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Why Foods With Sugar, Flour Are Addictive and How to Break the Cycle

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Ending the cycle of food addiction can seem daunting and overwhelming to many. One doctor says avoiding certain kinds of foods is key and that everyone has the power to end their obsession.

Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson, founder, and CEO of Bright Line Eating told CBN's Healthy Living that Americans who suffer from obesity and poor eating habits are jeopardizing their health.

"Obesity rates keep skyrocketing, but of course with COVID among us, obesity is an independent risk factor for serious outcomes and even death from COVID," she said. "So, just in the last couple of years, the risks of obesity have become even more extreme."

Thompson explained that she too suffered from food addiction and depression, despite having success in college and with her career. 

"For me, the excess eating and the weight gain definitely went along with depression, low mood, excess sleeping and feeling really sluggish," she noted. "When I finally adopted the solution I teach people now and changed my eating, all that melted away. The depression melted away and my energy skyrocketed. It was really the eating that was keeping me down."

Thompson continued, "Food addiction is a manageable addiction in the sense that we can still succeed in our careers. I was using food to manage the stress of the success I was having in life... the stress of the responsibilities. With the acceleration of food use, I was able to succeed in life and just keep using that food as a crutch. That was sort of the bafflement that I had was why can I be successful in so many areas of my life, but not tackle this weight problem and it's because of addiction," she said.

She pointed out that dependency on specific foods is an important factor in the cycle of addiction.

"We are really talking about processed foods. I like to alert people to sugar and flour," she said. "Because it's really foods made of sugar and flour – those highly refined, highly processed foods – that if you think about it are made in the same way that heroin and cocaine are made. You just take an inner essence of a plant, refine and purify it into a fine powder and that's where you get the drug."

"Food also is addictive is the sense that even eating is addictive," Thompson added. "One of the reason it's the hardest is that it's both a substance addiction and a process addiction and we can get addicted to the process of eating."

Ultimately, Thompson says most people know what foods they should avoid yet the issue is implementing healthy practices. 

"The issue is applying it in our real lives – execution over the long term. Especially on Friday night when we want to have beer, pizza, and wings with our friends. That's when our willpower is going to break down." 

You can watch the entire interview with Dr. Thompson on our CBN News program Healthy Living.

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