100 lb. Club - So, it's like a drug...

View Full Version : So, it's like a drug...

01-14-2006, 11:50 PM
Has anyone watched the program, I think it's called the 1/2 ton man? At the end they showed a sonogram of a normal (normal weight) person's brain and then that of an overweight person's brain. They showed that certain receptors were bigger in the overweight person actually causing them to want more food because it would calm these certain receptors. This same receptor issue is prevalent in addicts as well.

So, I was thinking... What if we treated food like an addiction, like any addict would treat drugs. Instead of saying no to food altogether(because we can't), say no to the things that harm us (donuts, cookies, greasy burgers, etc.)? Some people do well with having a little bit of the bad/harmful stuff but many people don't. Maybe the realization that like an addict we just have to say no, will help. That there are certain things we just can't have.

The man the show was about said something interesting, he said, "it's like being an addict but having to still use drugs because you'd die if you didn't." I wonder how many people think like that...

Anyway, what do you think?

01-15-2006, 12:05 AM
I saw the program, and I believe food addiction is exactly like drug addiction. I think it would be easier to kick alcohol and drugs rather than food. We still have to have it. Someone else said, "How successful would an alcoholic be if they had to have one drink every day?" It's what food addicts have to deal with every day. We can't have enough to satiate our brains. They always want more.

My father is an alcoholic and my mother is crazy about anyone bringing alcohol in the house. People go to great lengths keeping alcohol away from alcohlics. No one has ever said : "What the **** are you doing bringing food in the house? We've got a food addict here!" I will never hear that. My father never has to smell or even see alcohol again, but I've got to restrictly indulge my addiction. I have always said I'd rather be addicted to anything else. It's the most unfair addiction.

01-15-2006, 09:31 AM
I think the whole "addict" thing is the reason why I am focusing so much on hunger and satiety this time, as well as the normal healthy eating choices and exercise and limiting calories. If I am hungry, I eat. And I get hungry often... more so than normal people, it seems. There is a great yawning void in me that I can fill and fill and fill with food.

When I was doing a low-fat vegetarian plan, there was no limit on calories. I ate constantly, and was always hungry. I was miserable.

So now I really have to plan ahead so that I can eat something every few hours. I know my body. I need protein and fat and fiber for satiety. If I go too low-fat, or too low-protiein and just focus on grains and starches, I go into "hoover" mode and nothing will satisfy.

Yes, I'm an addict. Yes, I probably have those receptors in my brain. What works best for me, along with all the healthy lifestyle changes, is focusing my frequent snacks and mini-meals around protein first. That way, I am satisfied longer, and the cravings almost completely fade away. The need to eat and eat to fill the aching void eases.

No, I'm not doing Atkins or anything formal. I eat carbs, in the form of fruit and veg and whole grain bread/pasta. But I am more likely to have a snack of cheese and fruit than fruit alone. I am more likely to have a glass of skim milk and some whole-wheat toast with real butter, instead of some rice cakes. I choose creamed herring or a small handful of nuts over baked chips and salsa. For meals, instead of a sandwich for lunch, I'll go to the hot bar and get some meat and two veg, or if I have to do fast food, I'll go to McDonalds and get a chicken or hamburger, and eat the meat and toppings, and leave most of the (refined, white, spongy, tasteless) bun.

Anyway, enough preaching. *grins* I just wanted to say that I agree with the idea that we are food addicts. My point is that for many of us there ARE ways to counter those urges, or plan for times when we know they will be triggered. For me, keeping myself from getting too hungry is my main strategy. (all within 1500-1800 calories a day)

01-15-2006, 10:32 AM
Fat changes everything about your body the brain included. When you put on excess fat your body need to grow new blood vessels to supply the new tissue. If you are really overweight there is a lot of metabolic work being done to maintain the added fat. Your brain become accustom to a certain amount of food your body demands to supply the new tissue. That would change how you brain perceives hunger and how you get the message. Resetting that message takes time and being consistent. An overly low kcal diet may solve the problem short run but the body will tend to overeat if it is starved for too long. I have found that it is a gradual process of cooking with lower kcal ingredients and eating smaller portions works. It is important to feel physically satisfied with what your intake is. You many lose weight quickly on very low kcals but if you can't keep it off you have accomplished nothing.

As far as food as an addiction I guess it is possible since the brain seems to get addicted to anything from shopping to heroin. I look at it from the point of view that I have a health problem and that there are certain foods I can not eat. When I see commercials for products with lots of sugar and fat I just remind myself that is for someone else not me. This is the same way would have to live if I had a disease like diabetes. It is better to get the right attitude toward foods that can damage my health before I have something like diabetes for real

01-15-2006, 01:44 PM
The one thing I can compare this to is smoking, which I did for about 10 years. I quit about 5 years ago after having tried to quit several times before. Now, I am able to have one or two cigarettes about once a month or so if I choose, usually in a social situation. I have a slight craving the next day, but I know I will never go back. However I if I smoke the brand I used to smoke, the craving is 10 times worse than with any other brand. For that reason I will never have another one of those cigarettes again, ever. I also know that there are lots of ex-smokers who would not be able to do this - if they have another cigarette of any kind they will be back to their old smoking habits.

