Never Binge Again! With Glenn Livingston, Ph.D.
Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer overweight and/or food obsessed individuals, Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching how to stop binge eating and overeating via work with his own patients and a self-funded research program with more than 40,000 participants. Most important, however, was his own personal journey out of obesity and food prison to a normal, healthy weight and a much more lighthearted relationship with food.
Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. is a veteran psychologist and was the longtime CEO of a multi-million dollar consulting firm which has serviced several Fortune 500 clients in the food industry. You may have seen his (or his company’s) previous work, theories, and research in major periodicals like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun Times, The Indiana Star Ledger, The NY Daily News, American Demographics, or any of the other major media outlets you see on this page. You may also have heard him on ABC, WGN, and/or CBS radio, or UPN TV.
How to Stop Eating Chocolate Before You Kill Someone
How to Stop Overeating, Stress Eating, and/or Binge Eating and Stick to ANYDiet An Alternative, Controversial Approach to Eating Disorders
Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin PersonTM
Learn how to stop binge eating from research conducted by Dr. Glenn Livingston, and methods learned from over 40,000 test subjects.
Important links shared in this episode
Pounds and Inches Drops deal, use coupon code INSIDER to save 15% off any purchase at Dirobi.com. If you’re wanting to lose weight, make sure and check out the Pounds and Inches Drops here, along with the Dirobi Un-diet.
Dr. Livingston links:
Click here to learn more about his book: “Never Binge Again: Stop Overeating and Binge Eating and Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person…on the Food Plan of Your Choice!“
Dr. Glenn: (06:35)
My theory was it’s not what I’m eating, it’s what’s eating me.
Dr. Glenn: (07:57)
People who struggled with chocolate tended to be lonely or broken hearted.
Dr. Glenn: (08:08)
People who struggled with crunchy salty things like chips and pretzels tended to be stressed at work.
Dr. Glenn: (08:14)
People who struggled with soft, chewy things like bread, bagels and Pasta, tended to be stressed at home
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Note: If you are an English teacher or grammar Nazi the following transcript may be highly offensive. It is created by computer and edited by an enthusiastic but time-constrained employee. Read at your own risk.
Dave Sherwin: 00:13 Welcome to episode 92 at the Dirobi Health Show show with Dr. Glenn Livingston, a psychologist who’s done research on over 40,000 people to determine how to help people overcome binge eating. He’s written a book, Never Binge Again, and he’s been featured on major outlets like ABC and NBC, CBS, et Cetera. So it’s a great episode. Lots of interesting little tidbits. I was fascinated by what he had to say about those who crave chocolate versus the personality traits of those who crave salty foods or those who crave soft and chewy food all that stuff was very interesting and might help you as well to determine things about your own personality and how you could overcome binge eating, which is something we all deal with at some level, I think. So a lot of great ideas in here. Actionable things you can use to overcome binge eating.
Dave Sherwin: 01:02 One thing I want to put in a quick plug for our Pounds and Inches Drops, we’re having tremendous testimonials come in from people who are losing weight easily, eating normal food and taking our Pounds and Inches Drops. So check it out at Dirobi.com. And it’s such an affordable way of losing weight. I look at some of these programs out there where you have to buy, for example, all of your food, take this particular diet or where you have to join an expensive program. You know, our two pack of pounds and inches drops is 40 bucks. And if you use the coupon code INSIDER at dirobi.com You save 15% even on that. And then we invite you into our private Facebook group where it’s for customers only where I do coaching and answer all their questions. And my support rep and Assistant Mickey is also in there. So there’s people who can give you quick answers on any concerns or questions that you have along the way and others that have already successfully done the diet can also help you out in there. So make sure you check out pounds and inches drops at dirobi.com Save 15% on your entire order. It’s not just Pounds and Inches Drops. You can buy anything you like. Save 15% coupon code insider. And now I give you Dr. Glenn Livingston.
Dave Sherwin: 02:26 Hello everybody. Welcome to the Dirobi Health show. Today’s guest, Dr Glenn Livingston, Phd was a disillusioned psychologist in that he wasn’t happy with what psychology had to offer overweight and or food obsessed individuals. Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of bingeing and over eating. But in work with his own patients and a self funded research program with more than 40,000 participants. Most important to him. However, with his own personal story out of obesity and food prison to a normal, healthy and a much more light hearted relationship with food. So Dr. Glenn Livingston, thank you so much for being on the show. Thank you so much for having me. It’s a delight to be here. Just call me Glenn. Outstanding. Uh, well, I’m so glad you would take the time and your concept and everything has come out of this research that you’ve done. You know never binge again is a wonderful concept. Why don’t you tell us about your story and how this all evolved?
Dr. Glenn: 03:30 I’d be happy to. I am more than just a psychologist that decided to work with binge eating because I had a very serious problem with it myself and I suppose you could say it started when I was very young, but it would be more evident when I was about 17 and I discovered that because I’m six foot four and I’m pretty muscular, that I could eat whatever I wanted to as long as I exercise for two and a half or three hours a day. And so I would do that and then I would have whole pizzas or more, more than one of them. I would have boxes of muffins, boxes of donuts, chocolate bars, whatever you can imagine and even things that you couldn’t, I was, I was eating that and it really wasn’t a problem in my mind back then. I’m going to spend an awful lot of time exercising and eating, but I thought that was great.
Dr. Glenn: 04:24 I thought it was a really great thing to be able to do when I got to be 23 years old and I was married and I had patients and I was commuting two hours each way and it was going to school. I couldn’t keep up with the workouts. But I found that even though I was only exercising maybe a half an hour twice a week, I was eating just the way that I was before because these foods have a life of their own. When she start and I couldn’t stop and I would be sitting and talking to a suicidal patient and leave you thinking about when can I get to the pizza place? Or I’d be working with a couple in the aftermath of an affair and I’d be thinking, when can I go dislodge my jaw at the Deli and empty the contents of the train to my stomach.
Dr. Glenn: 05:12 And the thankfully and ever, no one ever killed themselves. And I never lost anybody. And I think only two out of 200 or so couples I work with every got divorced. So, you know, I had a pretty good record even though even though it wasn’t 100% there, but um, it bothered me. I come from a family of 17 psychotherapists and psychologists and it was very much a part of my identity too, to help people. And I didn’t feel like I was being as effective as I could. Cause I know it’s, it’s about a lot more than figuring things out. Being a psychologist is not really sitting with a paper and a pencil and figuring out what the puzzle pieces are and how you rotate them to fix the client’s. It’s more about getting them to trust and love you enough so that they’re willing to take the risks that they need to take in their life.
