#113 – What’s Eating You with Glenn Livingston

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Episode Summary

Krisstina welcomes bestselling author and Ph.D., Glenn Livingston. Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had been doing to address binge eating and other food-related addictions, Glenn began researching the nature of binge eating. Having personally struggled with obesity and binge eating, Glenn took a passionate approach to finding treatments to alleviate this issue within himself and, eventually, his patients. His book, Never Binge Again, provides insights into this epidemic, as well as strategies and programs to help those suffering to reprogram how they think about and consume food.

In this episode, we talk about food addiction and the physiological effects it can have on our bodies. Glenn discusses how and why the food industry produces food with the intention of causing food addictions, leading to uncontrollable binge eating. He talks about the two parts of our brain that respond to pleasure and how binge eating is an activation of the fight-or-flight response. Glenn shares methodologies for how to break the addiction, including four categories of rules he recommends combatting binge eating. Finally, Glenn discusses the importance of character over willpower when it comes to dealing with addiction.

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/FRf39Pwyg-k

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You can also click on the time stamps below to jump to those specific points in the conversation.

What We Covered

  • [01:13] – Krisstina welcomes Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. to the podcast
  • [04:08] – Glenn’s background in psychology and binge eating
  • [07:56] – Findings from a study Glenn did on binge eating
  • [08:46] – Glenn recalls confronting his mother about his childhood to explain his binge eating
  • [11:36] – How Big Food and Big Pharma try to manipulate consumers to get them addicted to their products
  • [13:58] – The two parts of the brain: the lizard brain and the mammalian brain
  • [17:14] – Alternative addiction treatments
  • [20:50] – Treating binge eating with a cognitive behavioral approach
  • [23:09] – What research tells us about willpower
  • [26:19] – Glenn’s question: What is the biological need driving your cravings?
  • [28:55] – How binge eating affects weight loss
  • [32:25] – Glenn defines binge eating
  • [35:06] – The importance of commitment when implementing change
  • [38:25] – Why character is more important than willpower
  • [41:19] – Glenn gives recommendations for those who are struggling with binge eating
  • [42:33] – Four categories of rules to help combat binge eating
  • [43:48] – Why the terms “never” and “always” are vital to these rules
  • [46:48] – The phenomena of upregulation and downregulation
  • [48:03] – Glenn debunks the myth that addiction is a disease rather than a choice


[Tweet “I found that people who struggle with chocolate had a lot of trouble with loneliness. People who struggled with crunchy, chewy things had a lot of trouble with stress at work. People who struggled with bagels, pasta, and bread tended to have stress at home.”]
[Tweet “The emotions became a justification for the binge.”]
[Tweet “When the lizard brain sees something in the environment, it says ‘Do I eat it, do I mate with it, or do I kill it?’ It’s eat, mate, or kill. There’s no love there.”]
[Tweet “If you look at the research and what’s working for binge eating, it’s much more cognitive behavioral than psychodynamic. Cognitive behavioral means identifying irrational thoughts and disempowering those irrational thoughts.”]
[Tweet “All the research on willpower says that willpower is not a black and white switch. It’s a fatigable muscle. It’s the ability to make good decisions in the face of overwhelming pleasure.”]
[Tweet “The inability to feel pain is the inability to learn from your environment. You want to be able to feel it for a little while, but just enough to get your attention so you can make an adjustment so that you don’t make the mistake again.”]
[Tweet “Commit with perfection but forgive yourself with dignity.”]
[Tweet “Character trumps willpower. Character eliminates the need for willpower. And, we’re always building character.”]
[Tweet “You don’t have a disease. What you have is a healthy appetite that’s been corrupted by industry.”]

Links Mentioned

Glenn’s Website

Get a free copy of Glenn Livingston’s book Never Binge Again” here

Glenn’s Instagram

Glenn’s Facebook

Glenn’s LinkedIn

Get a free copy of Krisstina’s new book “Falling For Money” here

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