I think it is the same way with food. Some people might be able to eat something every once and awhile while others will need to never touch it again. It would probably be different for every person. Finding out what foods are your personal triggers and finding out how to deal with them is an individual thing.

01-15-2006, 02:19 PM
Great post, Synger. :) I agree completely. If I don't have enough protein in my lunch (vegetable beef soup), I WILL get hungry again in an hour. Whole grains help too, along w/a little fat. I have recently switched to Smart Balance spread, instead of the real butter that I love, due to my doctor not being happy w/my cholesterol levels. I will also make a better commitment to eating oatmeal 3 times a week. I like to keep it at work for snacks.

I think there is definitely something to the brain-food connection.

I'm glad you started this thread, LivingWater, I was going to start one, but I don't want this to become an argument. I think if everyone is respectful of each other's opinion, we will be ok. So here's the million dollar question, for those of you who have seen Half Ton Man:

What did you think of Edie???

I think their minister said it best when he called her influence on him "assisted suicide". When he was too big to leave the house, why was she giving him more fatty foods to eat? It wasn't like he could get up & get things himself, so she would've had to serve him, or at least bring foods & beverages & leave them within his reach. I think *that* would've been the time to bring him a nice steak w/a big green salad & 2 kinds of green vegetables. Some fresh fruit for dessert? I dunno. It's hard to say because obviously I am not Edie & was not in the situation. But did you see how she was sweating when they were questioning her about the amount he ate? Then Patrick yelled from the bedroom, "From the way you're asking the question, it seems as if you're waiting for her to say, 'OMG, the amounts he was eating were HUGE!' It doesn't work that way! It's genetics!"

I personally don't feel genetics made him all of those 1000 pounds. 300 I can see. But you have a hand in that as well, with the foods & drinks you choose. To be a little pudgy from genetics, or inherit your mom's thighs, that I can see. But 1000 pounds? Not so much. :( Again, this is only my opinion.

The other thing that made me mad was, he was malnourished!!! 1000 pounds & malnourished! She couldn't slip him some vitamins? :( It made me sad, but I am glad he was able to lose & can at least walk around his house now.

Did they ever say if they repaired the hernia they found?

01-15-2006, 11:57 PM
Suchaprettyface- I thought the same thing. I didn't see the beginning so the whole show I was wondering how on earth he was able to get that way. He didn't work, so someone was caring for him, he couldn't move so someone was feeding him... I would have refused to give him any bad foods. If he wanted the junk, he'd have to get up and get it himself, with his own money. It was just sad....

01-16-2006, 01:09 AM
Well, I do remember the reporter asking Edie why didn't she take him aside after they were married (he was around 600# at the time) and say, "I'm putting you on a diet." and put her foot down with him, and he answered that for her, something like, "There's one way to get on my bad side, and that is to tell me what to do. I'll rip you to shreds." and had a real mean look on his face.

I wish they would do an update on him, I know that show's at least a year old.

03-11-2006, 01:09 PM

Man Who Weighed 1,000 Pounds Down to 400 Thu Mar 9, 8:48 AM ET

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Patrick Deuel, who once weighed more than 1,000 pounds, has lost another 81 pounds in a surgery that removed a mass of fat and skin hanging from his midsection.

"He's doing well," said Dr. Fred Harris, who performed the surgery Tuesday.

The mass, called a pannus, made it difficult for Deuel, 43, of Valentine, Neb., to walk.

Surgery to remove it had been scheduled for January, but the procedure was postponed when Deuel got the flu.

With the surgery, Deuel now weighs about 400 pounds.

He could lose even more through exercise, said Harris.

"But if Patrick never lost another pound, I'd be a happy camper," Harris said.

When Deuel came to Sioux Falls for gastric bypass surgery in 2004, he weighed 1,072 pounds.

He was so large his bedroom wall had to be cut out to extract him from his home. He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance with extra-wide doors and a ramp-and-winch system that had to be dispatched from Denver.

Gastric bypass surgery, a stomach stapling procedure, was thought to be his best chance for permanent weight loss.

03-11-2006, 02:21 PM
Did anyone catch the Larry King Live with Wynonna that was on last night? I only saw about five minutes of it, but she was talking about going to rehab for food addiction. I found the transcript (just haven't had time to read it): http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0603/10/lkl.01.html

03-11-2006, 02:55 PM
I saw that show or one similar to it, there was also one about a lady ~ she wasn't as big as the guy though. The one I saw about a guy ~ he had lost a bunch of weight and was able to walk, they interviewed him, but then somewhere along the line, I think he said he celebrated, and it just started the whole cycle again and he couldn't stop and gained a bunch back. It made me feel sad.

