Is food creeping up on you and you want to get control of it? Dr. Liz and Dr. Glenn Livingston discuss his completely unique system of wiping out Binging and Overeating.
Dr. Glenn Livingston, author of “Never Binge Again,” joins the podcast for Part 4 of the Weight Loss series. He and Dr. Liz talk about:
- Glenn’s work in the Food and Marketing Industry
- How the Food Industry engineers food so you want to keep eating it but don’t ever quite feel full
- His research around what foods can’t you stop eating once you start and their relationship to feelings
- His own binge eating history
- How Glenn came up with the idea of the Pig and The Rules
- Liz’s experience with her Pig and Rules
- How and Why you could be just 100 hours away from freedom.
Dr. Glenn Livingston is the author of nine books and the life changing FREE 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!”
Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. is a veteran psychologist and was the long time CEO of a multi-million dollar consulting firm which has serviced several Fortune 500 clients in the food industry.Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer overweight and/or food obsessed individuals, Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of bingeing 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.
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!”
Affiliate Link: See more about the Dreambook Planners (the ones Dr. Liz uses) at https://dragontreeapothecary.com/?ref=c9r2pkp0qhw
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A problem shared is a problem halved.In person and Online hypnosis for healing and transformation. Schedule your free consultation at https://www.drlizhypnosis.com.
Listened to in over 140 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Elizabeth Bonet, discusses the research behind hypnosis, interviews professionals doing transformational work, and talks to individuals who have had hypnosis. Free hypnoses are also given from time to time. If you’re interested in learning more about the magic of hypnosis, psychotherapy and mindfulness, this is the perfect place to feed your fascination!
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Dr. Liz [0:00]
Hi everyone Dr. Elizabeth Bonet here Dr. Liz Welcome to the Hypnotize Me podcast. Before we jump in, please note that the podcast is not mental health treatment nor should it replace mental health treatment. If you need psychotherapy or hypnotherapy, please seek treatment from a trained professional. I do hypnosis all over the please feel free to contact me through my website Dr. Liz hypnosis.com.
Hi Dr. Liz here. Just a reminder that you can feel better instantly decrease fear and anxiety by getting a free hypnosis file by texting the word hypnotize 2444999 so really easy way to join the newsletter and get this free file. So do that now. Pause your phone. I’m just kidding. I am about to interview Dr. Glenn Livingston about his book “Never Binge Again.” Now he is the author of nine or 10 books total. He’s written a lot about overeating and binge eating, and how to stop that process.
And this is not like any system you’ve ever heard. Okay. Glenn worked in the food industry for many, many years before he finally really became like, disgusted by it and said, I can’t do this anymore. He’s been very successful in working in different companies and then his own private practice. And eventually he launched this system and he’s had over a million downloads of this book. So it is quite impactful. It really helped change my life. You’ve heard me say on the podcast before that I’m an ex overeater definitely struggle in the past. And sometimes still do. But this book was a significant shift for me when I found it. And I really felt like it helped me make all the changes I needed to make in my life. This is part four of the weight loss series so you can hear more about my personal story in part one, that’s Episode 149. We talked about how hypnosis can really help with Kelly woods in part two. That’s Episode 150. And then in part three, we talked about five different foundations of health with Dr. Chris Murphy. And this is the fourth one with Dr. Glenn Livingston.
Now this book is free. So I encourage you to go and download it or listen to it the audible version, that one you have to pay for it, but you can get it on PDF on your Kindle and your nook for free. So I really encourage you to do that. Glenn has, I think the most freebies that I’ve ever seen anyone give away with a day Download, you know how you join an email newsletter and they’ll give you like, I don’t know, 123 things sometimes for he has like a million. I’m kidding. If you’re at all interested in this, please go and check out his system. It really could change your life and you’ll hear us talk in the interview that you could be 100 hours away from freedom. You really are that close to it. I hope you enjoy this interview, and that it helps you also create freedom in your life around food.
Hi, Glenn. Welcome to the hypnotize me podcast.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [3:41]
Oh, thank you so much for having me. I’ve been looking forward to this.
Dr. Liz [3:44]
Me too. I did tell the listeners in the intro that you ran a really incredible different program than anything else I had ever heard so I’m gonna start there.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [3:58]
Well, that’s nicer than saying this guy’s really weirdo. I’ll take it.