Dr. Glenn: 06:06 And I wasn’t, I wasn’t able to lend people my soul. I just, I just wasn’t there really bothered me. So being a therapist from a family of all these therapists and growing up in and around New York, I went to some of the best doctors myself to try to fix the problem. And I saw our psychologists and I saw a psychiatrist. I took medication. I went to a reason not to miss for years, did everything you could imagine that a psychologist would do to fix that hole in his heart. Because my theory was it’s not what I’m eating, it’s what’s eating me. There must be a hole in my heart somewhere. If I can figure out how to fix that, then I’m not going to have to keep pinching. Unfortunately, although it was a very soulful journey and it’s a big part of who I am and I don’t regret doing it, it didn’t help the food problem.
Dr. Glenn: 06:55 It would get better for a little while and then it would get worse than it was before. And finally I got a little fed up and I decided to do my own study cause I don’t have kids and I never commuted. So I had a dual career. And in addition to my clinical practice, I work with children and families. I was consulting for fortune 500 companies, essentially doing advertising research. There’s running these big studies and there were paying me a lot of money and I said, wow, this, the studies must be really valuable. I must know what I’m doing. He got to my head a little bit, I guess. And so I designed one for myself. And over the course of five years, I got 40,000 people to take a survey on the Internet, which was largely about some personality variables, some life stress variables and the foods that they felt they couldn’t control themselves with once they started.
Dr. Glenn: 07:51 And I was looking for relationships. And the three things that I found, which are of interest were that people who struggled with chocolate and I, we started my ventures with chocolate through, this is very interesting to me. They tended to be lonely or broken hearted. The people who struggled with, um, with people who struggled with crunchy, salty things like chips and pretzels, they tended to be stressed at work. And the people who struggle with soft, chewy things like bread and bagels and Pasta, they tended to be stressed at home. And I thought, wow, that’s fascinating. So now if I know what people binge on, I can zero in more quickly on what might be bothering them. And if I can just solve that forum as if that were so easy, I can stop. I can stop the vision. Well, I started with myself and I started researching what it was in my own life that have c could’ve connected chocolate as a way to escape feeling lonely or broken hearted or depressed.
Dr. Glenn: 08:48 And I went to my mom who raised me and is also a psychotherapist. And I said, mom, what do you think? This is what the says I’m, I’m in a bad marriage. I know in the present day I’m not really happy. So it kind of makes sense, but what was it in my upbringing and that set up this pattern and she gets this look on her face and this tone of her voice. And she goes, I’m so sorry honey. And I say, mom, what is it? She goes, I’m so sorry. He said, mom. And she says, when I was one year old in 1965 my father was a captain in the army and they were talking about sending him to Vietnam and she was really, really scared. She, she was getting pregnant or if there was another one on the way and she was really scared she was going to be a widow at the same time, her father, my grandfather had just gotten out of prison and she had adored him her whole life.
Dr. Glenn: 09:36 He was her solace and safety, another one kind of anchor in her life. And he was, um, he was guilty. He was actually doing these things and she was horribly depressed about that. And so apparently when I would come running to her crying, wanting through a hug or wanting to be fed, she would look at me and say, honey, go get your boss. Go. Cause she would just be staring at the wall and there was a big bottle of chocolate Bosco Syrup and a little refrigerator on the floor. And apparently I didn’t go crawling over to edit, open the refrigerator myself. I’d open the bottle and I’d suck on the chocolate syrup and I go into a chocolate sugar coma. And so you go, wow. Right. Like how could there be a more perfect story? And Dave, if this were the movies, then Mama, I want to have a big hug and a big cry.
Dr. Glenn: 10:22 We’d forgive each other, which forgive ourselves. And I’d never had problems with the chocolate again. But would you believe me if I told you the problem got worse? And it did. Even though it was a worthwhile conversation. I did forgive my mom. I learned all kinds of things about her. It was a very valuable conversation to have. I forgave myself. I stopped feeling so, so much self hatred about all the mistakes I was making with food. But I started eating more, especially more chocolate. The reason why there was this crazy voice in my head and the voice went something like this. Hey Glenn, you know what? You’re right, our mom, I didn’t love us enough and she left a great big chocolate sized hole in our heart. And until we can find the love of her life and fix that problem, we’re going to have to go right on vision.
Dr. Glenn: 11:08 Let’s go get some right now yet be. Hmm. And so why? What’s going on there? Like if, if, if healing your past and filling up the holes in your heart really is why we binge, then why after that healing episode, what have you been getting more? Well, it turns out that this voice of justification, if you think about the, you could think about the emotions as a fire and the voice of justification is what pokes holes in the fireplace and lets the fire do damage in the house. There’s nothing wrong with having a fire in the house. If you’ve got a good fireplace, it can keep you warm. It’s a soulful thing to look at and you know, meditate by and um, he said there’s nothing wrong with having those emotions. It’s, it’s the justification that allows the motions to jump over into a binge.
Dr. Glenn: 12:03 That’s, that’s what’s dangerous. At the same time, I was coming out of overeaters anonymous and I was reading a lot of alternative addiction treatment literature. And among the things that was reading was a book by Jack trip. He called rational recovery and he works largely with black and white addictions, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, things that things you can quit entirely as opposed to food where you got to take the lion out of the occasion walking around the block a few times a day, but, but he was working with these alternative addictions and he said that, look, the, the seed of addiction is the reptilian brain. The brainstem kind of put your head, hand on the back of your head and you’ll know where it is and the brainstem doesn’t know love. I mean, neurologist might take some small exception with us, but by and large, the brainstem doesn’t know love.
Dr. Glenn: 12:57 The brainstem exist to keep us alive and to keep us alive. When it sees something in the environment that thinks, do I eat it, do I meet with it or do I kill it? Eat meat or kill love is a higher brain function. It, it’s comes from the Mammalian brain and the neocortex which says, wait a minute, before you eat, made her a kill. That thing, what impact is that going to have on the people that you care about most? How is that going to affect your longterm goals and aspirations and spirituality and dreams and creativity and strategies and you know all of those things that you think of as uniquely human. That’s more in your upper brand who can of put your head on the top of handing the top of your head. Then your your brainstem and he said, you can’t love that thing back to health.
