December 29, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this website still updated?

Yes! Unlike an ordinary blog, which expands over time and may cover a wide array of subjects, Eat Like A Normal Person is a small and finite entity. It will outline everything that is needed to escape from eating issues and return to an optimal weight. It is presented as a series of articles, with each one written as if it were a complete chapter in a book, to be read in sequence. It will provide a free escape-method, floating in cyberspace for anyone who needs it.

 

When will you add more content?

I thought I could take a few years to potter away adding content to this website. I didn’t for one minute dream that it would grow as quickly as it has done (it now has over 1,000 visitors a day). At present, my writing time is severely compromised: I am a single mother, with two young children and run my own business. To say I am busy is an understatement. But I know that it is important. I have not forgotten!

Everything you have discussed so far addresses the nutritional side of binge eating. What about emotional eating or eating to cope with stress?

There are many reasons people think that they binge eat (see the survey in the sidebar or bottom section of this website), of which binge eating to ‘cope’ with negative emotions is just one. I will address all these systematically over time, in great depth. These will be long, comprehensive articles so that you are 100% convinced. I do not want to do this topic an injustice by briefly summarising my thoughts. For now, I will ask this: has your binge eating left you calm, happy and confident, ready to take on the world? Has it eliminated your stress? Or is there a small possibility that, rather than helping you cope with negative emotions, it increases your negative emotions?

How do you cope when you no longer binge? Did you find a fulfilling substitute?

Binge eating makes everything worse. Eating vast quantities of high nourishment food leaves you in a permanent state of chronic stress: misery from which every molehill appears to be a mountain.

You don’t need to seek distractions (having a bath, going for a walk, calling a friend, listing to music), you need to be free of the desire to consume low nourishment meals in the first place. When this desire is gone, there is nothing to distract yourself from. You are free.

What if I am not hungry when it is time for a meal? Should I eat anyway? I am scared of “starvation mode”.

Please note: If you are currently starved and malnourished, it can be dangerous to suddenly increase your food intake, resulting in disability or even death. This is known as refeeding syndrome. Please contact an Eating Disorder Recovery specialist and they will help you increase your food intake in a monitored environment. If you suspect that your lack of hunger could be from another medical reason, please visit your doctor, as this website does not provide medical advice.

Many people arrive at this website late in the diet/binge cycle, after years of extreme dieting have passed and frequent binge eating or compulsively eating all day long has arrived. If you arrive at this website earlier in this cycle, however (and thank God that you did), you may feel that you don’t get truly hungry at all; you may feel full even when eating abnormally small quantities. Firstly, understand that these sensations are common in new dieters, which is why many people are able to ‘ace’ their first diet and a significant percentage continue to the point where they are diagnosed as anorexic. A belief that food=fat=unattractive and that, therefore, lessfood=slim=attractive creates a desire so strong that it trumps your hunger (for the short term, that is). How is this possible? Because being attractive to the opposite species is an essential survival goal (directly influencing your odds of procreating with a desirable mate). It is thus easy to understand how with this [insane and flawed] knowledge, your brain is able to dial back your hunger, for the short term. In the long term, of course, the truth sinks in and your appetite refuses to dial back again.

If you find that your hunger signals are unreliable or non-existent, I would urge you to simply begin eating what looks like a normal sized nourishing meal. If you are overweight, it is possible that (when eating high nourishment foods) your body might dial back hunger occasionally: more on this here, as a way to gain ample nourishment while occasionally eating fewer calories than is normal, but this should be intermittent and occasional, not every single day.

In any case, there is no immediate concern with “entering starvation mode” accidentally. If you eat less than you really need for one particular meal (or are stuck in a situation at work and have to eat a few hours later than normal, for example), at the next meal you will be hungrier than normal and you will need to eat more. The danger comes not with feeling extreme hunger now and again, per se, but in attempting to satiate this with low nourishment food. Restrictive diets are certainly dangerous when adhered to for days on end, but they are not addictive. Over time, they become more and more unbearable. The danger comes with the meeting of hunger and low nourishment food.