Dr. Liz [4:02]
Yeah, yeah, I first ran across you on a podcast interview, the addicted mind. I love that podcast. It’s fun to listen to. And then I downloaded your ebook. And then I poured over it for weeks. And then I signed up for your training program. So it’s not training program, I signed up for your coaching program, which I found really helpful. Can you just tell the listeners how you hit on this idea, initially,
Dr. Glenn Livingston [4:35]
painfully painful trial and error experience over the course of 30 years with my own binge eating problem. That’s the best way to describe it. I’m not just a psychologist who decided I wanted to work with eating problems. I’m someone who, you know, if you went through a 711 and you didn’t have any more pop tarts or pizza, it was probably because I was there before you You know, Elizabeth, I’m 6’4″. And I’m reasonably muscular. And I figured out when I was about 17 years old that if I worked out for two and a half, three hours a day that I could just eat whatever I wanted to. And I thought that was great. I didn’t think that was a problem. I thought that was fantastic. I, I lived to eat and work out. And I live like that all the way through college. And I was thin. I stayed fan and I, you know, didn’t have any problem with dating or anything like that. And I was athletic. And, you know, those were the good old days or battle days, depending on how you look at it. Because that’s when it all got set up. And I found that when I no longer had the time to work out because I got married at 22. And I started to commute from our house in Locas Valley, New York, all the way to the Bronx, which was two hours with traffic both ways.
Then I had graduate school, which was about 10 times was harder than college. Then I was seeing patients and I had a wife who actually wanted to talk to me, believe it or not. And I just didn’t have the time to work out for three hours a day, I was a grown up all of a sudden. And I found that the food had a life of its own, and I just couldn’t. I couldn’t stop I was still having six 7000 calories a day of food and, and I gained weight. I would do things to try to lose it. So I go to different programs are, you know, coming from a family of 17, psychotherapists and psychologists which, by the way, if something breaks in the house, we all know how to ask it how it feels, but nobody knows how to fix it.
Coming from that kind of a family Yeah, I figured the problem was that there must be a hole in my heart. You know, like if I could fill the hole in my heart, then I wouldn’t have to fill the hole in my stomach. And so I I took this intensely psychological approach and what to see the best psychologists and psychiatrists And I went to Overeaters Anonymous and I did everything I could possibly think of. And it was a very, very soulful journey. And I don’t regret taking and I learned a lot about myself. I wrote a very bad book way back when on the process, trying to document what I was learning. Okay. And, and I think it made me a more soulful, compassionate person. But it didn’t really fix the food problem, I would lose a little weight and then I would gain more than I lose weight, and then I gained more. And depending what you’re you talk to me, I would think it was a more serious problem than others. But as the years progressed, it became progressively more miserable. There were three things that happened. I’m sorry for your long winded answer, but it’s all relevant. There are three things that happened that changed my paradigm, and I’ll say what the resulting paradigm was, I realized that I’ve been trying to love myself in or fill the hole in my heart or nurture my inner Wounded Child back to health. The solution I came to was more like an Alpha Dog or alpha A wolf approach where, you know, if an alpha wolf is being challenged for leadership in the pack, it doesn’t say, Oh my goodness, someone needs a hug. Right? It it snarls and growls at the challenger showed who’s boss and basically says, Get back in line or I’ll kill you, right.
That was the new paradigm that I arrived at, which eventually worked for me and I’ll tell you how but I want to tell you the things that caused the shift. My ex wife, we got divorced A few years ago, she traveled for business. And so we never had kids. And at the same time, I didn’t come here. I had a practice at home that was a child and family therapist, not an eating disorder therapist. And I had a lot of time in my hands. So I started doing consulting for clients in her business and she was a focus group moderator still a very good I winded up consulting for gigantic companies in the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry and some other industries also, but mostly food and pharmaceuticals, where the money was.
And what I saw in the food industry was that there were, I want to say billions. I can’t necessarily document that I’m pretty sure it is billions an awful lot of money being thrown at engineers, like in a rocket scientist, basically chemists and, you know, flavor specialist. They’re spending all this money to do research to engineer food like substances that are designed to hit your bliss point without giving you enough nutrition to feel satisfied. And the result is addiction. And I said what about has nothing to do with why my mama didn’t love me enough when I was when you’re older anything or why I’m in a bad marriage and eating to escape my loneliness or depression has nothing to do with it. Right?