Dr. Glenn: 13:47 You have to dominate it, and he didn’t use these words, but it was almost like I’m capturing occasion. A rabid animal, or maybe a better analogy is if you think of an Alpha Wolf, when the Alpha Wolf, he’s challenged for leadership. You Alpha Wolf is the top dog in the pack. If it’s challenged for leadership that I will alpha wolf is and say, aw, somebody needs a hug, that Alpha Wolf says, get back in line or I’ll kill you. You know, I’m the boss around here. This is how we do things. If you’re going to challenge me, you’re going to die. Now you can’t. You can’t kill your reptilian brain. You can’t take it out of your head. You need it because when it’s working correctly, it functions to keep you alive. But the problem is that it’s been diverted and subverted by essentially by industry and these, um, these hyper palatable food like substances, like concentrations of starch and sugar and fat and oil and exciter toxins that are engineered to hit your bliss point without giving you enough nutrition to feel.
Dr. Glenn: 14:52 That’s what I mean when I say the foods have a life of their own, that they are, most people think that they’re eating for comfort, but you’re not really eating for comfort yet. Yes, it’s difficult for your nervous system to conduct the emotions when you overload the digestive system, but really the things that you’re eating, you’re probably not, you know, bingeing on Broccoli, your power probably venting against some industrial food and you know, there were no chocolate bars or pop tarts or pasta on the Savannah as we were evolving or in the tropics as we were evolving. These are, these are unnatural things that have a life of their own and they’re, they’re subverting their survival drive and they’re telling the survival drive that this is what you need. This is where the good stuff is. This is like oxygen. This is um, you know, this is food when it isn’t and the billions of dollars that go into that.
Dr. Glenn: 15:43 And then the billions of dollars that go into the advertising industry to do, you know, Dave, that there are five to 7,000 messages per year that are advertised at us over the internet and the waves about food and maybe a dozen of them at most are about fruits and vegetables. So we’re constantly being programmed to think of this stuff is food, which isn’t necessarily really food. And then the addiction treatment industry tells us that we can’t quit even if we want to do the best we can do is hope to abstain one day at a time. And so it’s a perfect storm. Like how can anybody really eat well these days if you don’t really stop to think it through. And it takes, it takes on a life of its own. And so this is the embarrassing part. So I realized I was going to have to capture in cage a rabid animal or just like dominate this internal organ more so than I was going to have to love myself back to health.
Dr. Glenn: 16:33 And so I, I made a rule for myself. I made a line in the sand and I said, well, most of my ventures start with chocolates, so I’m only going to have chocolate and Saturdays from now on. That way I know that any thought, feeling or impulse that suggests I’m going to have chocolate on a Wednesday, that’s not me. That’s my reptilian brain. I decided to dip by definition that constructive food thoughts, we’re going to be me and anything destructive, which meant that somebody who was gonna break my role, that was going to be, I didn’t call it my reptilian brain, I called it my, my inner pig. And when my inner pig would squeal, which means say something like, Oh, you worked out really hard and you’re not going to gain any way in any way. It doesn’t matter. You might as well have some chocolate.
Dr. Glenn: 17:20 When my inner peel with squeal forward slop, the chocolate itself was pig slop. I would say I don’t eat pig slop. I don’t know the farm animals telling me what to do and I’m so embarrassed by this. I never anticipated I was going to talk about it in public. I never anticipated I was going to publish it. It was just a journal that I kept for eight years about all the crazy things my pig said. Um, but I don’t eat pig slop. I don’t know farm animals telling me what to do. That’s where I got better. Not, not instantaneously, although there wasn’t instantaneous impact, but you know, I would stumble and make another role and then stumble. And what would happen is I, it gave me my power back. It gave me those extra microseconds at the moment of impulse to realize that I was still there, human, me, Glenn as opposed to my pig.
Dr. Glenn: 18:07 And I would remember why, why you made the rule in the first place. And sometimes I made the right decision. And then when I realized that it was me that was there, then more often I made the right decision. And before you knew it, I was, um, I was losing weight and being healthier and, and then it became second nature. I, you know, I made a couple of other rules and I simplified the rules and I heard all these different pig squeals and I figured out what was wrong with them. And then before you knew her and I just wasn’t really thinking about it anymore, it just became second nature. And this is how I eat. Like when you, like when you learn how to drive and you study the rules of the road for awhile. At first it’s a little scary and you’d have to put some effort into the study and the practice.
Dr. Glenn: 18:46 But before you know it, you just, you get in the car and you drive and you listen to music or you’re talking to friends and you daydream a little bit and it’s just part of life and it’s just who you are. And, um, that’s my story. That’s, that’s how never binge again was born. I publish it on a whim. I was a minor partner in a publishing company and they wanted an example and I, I’ve been keeping a journal and I was getting divorced and I said, okay, I’ll edit this into a book. And I thought it was going to languish. Yeah. Yeah. So 600,000. That’s phenomenal. Yeah.
Dave Sherwin: 19:22 Let me, let me jump back into your story and let’s dig it, dig a little bit into that for you. You mentioned being healthy and strong, uh, as a youth and being able to eat whatever you wanted. If you exercise, when did the metabolic, uh, when did your metabolism change so that you could no longer exercise that weight off?
Dr. Glenn: 19:44 Well, I mean, a big part of the problem was that I didn’t have time to exercise the weight off, but I, I think it started to change somewhere when, when I was 28, believe it or not, I, I, it was, it was really easy to work out and stay thin when I was, um, 17, 18, 19, somewhere around when, I remember when I had my first serious girlfriend and we were both exercising a lot. She was a gymnast and I was still getting a little fat. And I thought, wow, that’s interesting because I, I didn’t know what I was doing differently. And what’s funny is our pigs always hold on to those early memories as if that’s the way life is going to be forever. It remembers the big party. Yeah. And you remember the days when I could eat 6,000 calories, not have to worry about it. And it’s still thinks that that’s how life is.