Ultimately, you need to replace the original faulty original belief (that eatingless=slim) with a truer one: that eating to appetite is the best way to achieve an attractive weight. Sometimes, the only way to really accept this is to prove it to yourself through action. In other words, you might have a conscious understanding that this is the case (enough to give it a decent shot) but the real belief will comes when it actually works.

I never feel full. I don’t know when to stop.

If you have been ignoring your hunger signals for a long time, it may feel as if you are completely disconnected from them and never really experience fullness; that your hunger signals are broken. In this case, I invite you to test this hypothesis with meals that contain easily digested carbohydrates (potato, pasta etc), meat, lots of fat (butter, cheese, animal fat etc) and lots of vegetables. Create an experiment, using a meal such as:

  • Lasagne (not a ‘lite’ version, but made with fatty mince, full fat cheese etc) with lots of salad containing fresh green veges (lettuce, cucumber etc), with a sweet/fatty dressing (whatever is your favourite).
  • A fatty roast meal, such as roast pork with potatoes, kumara (sweet potato), pumpkin etc and a side of green veges. With gravy etc if you like.

First eat the entire vegetable serving. I don’t mean ‘a single serving’; eat all of the vegetables that you have dished up for yourself (a large, generous serving). Then, forget about potential weight gain consequences and attempt to eat as much as you can of the meat+carbs. Now, if you are dieting and extremely hungry, you may eat a LOT (good, you need to) and this may freak you out, but this test is not about how much you eat, it is about proving to yourself that there will come a point when your body says stop, that is enough, and that there is a full signal, inside you, working exactly as it should do.

When you reach this point, take another bite or two. If you are not sure that you have reached this point, keep eating. Keep eating until you reach the point where you are chewing a mouthful and you suddenly realise, ohmygod, this doesn’t taste good any more, and that you have NO DESIRE TO EAT ANY MORE.

At this moment you realise, with startling clarity, that your full signal in fact works perfectly. Just like a tiny baby, you have everything necessary to clamp your mouth shut when hunger has gone. Your hunger signal never disappeared, you were just attempting to fill yourself up using the wrong foods.

What does fake pleasure mean? I genuinely enjoy eating junk food.

Yes, you do receive a fleeting reprieve; a pleasant taste on your tongue – a momentary lift. If you did not, you would not be in this situation at all.

When I discuss the wonderful work of Allen Carr, I mention ‘the false sensation of pleasure’. By this, I don’t mean that the pleasure doesn’t exist, but rather that the sensation is divorced from any real world benefit. Pleasure is evolution’s way of prompting us to engage in behaviors that benefit the survival of our genes. Occasionally – usually via human interference – pleasure gets connected with something that delivers no benefit at all. In this case, the signal of pleasure fools us. It is not a true representation of an impending benefit. It is a false charade. A trick.

Even before we truly grasp the gravity of the situation, we have some sense that this is the case. Over time, the sweetness on the tongue is accompanied by a kind of emptiness. A loss of hope.

In our great wisdom, humans have invented products and customs that divorce signals from their benefits in the most unexpected of ways. We separate great taste from nourishment, manufacturing products that contain almost zero nutrition. We separate tiredness from sleep, using caffeine to keep ourselves awake, while growing ever more tired. We even manufacture drugs that work directly on the brain itself, creating a signal of pleasure without any substantial action required. We mistake the pleasure itself as the reward, not the signal of the reward, and we replay it in a frenzy of excitement. We cling so desperately to our right to experience that signal, forgetting that in itself, the signal gives nothing. It’s a signpost, that’s all. And it’s pointing the wrong f*cking way.

Eating normally makes so much sense! I started it – but I binge ate. 🙁 What now? Did this happen to you?