So that’s one thing and and then I looked at, you know, all the hyper palatable concentrations of starch and sugar and fat and oil and exciter toxins that Go into those food like substances that make us all look for love at the bottom of a bag or a box or container while some, you know, fat cat in a white suit with a mustache laughs all the way to the bank. I also looked at the advertising industry, you know, because I was privy to a lot of that’s one of those guys psychologists who tried to figure out well how do you get people to buy this stuff and I was on the wrong side of the war. Not really was I’m feel guilty about it. Like I often feel you receive the commercials with the Marlboro Man late in his life. Yeah. For people who don’t know he, me first of all, I think he got lung cancer but secondly he felt incredibly guilty Yeah, I think you know, these public service announcements about you know, my God, I shouldn’t got all that money for killing people. It’s doesn’t make sense. Anyway, I don’t think I was quite that bags. I did some other things too. But I was one of those guys. And people think advertising doesn’t affect them, but I mean, first of all, there are five to 7000 messages being got us over the airwaves in the internet. Maybe a half dozen of them are for fruit and vegetables. So, yeah, I knew how effective they work because I saw the studies. And I also knew that advertising affects you more when you think it doesn’t affect you. Because your sales resistance is down. And that’s that’s right where the advertising industry wants you. So that was another really powerful force aligned against me that everyone else that made me realize that Gee, maybe this doesn’t have to do with, you know, my inner Wounded Child.
Then I did my own study, I was going to pay a lot of money to do these studies. And this was back in the days when the internet clicks were really cheap, like 1996 1997, something like that. And over the course of several years, I got 40,000 people to take a survey. Well, it’s a lot. It’s a lot of people. And the survey was all about how, what what foods can’t use Beating once you start and what’s bothering you in your life? Where do you feel stressed? And I found a few interesting relationships, people who felt people who couldn’t stop eating chocolate and all my binges started with chocolate, I decided to have maybe a half a bar and that would be fine. It was dark chocolate. And then you know what happened after that
Dr. Liz [12:20]
it turns into a bar and then maybe multiple and then other forms of chocolate for a lot of people.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [12:25]
Well, and then for me, it was, you know, a whole pizza or two and a box box and muffins and a box of Munchkins and whatever I could find, I found that people who struggled with chocolate tended to be lonely brokenhearted or depressed. People who struggle with crunchy salty things like chips and pretzels they tended to be stressed at work and people who struggled with soft, chewy things like starches like bread and bagels and pasta. They tended to be stressed at home. I thought that was fascinating and still thinking very much like a psychologist back then I thought, well, okay for me personally, I need to figure out how to address the loneliness and depression and I was in a bad marriage. I really was kind of lonely, lonely and depressed.
Dr. Liz [13:16]
Interesting, because you’re probably familiar with Janine Roth’s work, of course, “Eating in the light of the moon,” you know, that type where she analyzes? What is it that you crave? And it’s often relationship to what’s going on emotionally that would lend itself to say yes, that there is a relationship there. Now what we do about that is different here. So
Dr. Glenn Livingston [13:40]
it’s very true. Yeah, well, it’s very true. It’s very true. There is a relationship there. And it’s a fascinating relationship, and it’s a very soulful relationship. I don’t find that analyzing that relationship is the solution at least at least not for me. I love Janine Roth, I recommend people read her work. I don’t find That it was the solution for people like me. Here’s why I’ll tell you a story. I asked my mom right around this time, what it was in my upbringing that could have made that connection for me. Why do I rent the chocolate when I feel lonely or depressed or brokenhearted? And she gets this horrible look on her face and sound in her voice. And she says, Glenn Honey, I’m so sorry. And I said, Mom, you know, it’s okay. It’s, I was like 41 years old at this point. So this is a long time ago. I forgive you, whatever it is, I just trying to figure it out. And she just I’m so sorry. But when you were about one year old in 1965, your dad was a captain in the army. And they were talking about sending him to Vietnam. And I only had you with a little one year old but we were working on making a second. Second baby, your sister and I thought I was gonna To be, you know, an army widow with two little kids and I was terrified. At the same time, your grandfather, my dad, he had just gotten out of prison and idolized him my whole life. And it turned out he was guilty and I had no idea he was doing these things. And my whole world fell apart. So half the time when you were crying or hungry, or lonely or coming running to me for a hug. I just didn’t have the wherewithal to take care of you. I was sitting and staring at the wall feeling depressed and anxious myself. And so here’s what I did. I got a big bottle of chocolate bosco syrup. And I got a refrigerator to keep on the floor and I put the bottle in there. And I said, Go get your bosco. Glen.
