Countless times I’ve heard people say things like “if it is in the house, I will eat it”, referring to junk food or treats.
This always makes me think about addiction on a sliding scale of social acceptability. On one end of the scale, we have hard core drugs like heroin and on the other end we have cute little M&M’s.
My sliding scale of social acceptability and addiction: Hard Core drugs / recreational drugs / cigarettes / alcohol / gambling / unhealthy food.
When people are struggling with their weight, they look at ‘unhealthy’ food like heroin. They think that they must eliminate it from their reach, out of sight, out of mind. You can’t expect a heroin addict to get clean if their house is stocked with it, right? When people start off their weight loss journey the first thing that they often do is to clean out the kitchen, and rid their house of all the unhealthy food. They then load up on low fat ‘healthy’ food instead. Microwaveable meals and rabbit food, as I like to call it.
The challenge is that, the more socially acceptable the addiction, the harder it is to avoid it. It is just not possible to avoid all the food that makes us gain weight. Just because we avoid it in the home, doesn’t mean that we are not exposed to it at work, on the go, during holidays, etc.
The key is to break the addiction, not attempt to avoid it. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but after avoiding sugar and carbs for a while, the attraction fades away. It gets to the point where you won’t have to avoid carbs; you just won’t want to consume them!
There is another blog post in my brain percolating in the background about how when people purge their houses of the ‘bad’ food, they are really just surrounding themselves with ‘worse’ food. I will cover that one soon!