There are three core concepts that I am partway through explaining on this website:

  1. That by eating an ordinary, nourishing diet, almost all people return to a healthy weight (in other words, restriction is not necessary): read more about how to lose weight while eating normally.
  2. That due to the lack of nourishment and thus absence of natural satiation cues, people tend to overeat junk food, especially when starving. When we engage in this repeatedly, it leads to the same mild physical adaptation that occurs with all addictions: dampened dopamine levels (an effort by our body to protect ourselves from experiencing a high that has no benefit attached): in other words ‘withdrawal’. We learn that junk food relieves this sensation, but we don’t notice that it causes it (read more about food addiction here). Anyone who is addicted can pass through withdrawal using sheer force of will and emerge unscathed…however, this is the hard way, and a way that often crumbles after several weeks or months, even when the withdrawal period has long passed, because you retain some fondness – some sense of ‘giving up’ something that you love; holding on to your best friend; the one thing that ‘gets you through’.
  3. Withdrawal is a mild, fatigued, restless state…but we only translate this sensation into ‘I want junk food’ if we believe that junk food has something that benefits us – that it will help in some way. In other words, we crave low nourishment snacks and meals only if we believe there is a reason to do so. If these beliefs are exposed as misconceptions – like a spell that was inadvertently cast upon us – the withdrawal can pass, while we are simultaneously filled with excitement, as we would be if we won a multi-million dollar lottery prize while experiencing a slight cold. The cold may present a minor, physical aggravation, but it would not dent our exhilaration; our joy and sudden change in our imagination of possibilities for the future.

If you are new to dieting and have managed to avoid believing that you are a sugar addict or suffering from an eating disorder, the first two concepts above may be all that you need to break free. HURRAH! 🙂 However, if you have absorbed the notion that you are disordered and/or addicted and that this means you are compelled by some reason to act against your conscious wishes – the first two concepts alone are unlikely to be enough. You may be stuck in a phase of attempting to eat normally – satisfying all nutritional needs – while craving junk food at the same time. You might accept that you must abandon dieting and resume normal eating, but this cannot take place if you continuously desire to consume low nourishment snacks and meals. This desire makes eating ‘intuitively’ seem impossible, because your intuition quite firmly suggests that endless snacks and meals of low nourishment food are what you want. I was trapped in this phase for several years. It was not until I returned to the work of Allen Carr, and really examined the reasons why I thought I wanted to consume junk food, that the important realisations came in to play. I have not yet finished the website in this area, but in the meantime you may wish to read some of Allen Carr’s books – particularly his one about controlling alcohol, available on Amazon. Allen Carr also has some apps on Google Play, such as this one, which are only a few dollars, and communicate his ideas in video form. These can be a really awesome way to see how our belief about something can utterly change our perception of whether we want it. These apps are all about smoking, but smokers feel that they want cigarettes in much the same way as overeaters desire junk food, so it is possible to make a good comparison.

I have given practical guidance for stopping disordered eating cold turkey, supported by a short high-nourishment period to help guide you towards normal eating. I did this because so many people were convinced by what I had written so far, and begged to know the actual practical steps that I had taken to escape. For some, this is all that is necessary, and so I shared this so that these people did not have to wait. The problem is that, for many others, the important thing is not what to do (although in this case so much confusion surrounds nutrition that even this too is unclear) but how to do it easily: how to want to do it and how to believe that you can. This is touched upon in the Allen Carr article, but I have not begun to address this in earnest yet.

At the moment, I am collecting data in the sidebar. This helps to ensure that I don’t rely solely upon my n=1 experiment, but address stumbling blocks that are relevant for all. Thank you to those thousands who have taken the time to respond so far.

I am made of software, not hardware. Everything can be reprogrammed.

A quote by from Live the Best Story of Your Life: A World Champion’s Guide to Lasting Change by Bob Litwin and Joel Greenblatt (available from Amazon).

