Addiction Transfer: Food to Alcohol

The last scene of the movie Clean and Sober shows a smoke-filled AA meeting. Recovering alcoholics smoke a lot. Likewise, alcoholism is a big problem among those who’ve gotten gastric bypass surgery. Just as alcohol addiction can become cigarette addiction, food addiction can become alcohol addiction:

According to psychologist Melodie Moorehead . . . at least thirty percent of gastric bypass patients will transfer addictions from overeating to another compulsive behavior. . . . The same problems and life challenges are there [but] overeating is no longer a viable coping mechanism. [Addictions to] gambling, shopping and sex have begun to surface in these patients but most alarming is the addiction to alcoholism.

Source. While writing The Shangri-La Diet, I spoke to William Jacobs, an addiction researcher at the University of Florida. No one becomes addicted to sugar water, he said. Only flavored sugar water, such as Pepsi. More generally, only foods that taste exactly the same time. Which strongly implicates flavor-calorie learning in food addiction. I think I understand that; what I don’t understand is why some people doing the Shangri-La Diet said the diet made it easier for them to stop smoking or drinking coffee.

Via CalorieLab.

3 Replies to “Addiction Transfer: Food to Alcohol”

  1. Seth :

    “why some people doing the Shangri-La Diet said the diet made it easier for them to stop smoking or drinking coffee.”

    I started the Shangri-la diet two weeks ago, and my schedule to take de oil and the sugar water is during the afternoon in the office and late night.
    I work from 9am to 6pm

    The time i used to drink more coffe was by the afternoons, specially afer lunch.

    This time i now using for drinking the water and the oil. I need 1 1/2 hour to take the water, so i have very little time to drink coffe, if i want to wait the necessary hour pre and post flavor.

    Thats why i am drinking less coffee.

    Regards from Argentina

  2. SLD helped me quit smoking. I’d even argue that it was more effective as a way to quit smoking than it was as a way to lose weight. I attribute it to the following factors:

    1) When people decide to lose weight, they don’t decide to just lose weight. Usually, it’s an overhaul of your entire life- a decision to be healthier. Smoking and weight loss are two parts of the overall package.

    2) Smoking and snacking shared the same space in my head. They were both idle activities, or things I did when I had nothing else to do. If you eat to waste time, SLD will mess with your idle time. While you might think that you would smoke more to pick up for the time spent eating, in fact, the opposite is true- you’ll end up smoking less.

    1) SLD forces you to have a clean palate and smoking is really disgusting with a clean palate.

  3. When I did SLD, I actually wound up sleeping better and having a great reduction in my anxiety. I think that it has something to do with the blood brain barrier and the ease at which the fatty acids are able to get to the brain (without food in the stomach before or after) and SLD helping to rebuild the brain. I think it also made me smarter. The other thing about the oil is that it’s a delivery system for nutrients, so your body doesn’t have to work so hard, thus putting less stress on your mind/body. Though it didn’t help me lose weight, so I stopped. But remembering this, I might start again. It had so many other benefits.

Comments are closed.