Dave Sherwin: 20:33 And so then you start putting on the weight around age 20 and then, you know, I imagine over the next few years you just kind of gradually kept putting on the weight and putting on the weight.
Dr. Glenn: 20:44 Yeah, I mean it wasn’t a straight line because
Dr. Glenn: 20:48 I would try to do something about it periodically. So when we go to ovaries anonymous and then I would, I would lose a bunch, but it didn’t really change the way I was thinking about things. And, and so as soon as I made a mistake, I would just balloon up and then I would be worse than it ever was before. And that, that pattern went on for a while. So my, um, if you graphed my weight, it would look like a, you’d see an upward trend, like in a bull market, but there would be a lot of corrections and, but it was definitely going steadily up and it wasn’t fun
Dave Sherwin: 21:22 for about how many years were you in this state of, of struggling with this?
Dr. Glenn: 21:28 Um, it’d be easier managed in decades than years, but for a very, very long time, I really started to come out of it. I would say I was 43, 44 years old. I’m 54 now, so that’s when I started to come out of it as well. I guess that’s from 17 to 44. That’s about 27 years, right?
Dave Sherwin: 21:51 Yeah. But now you’ve reached a point, I mean there’s people listening right now that can totally relate to your story. We both know this. There’s people listening that are going through, have gone through exactly the same thing. You are still going through it right now. And so the one thing I want to talk, have you talked to you, you’ve mentioned it, but if you just talk a little bit more about how you have overcome it, you, you now have confidence. You’ve tamed the, the lion or the elephant or whatever. We’re in a cage to the beast. So whatever words you want to use from your story there, uh, just share that, that confidence of people that you have overcome it. You can you, you went through a period of life where you could not control it, but now you can, right.
Dr. Glenn: 22:33 Yeah. I could illustrate trunk club for me. I got to the point that I decided to never have chocolate. You don’t have to do that. And I help everybody make up their own food rules. I don’t tell people what to eat. And some people haven’t only [inaudible] and some people have it in social events. And it depends what your trigger food or trigger behavior is and how bad it is. But the way that I could illustrate it, to give you the most hope is that, um, when I finally decided I should give up chocolate for about a month, I felt tortured with cravings, especially the first week. But really the first month there were times I thought, oh my God, this is torture us and how can we live with this? And, um, but I got through, no, I can talk more around how I got through, but I got through and then the second month there were much, much less frequent, like 80% less frequent.
Dr. Glenn: 23:22 And part of that was that I was substituting healthier things for it. So I figured out that I was craving energy and so and have a chill banana smoothie that worked really well for me instead of the chocolate. Um, you know, a lot of what happens in addiction is your body’s made a biological error. It’s thinking that it needs something to survive. Like, you know, when smoking and thinks that smoke is oxygen when you were eating chocolate, I thinks that chocolate is where all the health is and all the good stuff is. So you need to figure out what your authentic, vitally need is and shift your shift in nutrition over in that direction. And then nutrition can help you with that better. There’s a lot of information on lines or that. Um, but then by the end of two months I would have a craving maybe, I dunno, once a week and it wasn’t that intense.
Dr. Glenn: 24:12 And then like it’s six months. I noticed that I just wasn’t really having the cravings maybe once a month, maybe once every other month if they just weren’t there after two years. I can’t even remember what the craving feels like. I couldn’t remember what the craving feels like. I still can’t. The chocolate would seem like just a big rapper with chemicals and it to me and I couldn’t understand why ever craved it. Why ever wanted it. And See, it’s important to recognize that because your reptilian brand, your pig will tell you that you’re going to be tortured forever, that there is no way that you’re going to be able to do this because it’s going to be a miserable existence. But it’s not true that the brain is very resilient and it recovers quickly and it’s the same process by which you know if you sleep underneath the subway the first week or so you won’t be able to sleep, but a couple of weeks later you won’t even hear the subway because your brain has habituated and gotten used to the noise from the sub.
Dr. Glenn: 25:08 We it turns down the signal, same things happens. Same thing happens with sugar. For example, if you have sugar every day, that’s a very intense stimulus that we didn’t evolve with them. The tropics, we had fruit but we didn’t have, these guys were traded forms of of um, sugar, pleasure. And so your body turns down the sugar response. And so now an apple doesn’t taste as sweet and your pig is able to tell you that, well, you don’t like fruits and vegetables anymore. Maybe you never did. What are you going to eat apples all the time? You know the case horrible. But what you don’t realize is that if you stop having the sugar, a few weeks later, your taste buds are going to start regenerating. Your, your go from an energetic system was going to fire more intensely. That’s part of the pleasure system. You’re going to fire more intense, Lisa, that you, you get more pleasure out of the apple.
Dr. Glenn: 25:54 And before you know what you’re going to be tasting, the difference between Fuji versus envy versus delicious apples and the subtle flavors, and you’re going to have, you don’t have to believe me, you just have to consider it. You’re going to have a gourmet experience on like holes, rash, right, for our natural foods. So there’s a lot of hope there. There’s an awful lot of hope. Your pig doesn’t want you to know that, that, um, you know, but because of the way the nervous system downregulates an effort regulates in the presence of the supersize stimuli or the absence of these superstars, same only when you take it, when you, when you start to restore yourself, um, it’s not going to be the way that it feels now forever. And as a matter of fact, the first four days are the worst. You might be only a hundred hours from freedom.
Dr. Glenn: 26:40 So if, for kind of why you told me that, but I wanted to give people hope there, there’s um, I’m not tortured by cravings. My, my life energy shifted to other areas. I enjoy being outside more android, smiling at other people. I enjoy doing, doing yoga. I like getting hugs. Um, your, your life energy shifts and not with other foods, but to other healthy, natural things that are very, um, they’re much more in the realm of contentment than manic pleasure. I think that a lot of the food indulgence is a kind of a rollercoaster. You’re getting high, high with the chocolate and then you crash a team in his letter or half an hour later, there’s no crash in the way that this works, but there isn’t quite the same highest there was. So I guess we all have to choose whether we went to live fast and die young or you know, lift slower and enjoy the ride. And I can tell you that with maturity, living slow and during the writers a lot better.