I binge eat nourishing food, such as fruit and meat, sometimes to the point where I am sick. Why?! 🙁

Binge eating nourishing food is likely to happen in the following situations:

a) You are dieting, starving or bloody hungry. In this case the ‘overeating’ is not overeating at all. It is a great survival response. In eating disorder recovery circles this has a special name: Extreme Hunger.

Extreme hunger happens because your body is not just addressing the need to restore weight to the optimal set point, it also has to repair a lot of physical damage that occurs when you create energy deficits within the ecosystem that is your body.

When you restrict energy intake and/or create energy deficits with exercise and exertion, then the body does two things in response to that vacuum you are creating: stops whatever biological functions it can to save energy and takes energy from fat tissue, bones, muscles, organs and nerves to fill the void.

You essentially damage the power plant and steal raw materials as well. If you just replenish the raw materials, then that’s not good enough because you also need to bring in additional materials and crews to repair the damage to the power plant otherwise the raw materials still can’t effectively be transformed into energy. – Gwyneth Olwyn

In case it is not obvious from the quote above, when you suffer from extreme hunger, you must eat.

b) Deep down you believe you are going on another diet tomorrow. If this is the case, it is likely because you believe that this is the only way to lose weight. If you still believe this, please read our guide to losing weight while eating normally. Restricting your intake results in long term weight gain. This is not just for the unfortunate few; this is the normal expected outcome for over 98% of the population. In case this is not clear: this is far worse than the expected outcome of DOING NOTHING. If you believe that another diet is coming, you would be a fool not to prepare by overeating at every opportunity.

c) You are in withdrawal from low nourishment food (or perhaps another addictive substance). Withdrawal causes a very slight restlessness feeling. If you don’t understand what is happening, this can lead you to pick at everything non-stop and never feel satisfied.

d) You believe low nourishment food gives you something; thus you create a mental craving. In this case, attempts to satisfy the craving with nourishing food do not work, no matter how much you eat. If you have a pleasurable recollection of eating junk food, but force yourself to consume only high nourishment food at all times, you are likely to continue to crave junk food, especially in circumstances where it seems unfair that ‘normal’ people are allowed to eat X, but you are not. This can result in the constant overeating of nourishing food in a futile attempt to relieve this anxious, resentful feeling. The may continue on and on and on, until you are bloated with nourishing food and decide, f*ckit, I may as well eat junk food again. Then the cycle begins again. This sad and ridiculous circle of events can be alleviated by (1) realising that you DON’T have to restrict junk food ever again (it can be eaten in normal quantities, alongside nourishing food, such as eating desert after a meal, or a biscuit with milk) and (2) changing your view of artificial low nourishment snacks or meals. When you see that eating an entire snack or a meal comprised of tasty, low nourishment food alone offers you nothing; that this is a charade that is crippling the human race; rotting us from within, you are blessed, excited: free. You are one of the lucky ones.

I recovered using ‘Intuitive Eating’ guidelines which recommend that you eat liberally of all foods, including highly processed junk. Why is this not your approach? Aren’t the good food / bad food thoughts part of the problem?

Firstly, it is awesome that you have recovered! I would not wish an eating disorder on my worst enemy.

I have ideas about why some people are able to recover using such an approach (I have outlined my leading theory here). I, personally, did not. I tried for a long, long time and in this time my binge eating grew worse and worse.

This is because foods are not equal, and by not recognising them as such we approach them incorrectly. Addictive substances or situations have a trick at their core: we are fooled momentarily into seeing a benefit, when there is none. This does not mean we should never consume them, but that when we do so, we have the facts at hand. Read more about junk food addiction here.

Should I expect to GAIN weight when I start eating normally?

If you have been restricting your intake, or eating a low carbohydrate diet, or are underweight, you are likely to gain weight in the short term, when resuming normal eating. This is nothing compared to the weight that you would gain if you binge ate like a crazy person, which is what 98% of the population do when they fall off an unsustainable diet.

