As a Surrendered believer in Jesus Christ, I see God in everything especially the pre-frontal cortex.
After 40 days of fasting in the desert, Jesus used Scripture, and only Scripture, to resist Satan’s temptation (Matt. 4:1-11). He never drew on his own wit. He never even relied on His own power. He simply responded with the truth of God’s Word. That’s all it took. Nothing fancy. Just the plain truth directed at the deception behind each of Satan’s requests. Jesus verbally confronted Satan with the truth, and eventually Satan gave up and left.
So what does this post have to do with overeating? Simply that overeating is a learned habit that is reinforced with dopamine reserves in the brain.
As Christians we can confront hurts, habits and hangups with the Word of God. We can initiate neurological dopamine release by our relationship with the Holy Spirit as replacement therapy to avoid temptation. Ultimately, all decisions we make start from our thinking. The most powerful techniques for bringing about change, therefore, allow people to follow their own VALUES and preferences. When do people change? When they want to. When they are MOTIVATED to do so. When we surrender of lives to Christ OUR VALUES change to those of Jesus Christ! The best guarantee for avoiding addiction is to build up sufficient rewards to offset any potential addictive appeal from drugs, hurts, habits or hangups. This is done via the Holy Spirit in the Word of God.
Compulsive Overeating and Habit Formation
Published on November 15, 2013 by Billi Gordon, Ph.D. in Obesely Speaking
“…I am black, morbidly obese, and have a Ph.D. in neuroscience. It’s an elite group, and not by choice. According to The Centers for Disease Control, (2009–2010) 35.9% of Americans over 20 were morbidly obese, with Blacks and Hispanics comprising the lion share. Next to smoking, morbid obesity is the leading “preventable” cause of death. The compulsive overeater in me says, “Define preventable; sounds like ‘one size fits all’ to me”. The neuroscientist in me says, “The issue is not defining ‘preventable’, but defining how to prevent overeating.” I have been struggling with compulsive overeating since I learned to feed myself. “
“Human habits are simple forms of learning that are frequently repeated and tend to occur subconsciously. For example, when you walk into a dark room you flip the light switch because you want to turn on the light and you’ve learned flipping a light switch does that. This habit is a goal-oriented behavior; you flip the switch to achieve the goal of having more light. This, like all goal-directed habits, is motivated by consequence.”
“The brain releases more dopamine when you want to do something than it does when you actually do it. That’s because in the brain’s reward game, the trick is to get you to want to do something enough to do it; once that happens, game over. That’s messy because suddenly, due to the larger amounts of dopamine released in wanting to eat, wanting to eat potentially becomes more pleasurable than eating. This is partially why compulsive overeaters eat beyond the point of a pleasant, healthy experience. It is not the eating that is driving the compulsive, addictive behavior but the obsession with wanting to do it. Actually, it is the obsession with the extra dopamine that is released when you want to do something because of a reward cue. Compulsive overeaters, like all addicts, are not in it for their substance of choice. They are in it for the dopamine. This is not news. It happens in alcoholics and drug addicts, 24/7/365. It is the signature of addiction.”
“We all have our buckets of woe and private demons. The onus is on each of us to slay our private demon and reconstruct the concerns that deconstruct our lives. One of the keys in my moving towards some higher ground has been learning how my brain specifically works, hence my interest in habit formation. The greater lesson I’ve learned in exploring this is never to value what my brain has not done, or cannot do, more than I value what my brain has done and is capable of doing. “
Overeating is a temptation. Charles Stanley suggest there are four primary reasons why a well-chosen passage or verse of Scripture is so effective against temptation.
"First of all, God’s Word exposes the sinfulness of what you are being tempted to do. One of Satan’s subtle snares is to convince you that sin is really not so bad after all. God’s Word allows you to see things for what they really are.
A second reason the Word of God is so effective against temptation is that you gain God’s viewpoint through it. Since many temptations carry a strong emotional punch, you tend to get caught up in your feelings. Once you identify with the feelings temptation evokes, it becomes increasingly difficult to respond correctly. The truth of Scripture allows you to separate yourself just far enough mentally to deal with it successfully.
Another reason for turning to God’s Word in times of temptation is what one pastor calls the principle of displacement.1 This principle is based on the premise that it is impossible not to think about a seductive topic unless you turn your attention elsewhere. When you turn your thoughts to the Word of God during temptation, you do just that (Phil. 4:8).
If you don’t shift your attention away from the temptation, you may begin some form of mental dialogue: I really shouldn’t. But I haven’t done this in a long time. I am really going to hate myself later. Why not? I’ve already blown it. I’ll do it just this once, and tomorrow I’ll start over. When you allow these little discussions to begin, you’re sunk. The longer you talk, the more time the temptation has to settle into your emotions and will.
The fourth reason the Word of God is so effective against temptation is that you are expressing faith when you turn your attention to His Word. You are saying, “I believe God is able to get me through this; I believe He is mightier than the power of sin, my flesh, and Satan himself.” Nothing moves God like the active faith of His people."