Dave Sherwin: 27:38 Absolutely. And you contend that it’s a lot simpler to overcome overeating then is made out to be by other professionals. Uh, why don’t you walk us through that? So someone’s listening right now? I think so, yeah. I’d like to overcome binge eating and overeating. What is this simple way? Uh, what’s the process?
Dr. Glenn: 27:56 Yeah. And maybe you could think of as an analogy, some other problem where the suffering could have been tremendous for years and years and years if you didn’t have the right solution. Like, um, oh, I don’t know. Suppose you were walking with a shoe where one, there was one heel that was an entire than the other and there could be tremendous suffering if you didn’t know that over the course of 10 1520 years. But the fix, it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can get rid of that extra hill and just adjust to walking normally again and then there can be tremendous relief and it doesn’t have to take years and years and years to get that. So what I find with binge eating is that first of all, we have to make sure that people have a regular healthy, reliable source of calories and nutrition.
Dr. Glenn: 28:48 I, I don’t want people to try to lose weight really quickly because the addiction to bingeing it. Overeating is really an addiction to two parts of the cycle. There’s the feast part of the cycle, but there’s also the famine part of the cycle. Most people who overeat are also really good dieters and you’re going to have to get out of that mentality if you wanted to overcome this. So you know, to regular, reliable source of nutrition and calories coursing through your body all the time. Maybe at a, you know, a few hundred calorie a day deficit and you can figure that out with some of the calculators online or with a nutritionist you so that you lose weight very, very slowly. But I don’t like people to worry about losing weight right away unless the doctor says it’s an emergency because um, the first thing you want to do is figure out how this game is plays.
Dr. Glenn: 29:40 You can restore some and enthusiasm and a sense of power and agency and the way you do that is by thinking about your single most troublesome trigger food or behavior. For me it was chocolate. For some people it’s they want to stop eating, standing up or they want to stop eating by the television. For other people that might be sugar. For some other people that might be having dessert at a restaurant, whatever it is, people tend to gravitate towards one trouble, food or behavior that gets them started with everything. What is it and what kind of person do you want to be? What role do you want that food or behavior to play in your life? Is it something you’d never want to do again? Like me with chocolate? Is it something you’d like to do under certain conditions? Like maybe you want to be able to have pretzels when you go to the baseball game or maybe you want to be able to have a couple of drinks when you’re out at dinner with your spouse, with your, with your spouse.
Dr. Glenn: 30:36 What, what role do you want it to play in your life? And then make a commitment to become the kind of person that can do that. So I ask people, do you think you could never have chocolate again? They’ll say, no, I couldn’t do that. If I ask them, do you think you could become the kind of person who doesn’t eat chocolate and go, yeah, maybe, maybe I could do that. Um, that’s because we’re used to developing character and all sorts of an unwritten ways. Most people would never take the, was tip at a diner even if no one would see them. Cause they’ll say they’re not a fief and see, ask him, you know, well what does that mean? They’ll say, well, that when we worked hard for her money and it’s just not the kind of person I am as a matter of character, they have an unwritten rule that they follow all the time no matter what.
Dr. Glenn: 31:18 So we’re used to installing those types of those types of rules in our head without knowing it. This is just making the process more conscious and doing it around food. So come up with that one role and then watch yourself tried to break it. Watch how the game is played. Listen for your inner pig or you don’t have to call it a pig. You can call it on your food DMN or your food monster or anything that’s not acute, that’s not acute peck. It’s not something that we want to nurture and just see if you can identify all the different thoughts in your head that suggests that you should break your role because they will be there. The moment you make a rule, there’s that part of your brain that wants to break it and then nourish yourself. Um, when you identify the thoughts, just, you know, just ignore them.
Dr. Glenn: 32:05 If you can, my, you know, my pigs squealing slop and I don’t eat pig slop. I don’t on the farm animals tell me what to do. Or if you need to look for the lie in the squeal itself. If your pink says we can start tomorrow, you worked out a really, really hard today, a little chocolates not going to kill you. You can realize that the research on neuroplasticity suggests that if you indulge today, it’s going to be harder to stop tomorrow because you’re strengthening the addiction. You’re strengthening those neurological connections. If you don’t indulge today, you’re going to be loosening them. That’s why every craving is actually an opportunity. You can’t extinguish a craving without having a craving, every cravings and opportunity. And um, so you looked for the lies, you look for the lies and you disempower it like that. And then you ignore it.
Dr. Glenn: 32:57 And the last thing you want to do is ask yourself, I know my pig says I’m never going to be able to do this for what if I could do it for 30 days? What would life be like in 30 days? If I only had chocolate on Saturdays? What would be like, well, I feel like in 30 days if I always put my fork down between bites, what would life be like in 30 days if I never went back for seconds? Play it out in detail, not just how you’d be different physically, but what would that physical difference do for you? Would you have more energy? What would you do with the energy? Would you go out with friends? Would you run around outside? Would you tackle some project around the house or at work? What? What does this mean to you? Paint that future and as vivid detail as you can because your pig doesn’t want you to know that that’s, that’s what you’re giving up by continuing to live the old way. So you want to really etched in stone what the future is that you’re heading for. And then, um, you know, hold yourself accountable by, by listening for the pig and disempowering it and then ignoring it. That’s how this works. You don’t have to solve all your emotional problems. You don’t have to contemplate your navel by the river for a year. Just, um, just to make a rule, make sure you’re taking care of yourself physically and I’m focusing your motivation a little bit and get it done. That’s um, that’s the process.
Dave Sherwin: 34:17 Okay. And then you have a fairly simple four categories of food rule and uh, uh, again, you, you, you, I’m getting from what you’re saying that you’re not real big on hard rules or the guilt that might be associated with breaking those, but you do have some guidelines, let’s just call them guidelines for creating food categories. Talk to us about the food categories and why we would want to create those.
Dr. Glenn: 34:42 Dave, can I ask you to take a note and bring me back to that because I think it’s important to address the guilt part first. Yeah.
Dave Sherwin: 34:47 Oh, absolutely. Let’s jump into the guilt part.