If you are overweight, in the initial ‘high nourishment phase’ (described here), while your body returns to its original awesome state, you may maintain your weight or even gain slightly, if hunger signals are confused with cravings for low nourishment food. However, once withdrawal has passed, and you feel ‘normal’ again, your weight should return to your optimal set point. This is not a process that is expected to kick in after a few years, but one which should begin within a week or two.

I want to be lean; is this possible without having a diet mentality?

Of course it is possible. Think of those in your life (often men) who eat intuitively / normally, without appearing to give food a second thought, even in the current environment. These are the people who are fed adequately nourishing diets as children and are lucky enough to pass through young adulthood without going on a diet. Think of the populations who consume their natural diet, rather than the American diet.

Your body requires a certain amount of calories and nutrients to thrive (the optimal amount varies depending upon your current circumstance – exercise levels and so on). In the modern American diet, it is obvious that nutrients are in shorter supply than calories. Consuming a varied, highly nourishing diet and eating until absolutely full is the best way to ensure that return to the leanest weight possible. (This is why the Paleo is the most popular diet so far – you get to eat (until full) of nourishing foods – often much more nourishing than the foods eaten prior, which leads to the reversal of many health complications. Of course, the Paleo diet excludes a ridiculous range of foods and sometimes intentionally or accidentally encourages low carb diets, setting you up to fail for these reasons).

Eating a normal semi-nourishing diet, three meals a day, will leave you a normal, healthy weight. Attempting to go on another diet, on the other hand, is the most certain way to ensure that your weight continues to seesaw up and down, dragging your self-esteem further into the gutter in the process.

Note: If you want to maintain extreme thinness, this has severe survival risks and your body will not tolerate such madness.

Why is it possible to eat junk food at special occasions, if low nourishment food is addictive?

Other addictive substances contain poison – such as nicotine or alcohol – that directly affect chemicals in the brain. These are manmade substances that sicken the human body, even when consumed in small quantities and kill us if larger quantities are taken.

Glucose, on the other hand, is essential for your survival. Our brain runs on it. Fruit – an integral component of the diet of our closest animal relatives and a food that all humans instinctively love and which been associated with a large number of proven health benefits – is filled with sugar. Low nourishment food contains the same raw materials as real food (give or take a few artificial additives): the danger is not in the presence of a toxin, but in the absence of nutrients. If your diet is nourishing and filled with protein / fats / fruit / vegetables and so on, the addition of low nourishment ingredients is not a problem. The diet as a whole benefits you; it does not leave you worse off tomorrow. Thus, no downward cycle of addiction occurs.

Rather than comparing junk food consumption to drug abuse, it is helpful to compare it to porn or online shopping addiction. In this case, rather than attempting the impossible task of never becoming aroused or never purchasing something again, humans must engage in these behaviours in such a way that the activity benefits their life. In other words; to eat a diet that combines calories with nourishment.

It is important to see low nourishment food for what it is, and to treat it with care. Just as there are no illusions that alcohol will satiate thirst, or that an pornography clip will offer eternal love; there should be no illusions that junk food will satiate your hunger. It is way to temporarily change your mood, using an addictive substance that brings no benefit. If this is part of a diet that is rich with nourishment, and you continue to eat nourishing meals until you are full, you will wake up tomorrow no worse off.

Is it recommended to have low nourishment food at every meal?

Whether you choose to have low nourishment ingredients at every meal is up to you. The less nourishing a meal is, the more calories you will consume overall in order to feel full, but this does not mean you will be fat. Many cultures eat significant quantities of rice with many meals and remain in optimal health. It is worth noting that addiction only occurs in the presence of false pleasure (ie. pleasure that is not followed by a real world benefit). Bland, low nourishment foods do not have this quality. Your brain recognizes them for what they are. Therefore, there is no problem with supplementing nourishing foods with rice, bread, pasta, and so on. Humans have been eating these foods for centuries; far longer than the recent obesity crisis. No doubt you ate these foods long before you first had a dieting / weight issue. Somehow, in the mad war against carbohydrates, we have learned to fear bread (a food that, as youngster you may have thought was utterly boring and mundane) and now consider it to be the ultimate forbidden item. Even potatoes – which are an unprocessed root, filled with nourishment, responsible for saving the lives of thousands of people during famine and war – are now lumped in with these items; cursed because they are white carbohydrate.

