative of decreases in each subject’s basal metabolic rate (the energy required by the body in a state of rest), reflected in reduced body temperature, respiration and heart rate. Some of the subjects exhibited edema (swelling) in their extremities, presumably due to the massive quantities of water the participants consumed attempting to fill their stomachs during the starvation period.” – Source Wikipedia

Claire needs to lose the physical addiction to sugar (and grains) and to build her diet up around good fats and protein with carbohydrates taking a back seat.  In this way, Claire will create balance and space for other good things to come into her life.  Once this process is up and running, Claire’s body will become a fat burning machine taking energy from fat stores and using the surplus fat in her body to fuel her life.

This is the basis of our diet.  A return to ancestral health.  Learning from our ancestors what drove them forward for in excess of 2.5 million years.  It’s only in the last 100 years we have turned to processed “high sugar” food.  It’s only in the last 30 years we have been told to eat less fat.  Its only in the last 20 years we have begun to develop such an intense problem with obesity….

How many more have to end up like Claire, or worse end up dying as a result of excess fat?  Well given current practices and standard dietary advice the answer perhaps is many more. However there is an alternative, a solution. So if you’ re overweight and believe you too only have a year to save your life, or simply want to improve your lifestyle and well being, take a look at what Paleo Works has to offer,  let us empower you to change your life forever.

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