Dr. Glenn: 34:50 So most people are afraid of the word never or always because they think they’re going to feel too guilty if they make a mistake. And there’s a very interesting paradigm in which we can use that word never and in which we can actually use the guilt itself. So let’s talk about the guilt. The guilt that we feel for making a mistake is something that we want, but just for a few minutes, Justin, just long enough until we’ve paid attention to the problem and analyzed it, made any adjustments we have to so we can get back up. And he met the target again. Uh, there’s a, there’s a disorder that children are born with sometimes was, prevents them from feeling any pain at all. And those children don’t live past four or five years old. They, they don’t have that attention getting mechanism to teach them about the dangerous things in their environment.
Dr. Glenn: 35:47 And so, so that physical pain is actually useful. If you touch a hot stove, you need to feel that pain for a second, otherwise you’re not going to pay attention and you’re going to do it again. But by the same token, if you touch a hot stove, you don’t want to put your whole hand down on it and say, Oh my God, I’m a pathetic hot stove. Toucher I might as well just, you know, burn my whole hand. That’s, that’s ridiculous. It turns out that the persiveration on yelled getting stuck in it, going round and round in your head with the guilt, not letting it go after you’ve analyzed what went wrong. That is a pig strategy. See, what the pig is doing there is it’s trying to get you to feel too weak, too guilty to resist the next bench. It wants you to believe that you’re pathetic so that you have an excuse to indulge yourself in next time.
Dr. Glenn: 36:36 Once you realize that and you start to forgive yourself with dignity, the the mantra I give people is to commit with commit with perfection, but forgive yourself with dignity. Once you start to forgive yourself with dignity and your refuse to yell at yourself, it becomes hard to keep eating as much as you were. The volumes and the extent of the overeating binges are very much related to people allowing their pig to overwhelm them with guilt. The commit with perfection part is important. Also see, um, the nature of a commitment is the perfect intention to do it. When, when you get married, you don’t say to your wife, you know, gee honey, I am 99% sure that I can be faithful to you with. There sure are a lot of attractive people out there and I don’t want to lie, so I don’t want to say always, I don’t want to say I’m going to do this forever.
Dr. Glenn: 37:28 That’s, that’s not a marriage. Now, that’s not a commitment. When you, when an Olympic Archer is aiming at the bullseye, they see the Arrow into the bull’s eye before we can call. The reason that’s so important to commit to the outcome with perfection is so that they can purge their mind of doubt, insecurity, because that doubt and insecurity, Gee, maybe I didn’t account for the wind and maybe it’s going to go in the bullseye or it’s not. Or, you know, maybe I’m going to square up or maybe didn’t even just the right direction that that’s going to wear them down and significantly detract from their performance. So winners aim at the bullseye with perfection, but they forgive themselves if they don’t hit it, they don’t say, um, Gee, I might as well just shoot the rest of the hours up into the air, into the audience.
Dr. Glenn: 38:15 They, they analyze what went wrong and they get up in the aim again. So we’re committing with perfection for giving ourselves with dignity. Okay. So now you’re asking me about the four categories of categories of the food rules. Is that right? Yeah, no, the first category is never put seasoning. I’m just a tail end of us though. And we’re using never in the sense that you use it with a two year old where for example, my niece Sarah, when she was two, I told her she can never ever, ever go into the street without holding my hand. She had to hold my hand when we cross the street. Always, always, always. She never do it without me. The reason I told her that even though in a way you could say I was lying because I know when she’s seven or eight years old, I’m going to teach her to look both ways and cross the street by herself.
Dr. Glenn: 39:03 When my sister, well the reason that I tell her never is because she’s not capable of entertaining the notion of maturity and wisdom and you know, delay of gratification and all that kind of thing. She’s a two year old and it’s too dangerous for her to even consider jumping into the street. That’s how our reptilian brains act around these binge foods. That’s what the companies are trying to do to us with all of the research and chemicals that they put into them. So we need to present the rules as if they were set in stone to our pigs. Otherwise it, it allows the pigs and just distract us with doubt and security. Um, and that’s why people keep failing over and over and over again. So that’s the never category. There’s the things you’ll never do again. Then there are things you’ll always do. Like, I’ll always start my day with two classes of pure spring water, or I’ll always have five servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
Dr. Glenn: 39:55 And there are things you’ll do under certain conditions are only pretzels that major league baseball games or I only have dessert once a week when I’m out with my wife or I, I always put my fork down between bites. I’m sorry. Let’s see. The last one wasn’t always, I’m sorry. Um, but you get what I’m saying. You, you, you can define, you can define your commitment conditionally so you don’t have to give up any particular fruit or behavior, but you can regulate it and see, these rules are very, very important as opposed to guidelines. A lot of people will say, well, I’ll just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. But how do you know when you’re hungry and how do you know when you’re full, your you’re and always say, oh yeah, baby, we’re hungry. Believe me, we’re hungry or I don’t think we’re fully yet.
Dr. Glenn: 40:40 It’s not an objective category. And so you’d have to make decisions all day long. Um, and decisions were down, your willpower, all the research and the willpower. He says that it’s a fatiguable muscle and there are only so many good decisions you can make over the course of the day. Willpower’s not like a black and white gift that you have or your don’t. We all get a certain amount of gas in the morning and our decisions burn that gas. And when we’re out of gas, it’s hard to make good decisions anymore. So when you say you say, I’ll avoid chocolate 90% of the time and the leader 10% of the time, the problem is every time you’re in front of a chocolate bar, you have to make another decision and it burns your willpower. If you say, I’ll only ever have chocolate on the last Saturday and Sunday, every calendar month, well you’ve made all of your chocolate decisions already. You don’t have to worry about it and it’s not burning your willpower anymore. So the rule as opposed to the guideline is really important. I think I forgot the fourth category I got, I got to take back what I said earlier then. So, but I liked that. I
Dave Sherwin: 41:34 see, I see what you’re saying about making it a rule, but you’re making it a rule with, you know, you’re allowed to have chocolate. It’s just when, so I, so the difference between, like you say the 90% or I think I’ll cut back on chocolate versus making a rule of I’ll have chocolate on Saturdays or Sundays or whatever the day is, and that’s the only day of the week I’ll have it. That then takes the decision making out of it for the rest of the days. Yeah.
Speaker 4: 42:04 Okay.
Dave Sherwin: 42:04 Okay. I like it. That’s true. That’s true. Okay. So the categories are always nevers, conditionals and unrestricted.