According to WHFoods:

Our food ranking system qualified potatoes as a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid.

What about junk food at every meal?

Many things that people consider ‘junk food’, such as pizza, can easily be part of a high nourishment meal. Even a pizza, by itself, can be piled high with vegetables, cheeses and meats, all of which are nourishing ingredients. When a pizza is combined with a salad, the nourishment value climbs even higher. Burgers can be very high nourishment, filled with meat, lettuce, egg, beetroot and so on. A fruit crumble with ice-cream eaten can absolutely follow a high nourishment meal. Similarly, you might choose to eat a biscuit with a glass of milk, alongside the rest of your lunch.

In other words, there are very few things which cannot regularly form part of normal, nourishing meal.

All you have to remember is that the less nourishing your meals are on average, the higher your weight will settle. It’s up to you. This may seem an unsatisfying or impossible answer, and it may feel hard to operate in a world without rules, but that is probably because you are plagued with a near-constant desire to overeat low nourishment food and it is harder to make sensible decisions in this state. Once you have escaped the addiction, it is easy.

 

But where is the line? When does a meal become low nourishment?

This question can be quite paralyzing for those with a long dieting history.

Firstly, you cannot exist on micro-nutrients alone; if someone created a pill that contains our best guess at the optimal quantity of micro-nutrients, fats and proteins needed by the human body, you would die very rapidly. You would die because a) it is arrogant to assume that we know exactly what nutrients we require (pill forms never seem to work as well as eating their equivalents in whole foods); and, more importantly b) because we need calories to survive. Sadly, this has happened, with people dying on diets such as LighterLife. There are even studies examining the death that occurs on very low calorie diets (study).

As you have no doubt realised, you cannot exist on junk food alone either: this results in addiction and a hunger that never abates.

So where, in between these two extremes, does ‘normal’ lie? What is optimal?

Unfortunately, or luckily, there is no magical line or perfect ratio. The fewer nutrients there are, the more you must eat. The fewer calories there are, the more you must eat. As with life, there is flexibility and the nutrient density of your meals can ebb and flow depending on the foods you have around you, your hunger and the seasons of the year.

If there are so few nutrients in your meal that hunger never kicks in before the point where you really feel you must stop eating (due to fears about anticipated weight gain or due to a stomach stretched to maximum capacity) this is a good sign that the meal is nutrient poor (unless, of course, you are within the withdrawal phase and are confusing a craving for junk food with genuine hunger OR unless you are genuinely starving – ie. have just come off a diet – and need to eat more than you might feel is normal).

Sometimes pictures can be the best way to see what a normal, nourishing meal should look like, and I will include more of these upon the site soon.

How long does withdrawal last?

For almost every addiction, people report that the physical withdrawal is noticeable for the first 1-4 days, dramatically better around the 5-7th day and seemingly totally gone by 3 weeks. Brain scans of those who have undergone big changes in their lives, show that after 6 months, serious adaptions to all kinds of brain changes are unrecognisable after 6 months. This does not mean that you will be craving junk food for six months or even 3 weeks; it is possible for the cravings to disappear from day one, when you see that junk food does nothing for you and gives you nothing – that it is a trick. Read the supernormal section here in particular. Withdrawal is a mild physical sensation; it is not a craving. The craving comes after you learn about something that appears to relieve this sensation.

If you haven’t learned that a drug “fixes” you, you cannot be addicted to it, even if your body is dependent on it. –  Maia Szalavitz, author of Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction (available on Amazon).

