Wannabe, what you seem to be describing is habit formation. Have you read Brain Over Binge? The reviews were so high on Amazon, that I got it (and discovered that I'm probably not a binger---at least based on the the author's behavior). One point I pulled from that book, though, was the idea of forming habits because certain activities create "paths" in our brain (neural-transmitters or something like that---I was never keen on science). Basically, it sounds like forming habits, though. It's a basic idea, but it's easy to form a habit when it's pleasurable. I notice this with my dogs. Let's say I start giving them a treat after each time I walk them; let's say I do this just two days in a row. They'll automatically expect one the third day. However, if I try to teach them a task or something like that, it takes many, many more days before they learn it because the "reward" isn't there.
Similarly, it takes longer to break those bad habits because the immediate reward of good-tasting food is there. So, for instance, now you associate getting into your car w/ eating at McDonalds. It will take some white-knuckling, but if you can resist going through the drive-through and substitute it with some other pleasurable activity when you get in the car (putting on your favorite music, or plugging in one of those essential oil things into your car cig lighter,---whatever), that desire for the drive-through foods will eventually go away. (I think the Beck solution books deal with this concept of behavior modification). I have learned that this works for me---IF I can get through the initial difficult period. Another example (again, my dogs): As treats, I often give them a little all-natural peanut butter. Well, I started the bad habit of scooping some out with a spoon, taking a lick for me, and then giving the rest to them. By doing this 2-3 times a day, I was eating at least a tablespoon or two of peanut butter (so 100-200 extra calories a day). I've been trying to break that habit, and I've been somewhat successful (still having relapses). But I can't tell you how difficult it was the first time I tried to resist licking that spoon!
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Last edited by lin43; 04-03-2013 at 08:46 PM.