Dr. Glenn: 42:13 Yeah. We forgot about the and restrictive category. And the reason you went to have that there so that you pick can’t tell you that they’re going to starve and they’re going to find your bullies by the refrigerator. You don’t want your pick to be able to tell you that. So what is it that you’re willing to have in an unrestricted way? You know, for me that’s something like, um, unsourced vegetables or as much water as I want or, um, I, I’m actually going to plan where I can have as much fruit as I weren’t too. Most people don’t do that kind of a plan, but, um, I do. So whatever your dietary philosophy is, what can you have in an unrestricted way? And, um, make sure that specified so that you’re taking and tell you that you’re going to starve.
Dave Sherwin: 42:50 Okay. So what’s the difference between unrestricted and always?
Speaker 4: 42:56 Um, well,
Dr. Glenn: 43:00 you’re, you’re not required to eat the things in the unrestricted category, so I don’t, I don’t have to have any unsold vegetables if I don’t want to, unless they put a rule in the only section that says, I always have a pound of leafy green vegetables every day.
Dave Sherwin: 43:13 Oh, okay. I see. So the always has a positive commitment to something that you’re going to do. Absolutely. Unrestricted is just a rule that you can do something whenever you want. Like, you know, if you’re hungry, you can always drink water to try to, you know, satisfy that hunger. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
Speaker 4: 43:33 Yeah.
Dr. Glenn: 43:33 Or some people say, oh, I can always have a bag of carrots or something like that.
Dave Sherwin: 43:38 Yeah. Yeah. Well, I like it. I mean that, that’s just a great idea. And like you said, you were making all these decisions before you’re, you’re faced with a temptation. It makes a lot of sense.
Dr. Glenn: 43:50 Yeah. Yeah. It, um, it defines a rule that you follow all the time without thinking about it is a habit and our character is comprised of the habits that make us up. So what you’re really doing is developing character. It’s not just following a Nazi food plan. You’re really, I’m thinking about the kind of person you want to be in developing your character in that direction.
Dave Sherwin: 44:17 Yeah. I mean, eventually, one of the things you, you mentioned and, and talk about is, is reprogramming yourself to think like offend person. Right? I mean, eventually, you know, one of the reasons why fin people are thin is because they think like fend. And so the people who are struggling with binge eating and overeating, um, are, are probably just not thinking like a thin person, right? So they’ve got to make that transition. Uh, so how does that person reprogram themselves to think like, and think and act like a thin person?
Dr. Glenn: 44:50 You know, some people had different kinds of rules in their head. They don’t necessarily know it, but they have adopted different rules. Like I, I never go back for a second. So I know a guy who lost 150 pounds starting with that role, by the way, you didn’t want to change anything. He loves fast food and you just said, okay, I’ll never go back for a second, so I’m going to be any drive through. I want to, I just won’t go back for seconds. And you know, and then he became a thin person because there was a really had a nerve in his head that said, I can go back for seconds anytime I want to do. And you change that. And so it’s, it’s a matter of discovering the, uh, fat thinking rules that you have in your head that you don’t know you’re having your head and consciously and purposely altering them, taking the time to install them and observe the resistance you have to installing them in the form of the pig squeals that tried to talk you out of it and then um, you know, disempowering it and letting it become a part of you.
Dr. Glenn: 45:45 That’s, that’s what then people do.
Dave Sherwin: 45:47 Okay. Well you, you have got so much and, and I mean you’ve written the book. I feel like w we, we are only giving people a little slice of what is in your head. And you’d mentioned to me before we started the interview that you have a way that people can get your book never binge again for free. So that is very cool. Why don’t you talk about that
Dr. Glenn: 46:11 again.com and click on the big red free bonus section. When you set up for those reader bonuses, you’ll get a free copy of the book in Kindle, Nook or pdf format. Also thank you to where you could buy it in paperback or audible if you really want it, but you’re welcome to get it for free. When you sign up. You’ll also get a set of food plan starter templates. So these are example rules across those four categories in different dietary philosophy. So there’s one for Ketogenic, there’s one for um, point counters. There’s one for calorie counters is one for high carb people is more for low carb people. It doesn’t matter what your philosophy is, you’ll probably find a food plan starter templates that you can adopt and make your own with modifications. I’m not telling you what to eat, so you do have to adjust it for yourself.
Dr. Glenn: 46:56 And the last thing you’ll get is a set of recorded coaching sessions. I recorded a whole bunch of free coaching sessions because I you to hear people to hear what this is like in practice. It sounds really harsh and weird in theory. You know, you must be thinking, Gee, Dave has this sophisticated psychologist. I’m on his show today, but he’s got a pig inside him and what the heck is going on? But if you listen to these sessions, you’ll recognize that it’s a self esteem enhancing life, giving empowerment. These people go from feeling defeated, hopeless about food. You feeling excited and enthusiastic and just one session and I think you should give back. So I never binge again. Dot Com click the big red button.
Dave Sherwin: 47:38 Outstanding. And I’ve got just a couple more questions just for fun that I want to ask you before we let you go. What’s your favorite healthy breakfast?
Dr. Glenn: 47:47 Oh, I’m a big smoothie efficient auto aye. Aye. That Kel banana smoothie has evolved and I like to put berries in it and um, it’s finished you in it and it’s, um, you know, I, I might have a seven or 800 calories smoothie in the morning before I go work out and then another one when I get back. So that’s my favorite. That’s my favorite.
Dave Sherwin: 48:08 That’s kind of your morning routine. How about lunch? Favorite healthy lunch?
Dr. Glenn: 48:12 Um, I like Zucchini noodles with a tomato sauce and um, and maybe some nutritional yeast, although I’m trying to stay away from that lately. But um, yeah, something like that. Some type of a savory dish with um, with a salad. That’s my favorite lunch. And for dinner I often will have, um, some type of a veteran. We’ll Sushi wrap. So I’m a, I’m a big fan of, I’m a big fan of uh, and toasted Nori and I, I didn’t droves and there must be some mineral linear that I really need and I wrap it up was in vegetables and chop it all up and I’m, I’m really happy about that. Sounds good.
Dave Sherwin: 48:58 A snack if you’re, if you are hungry, it’s between meals, evening, you want a snack, what’s your favorite healthy snack?