Cravings – our mental response to withdrawal – may be hard to bear, but the physical withdrawal itself is barely noticeable. Think about a time when you went on holiday and low nourishment food wasn’t available; or perhaps a time when you stayed at your parents house for a weekend and were fed meals by others. Or a time when a sudden change in circumstance propelled you to start a diet and you quit eating junk food. You are not crippled by overwhelming physical symptoms. There may have been frustration that you were unable to access your favourite binge food…but frustration is mental.

Chocolate: a special case

It is very interesting to note that initial results from the sidebar poll (currently with over 2,500 responses) have chocolate as a close 2nd / 3rd in the food most commonly overeaten. This is notable, because the other categories contain broad groupings, whereas the chocolate category contains just one item: chocolate.

This makes sense when you consider that chocolate is different from most other food – one of the ingredients is a drug: caffeine. Whereas low nourishment food provides the illusion of nourishment, caffeine also provides the illusion of alertness / energy, and so chocolate is a prime candidate for late night binges – as well, as, of course, all day long grazing, in an effort to keep weariness at bay. If chocolate and/or caffeine are an issue for you (in fact, even if they are not), I strongly recommend reading Caffeine Blues by Stephen Cherniske (see on Amazon). This book is somewhat eye-opening and shocking. As someone who never drank coffee, but did overeat chocolate, this was very, very interesting. I will write more about this soon.

I would recommend that chocolate not be considered part of a normal meal, in the same way that an alcoholic beverage is not considered a normal way to satiate thirst, but rather be used as a flavouring ingredient for special occasions, if used at all. Remember that cocoa on it’s own is inedible: your tongue knows instantly that it is not fit for human consumption. It is only when the bitter taste is concealed with adequate sugar and flavourings that this bitterness is disguised (very similar to how the taste of alcohol is concealed in drinks). In the high nourishment phase described on this website, eating chocolate as part of a regular meal is not advised, unless it is an item offered by another at a special occasion. At special occasions, follow the guidelines as given.

I’ve read all the articles on your website and it makes sense when I read it, but it all goes out the window when I turn off my computer. Please help me!

If something makes sense when you read it, but you then don’t act on the information, this is because, although you believe the concept in principle, and may see that eating normally is the solution, you want junk food more. Part of you believes that junk food gives you something and that false belief has not been undone.

The strongest beliefs are those that are formed in emotional circumstances; the validity of a piece of knowledge is cemented by emotion (the strength of the truth at that moment). This is why there is a strong connection between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and addiction; because stress puts you in a state of emergency, from which – for the sake of your life – you need saving. When they study Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in animals, do you know how they mimic a stressful event? One way is to restrict the animal subject’s food! They restrict their food, and then they ply them with addictive substances, and these animals have a FAR greater susceptibility to addiction than others. This is because the addictive substance appears, in that moment, to offer salvation. It’s like Stockholm Syndrome, where someone develops sympathy and even romantic attachment to their captor; because, in addition to the terror of the situation, their captor provides a flickr of attention or the illusion of love. This is why we stay in a dead-beat relationship for years, because, in contrast to the everyday-sh*ttiness, the fleeting moments of kindness feel wonderful.

In a state of starvation, we accidentally fall in love with junk food. We fall head over heels because it seems to offer us everything that we need.

But it’s a trick.

This website is not yet done. If  you can see hints of the truth in the original proposition (that eating normally is the answer) this website will provide information needed to shatter any erroneous beliefs that bind you to the false notion that low nourishment food delivers something that you want. Yes, I know, you assume that your case is worse than normal; that you are screwed up beyond repair. But you are here reading this because even you don’t believe that is true. Anyone can change what they believe, and this instantly changes the way we behave. A belief is just a belief. It’s not physical. It’s not part of you. It’s a tiny sequence; a summary of memories in your brain. It was not there when you were born. It can be undone, replaced, immediately, when you observe a more accurate version of the way things are.

