Food Addiction is an Attempt to Avoid Legitimate Suffering

Individuals can be predisposed to addiction through genetics says Dr. Marty Lerner, head of Milestones in Recovery  In his book, A Guide to Eating Disorder Recovery, Defining the Problem—Finding the Solution, he outlines the nature of the disease of food addiction and how to recover. Dr. Lerner talks about the “perfect storm”, a person being an addict and seeking brain pleasure-center hits of dopamine and having the available substance, food can lead to the disease of food addiction. Food addicts can recover and enjoy glorious lives free of their substances through daily disciplines such as having a food plan, and exercise, despite whether they are motivated, saying, “When we develop the discipline of doing what needs doing despite the feelings or intrusive thoughts we are moving toward the solution. It’s a doing process, not a thinking or feeling process”, Dr. Lerner says. At Milestones in Recovery, the professionals work to identify with the individual what substances trigger a physiological response for which willpower is not a solution, and encourage complete abstinence from the triggers.   Through what he calls “Constructive Living” we gain freedom from our habitual patterns of self-destructive behaviors and reclaim our lives. In recovery from food addiction, Dr. Lerner emphasized the need for an acronym called SMERF: Spirituality, Meditation, Exercise, Rest, and a Food Plan. The food, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries are financially motivated to get and keep people addicted to sugar, flour, and other processed foods. Until it is recognized that sugar can be addictive, is an additive, and not a food, and other substances such as flour and processed foods are addictive, food addiction will continue to contribute to the obesity crisis in the U.S.