03-11-2006, 04:32 PM
I saw that show or one similar to it, there was also one about a lady ~ she wasn't as big as the guy though. The one I saw about a guy ~ he had lost a bunch of weight and was able to walk, they interviewed him, but then somewhere along the line, I think he said he celebrated, and it just started the whole cycle again and he couldn't stop and gained a bunch back. It made me feel sad.Yes, Gayle, I saw that one too!!! That was Michael. He 'celebrated' with 1 Nathan's hotdog. 1 turned into 4. :eek: Poor guy.

Also when I watched this time I got a different perspective on Edie, the wife. She was cooking him some eggs for breakfast (poached, they were coming out of boiling water), and the reporter was asking about how many calories the breakfast was & Edie said, "No idea". I think it was important, body-wise, for him not to lose weight TOO quickly, and to keep up his energy & strength. I think that was the perfect way to prepare eggs for him, no fat added. Doesn't matter how many he was eating, because for someone who weighs 600 pounds, it takes a certain amount of calories to even maintain, then consider the special nutritional needs for someone w/gastric bypass.

I hope we hear more great things about Patrick. The one show they did made me real sad. They had a guy who died. He was not as big as Patrick once was, but was on his way there. He had a wife & disabled sister waiting for him to come back from the obesity 'home' they had sent him to. He died after a few weeks there. :(

03-11-2006, 05:09 PM

This is the reason behind so many ppl disagreeing with me, when it comes to food. "2 cookies won't kill you".

I cannot eat 2 cookies. I will eat 12. 12 a few times throughout that day. And then the cravings for other sweets/carbs comes.

It's not worth it. So, I have to refrain from them all together.

03-11-2006, 06:46 PM
What a great update! The guy has his life back. Very cool!

03-11-2006, 07:07 PM
I think that is why low carb works for me. I just say "no" to them and then I am able to control my cravings and my appetite.

03-11-2006, 10:55 PM
I really like this post and the responses. My opinion is that food is definitely an addiction for many people (myself included). Certain foods have the ability to alter mood - it is a biochemical reaction. For me, sugar is an elixir - give me a little and I will want more. I don't have a "shut off" valve. It is interesting when I see my healthy, never overweight husband eat something sweet - he will have a little bit, then his eyes will water and he will say "oh, that is just too sweet, I can't eat it". What planet is he from? Can't eat it? I could eat that piece of nanimo bar plus the rest of the pan and not get that reaction. In addition, as I pay attention to this, I notice that anxiety/stress will lead me to sweet sugary foods or refined carbs if I am not paying attention to what I am doing. These foods have a mood changing/relaxing calming affect. Sound like the alcoholics response to his/her substance? You bet....Only thing is, the drunk is probably treated better by society at large (if they are thin). Because, the fat person is - what- gluttonous? Lazy? Lacking willpower? Oh, we still have a long way to go with that but the main thing is being able to find these revelations as they apply to ourselves in order to create healthier/happier lifestyles....Just my two cents..

03-12-2006, 12:19 PM
For those of you who haven't seen the 1/2 ton man, it's on The Learning Channel tonight (11 p.m. CT).

I've seen the program before and have thought the same thing that many of you did about Edie's role and Patrick's attitude. Another thing that made me think was that after his surgery and they are interviewing him in his motel room, he talks about how he is eating right and how he had his "protein" in his snack -- protein being a small bag of cheetos. How does he plan to lose weight and stay at a decent range if he doesn't change his attitude?


03-12-2006, 06:21 PM
Thanks for letting us know misty. It's also on at 9pm and right before it is the 750 lb man. I have both set to record.

I am totally addicted to food. I've always known this. My dad was an alcoholic also and I know I am just like him except my choice was food not beer. I can have beer anytime I want no problem. But put a plate of pizza or any kind of food down and now I have a problem.

03-12-2006, 06:34 PM
I can identify with Howie ~ my grandfather was an alcoholic, my brother is an alcoholic ~ my mother says it's in the genes ~ I guess I just do it with food instead of alcohol. I just have to figure out how to beat this thing.

03-13-2006, 12:29 AM
OK. I saw this program, and that night there were about 4 of them in a row - with several ladies and another man (I think the one mentioned above regarding the hot dogs). I couldn't turn it off!

Maybe I was dreaming, but did anyone else think that Edie got larger as her husband got smaller?

I am fascinated by these programs, because I so get it. I do have an addiction to certain foods.

I'm in a recovery program at my church - there are people in the group with all kinds of addictions. (It's very similar to a 12-step program.) I am there because of my compulsive overeating. Guess what they do after the session each week? They set out a giant plate of brownies and cookies for us to have while we chat with eachother.