How much time does it take to end this whole drama?

It takes as long is needed to absorb the relevant information. Once the website is completed, it should be able to be read from top to bottom in no more than a day. But you may find that one article is all that is needed.

The physical process of returning to your optimal weight will take as long as it does, of course, but unlike diets, which are unsustainable and leave you fatter, this is enjoyable from the very first day.

It is enjoyable, because you can see that you have stepped out of the prison and are returning to health, easily, without pain. You’re free! YOU’RE FREE!

Family members and friends: what do I tell them?

The tendency is to be so filled with excitement that you can’t help sharing it with those around you, but sometimes the expression reflected back in the eyes of another is the worst way to begin.

Once you see what happens, and you notice the changes in you, others will notice too. You can just say that you decided enough was enough: you’re eating normally again! (And you can direct them towards this website 🙂 )

Can I pay you to coach me? PLEASE!

I spent thousands of dollars on books, programs and various weight loss / intuitive eating / addiction / save-me-now schemes over the years. Some of these contained nuggets of wisdom, but ultimately none allowed me to escape. I poured more and more money down the drain and into my mouth. I vowed that if I ever found the solution, I would write it down and distribute it free of charge around the world, so that no one ever had to pay for something so ridiculous again. I would give anything to go back in time and talk to my seventeen year old self: to save her all of the heart ache, pain, shame and wasted time. But I can’t, so I’m writing it down, for my childhood self, and for you.

If I can communicate the information coherently, a coach will not be needed. This ‘method’ is not about relearning how to eat normally over weeks or months or years (although these actions certainly become habitual, carried out on autopilot over time); it is not about enduring withdrawal; nor is it something that requires hand-holding or a coach to boost your confidence when cravings hit and willpower is low. Rather, it is a way to completely remove your desire for low nourishment meals; seeing the folly, the trick – the empty promise – for what it is: not your friend, your lover, your great comfort…but an enemy who has blindsided you this whole time. Once the deceit falls away, there is nothing holding you back. There is nothing to fight against.

If you are desperate to offer some kind of financial assistance (perhaps in the hope that this will make me write faster 🙂 ) the best way to do this is to make Amazon purchases directly after clicking a link from this site – this works even if you buy something unrelated. Eat Like A Normal Person is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means that a small percentage from every sale made within 24 hours is donated by Amazon (so it costs nothing to you – it is a way for Amazon to say thank you to bloggers for driving traffic to their website). Most of the links here are to books, which deliver only a few cents for every purchase. But just in case you were in the market for some random expensive items, here are some handy links: 🙂


Do you have plans for the future? How I can help you spread this message?

I have no marketing budget and the topic is not one that most people are brave enough to share in their Facebook stream. ‘Weight loss’ is an absurdly competitive niche online. If you would like to help spread the word, the very best thing you can do is to link to this site from your own website – not from the sidebar, but within an article or blog post, surrounded by relevant discussion. *Note: for this to work best it needs to be a ‘live’ hyperlink, ie one that you can actually click upon and visit (ie. www.eatlikeanormalperson.com rather than just www.eatlikeanormalperson.com). Sometimes for a link to work, you need to add the full website address, with http:// at the beginning. Other blogging platforms, such as WordPress, have a ‘hyperlink’ button (it looks like two linked chains: hyperlink symbol) that you use to make the link ‘clickable’*. Linking from other websites in this way helps Google to see Eat Like A Normal Person as a resource that people care about, and Google is more likely to rank it higher in their search engine. This is especially important for this topic, as it is Google that we often turn to for advice on this matter, not our friends.

Alternatively, you can write the website down on scraps of paper and leave it in train or bus stations…or leave the website address in a public toilet: an anonymous message of hope for anyone else who is struggling in this crazy, diet-obsessed world. 🙂

xxx

More Frequently Asked Questions to be added soon!