Dr. Glenn: 49:06 You know, I just want to preface all this by saying that after years and years and years, this is what my food plan evolve to be. I didn’t jump into this right away and a lot of, a lot of people run away screaming if they realize that most of what I eat is fruit and vegetables. That’s really most of what I eat. So, you know, I’ll carry some oranges or apples or grapes or bananas around during the day and I’ll just snack on that one. I want to, he doesn’t like people are telling me I’m having too much fruit and they haven’t really researched the recommendations on that well enough and they don’t understand the metabolism of um, you know, fruit, whole fruit as opposed to fruit sugar. Um, so you don’t have to eat like I do. You can, you can stop any way they didn’t even like I do, but I live on largely, I mean there are other things, but largely fruit and leafy Greens is what I live on and I feel great all the time. I feel great.
Dave Sherwin: 49:59 And what kind of exercise do you do?
Dr. Glenn: 50:02 I’m a not, I, I go to crossfit four or five times a week. I do yoga a couple of times a week. I just moved to Florida, so I often go for a quick run on the beach at night. Um, I, I love to work out at like work here in classes. I like working outside and used to be a big hiker. I hiked all 48, 4,000 foot mountains. I find that most of my audience doesn’t like to exercise that much. It’s really important if you can, you don’t have to
Dave Sherwin: 50:28 do eight or 10 hours a week like I do. You can, uh, just go for a walk around the block. Get started. Yeah, absolutely. And everything does count. That’s, I think that’s one of the things that modern exercise science has taught us. You know, you and I are approximately the same age. I was born in 66 and in our own lifetimes, the, the rules about, about nutrition and exercise have been all over the map, right? Yeah. When I, when I played high school basketball, they didn’t let us drink water because they thought that, I don’t even remember why, but it was like a treat. If you work really hard, you can get some water. Well today we know that’s absolutely ridiculous. And then we went through the 90s where people were saying, yeah, you know what? You need 20 minutes of exercise three times a week and you’ll be really healthy. And of course we know that is also a ridiculous, but on the flip side, we also know that moving and being active and going on a hike and going for a walk and parking the car far away from your office and taking the stairs, that all those things do matter. Right? Yup.
Dave Sherwin: 51:34 Definitely. Yeah, we’ll end. And again, I like your caveats. I ask these questions about, uh, breakfast, lunch and dinner just to give a ideas. I ask a lot of guests and we sometimes come up with some really great meal ideas. So the idea there is, uh, you know, that people just get a cool idea to, to try for themselves for one of those meals. Spiralized cucumber noodles or Zucchini noodles with, um, with uh,
Dr. Glenn: 52:01 shaft of doesn’t tomatoes blend it up sometimes if some dates for sweetener. And, um, I used to have spices and finding spices or retaining my nervous system these days, but I would use to put some chili or Jalapeno pepper in there. Um, and some avocado if you want it a little bit thicker, that’s um, that’s a kind of a cool dinner meal. But I like,
Dave Sherwin: 52:22 yeah, it sounds good. Well listen, you, uh, you have some life experience behind you too and you’re, you’re a psychologist. You’ve done this math, this massive study. You’ve written a book, you’ve been on multiple episodes like this and had media coverage and, and been through some hard stuff. And so before I let you go, I know I’m putting you on the spot, but I just want you to share for a minute some of your thoughts on the good life. We’ve, we’ve talked about a health and nutrition of course, but as a psychologist is someone who’s helped many people and in troubled situations and been through hard stuff yourself. What are a couple of thoughts that jumped out to you that you feel like is just good life advice for people?
Dr. Glenn: 53:10 Two of them. Um, one of them is that people at some point make a fundamental decision about whether to get even or get well. And it’s easy to give lip service to saying, Oh, you know, I forgive people and I move on and I get well, but do you really like if you look at your look at your behavior and if you sit where I’ve sat and talked to thousands of people and heard their most intimate thoughts, you realize that even basically good people are, there’s a very strong, animalistic impulse to get even an inside of us. And it’s something that, um, it’s worthwhile acknowledging and bringing to light inside yourself as part of your shadow so that you can stop it from being acted out in your life because it, it leads to self destruction and leads to unhappiness. And it’s when you make a fundamental decision to get well as opposed to get even, it’s, um, it’s a much nicer way to live.
Dr. Glenn: 54:10 And I, I certainly had to make that myself a few years ago when I, when I got divorced. I really understand that. The other. Everything I would say is that Jim Roan encapsulated in the quote, a life of discipline is better than a life of regret. The idea that freedom really builds upon discipline. People are frightened of discipline because I think it takes away their freedom, like we’re being controlled, but it’s the opposite. If, if you want to be a jazz musician, you have to practice your skills. You won’t know how to improvise with your soul without knowing the scales and how to get back from them if you want to, if you want to be able to drive, you need the discipline to learn the rules of the road. Otherwise, your radius of locomotion is going to be a lot shorter and you’re much more likely to get hurt.
Dr. Glenn: 54:58 So freedom is built upon discipline. It’s not the polar enemy of her polar opposite or enemy. You have discipline because I think if you put those all together, well, maybe one more. Peter Mcwilliams said, you can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want. You can have anything you want. You can’t have everything you want. And that’s very apropos for the decisions we’re making about binge eating. You can eat any food that you want to, but you probably can’t eat everything that you want. It just doesn’t work. So, so, so what, what do you want in life and what are you willing to sacrifice to get it and how does that relate to your food or eating behavior? That’s, there’s a couple of tips I would give people.
Dave Sherwin: 55:44 Well, those are great tips and Dr. Glenn Livingston, thank you so much. The website is never binge again, right?
Dr. Glenn: 55:52 Never Binge again. Dot Com.
Dave Sherwin: 55:55 Okay, well thanks again so much for being on the show has been a pleasure and you’ve dropped a lot of really great nuggets here today, given us some really good wisdom on this topic. Thank you again for being on the show.
Dr. Glenn: 56:07 Dave, you’re a great interviewer. Thank you so much.
Dave Sherwin: 56:10 Thank you so much. And to everyone listening, this is Dave Sherwin wishing you health and success.
Dave Sherwin: 56:15 All right. Thank you so much for listening. And as I told you in the beginning, make sure you take note of that coupon code insider, INSIDER Just enter that at checkout, dirobi.com to get 15% off any purchase. We’ll see you next time.