Dr. Liz [15:49]
Dr. Glenn Livingston [15:51]
here’s the rub, though. It was a brilliant insight. Very there is the origin of the pattern right there for you. If this were the most movies, Mom and I would have a big hug and a big cry. And then I’d never have trouble with chocolate again. Right?
Dr. Liz [16:07]
Right. In the movies and the movies. Not in our offices.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [16:15]
Would you believe me if I told you that the opposite happened? that it actually got worse?
Dr. Liz [16:19]
Yes, I would. Uh huh.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [16:21]
The reason it got worse was because of this crazy voice in my head. I’m not schizophrenia or anything. I don’t actually hear voices but this thought in my head that immediately jumped into justify eating more chocolate and I went something like this “You know, what, Glenn, You’re right. I remind my didn’t love us enough. And she left a great big chocolate sized hole in your heart and now you finally know. So until you can get out of this marriage and find the love of your life. You’re going to have to just go right I’m good and get the that’s good. Go get some more chocolate right now. And at that juncture, combined with things I was studying about physiology. You know that the neuro anatomy of the brain suggested that there are essentially two parts that you could divide it into three, but really it’s simpler. There’s the lower brain of the upper brain. And the lizard brain, the lower brain new reptilian brain. When it evaluate something in the environment, it doesn’t consider love. The lizard brain knows eat meat or kill. What is that thing? Do I eat it? Do I meet with it or do I kill it? That’s that’s the lower brain. That’s what it’s thinking. And that’s what its function is it generates the it generates the survival responses, fight or flight feast or famine. And it turns out that those survival responses are largely responsible for overeating, especially binge eating or compulsive overeating. It’s a perceived state of emergency.
Now I said to myself, I know that this is the part of the brain that’s active in food addiction and this part of the brain doesn’t know love. How in the world could I love myself back to health? If I’m dealing with the part of the brain, that love is irrelevant here. It’s it’s the upper part of the brain. The neocortex between the frontal lobe that says, Wait a minute, before you eat made her kill that thing. What impact does this have on the people that you love? What impact does this have on your tribe and your family? What impact does it have on your long term goals or your pursuit of art or spirituality or music or . . .
Dr. Liz [18:33]
It’s the part that makes us human.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [18:36]
Yes, it’s the part that makes us human. And so this is the embarrassing part. I decided I was going to have to dominate my lizard brain. The same way that you dominate your bladder, your bladder will jump up and tell you in the middle of a meeting, you really got to pick which you say Hold on a minute. I have other goals. I can’t jump up in the middle of this meeting. You’ll have Wait, I’m the boss and you’ll have to win. Now you can’t totally ignore it. Or, you know, in several hours, it’s going to show you what happens. But you don’t let it boss you around, you boss it around. Same with your reproductive instincts. You see attractive people on the street, you don’t just run up and kiss them. You subjugate those very powerful biological urges to your will.
Dr. Liz [19:27]
Yeah, this is the part of your book that I just found enlightening and hilarious okay to tell you because examples you gave for like, you don’t walk into your mother in law’s house and just poop right there on the carpet. I don’t.(Yeah, I don’t either). Right. Or you don’t run stop signs all the time. Right. You stop. You don’t rob banks, even though you want money.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [19:55]
You could be in a real rush. And you still stop at the stop sign. Yeah. You could really, really, really, really have to poo, and you still don’t go in your mother in law’s living room. Right? Could you because you’re the boss,
Dr. Liz [20:07]
right? So is this a mind shift for me of like, wait a minute, we do actually exert self control all day.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [20:16]
Most of the approach in our culture says that the urge it wants you to deal with the urge represents to say that you you need to put out the fire or damp down the fire by taking care of your emotional well being and now I want you all to take care of your emotional well being I mean, I’m, I’m I love I’m a loving guy, and I’m really just a big teddy bear. If you see me at a conference and you want to hug them, you know, I got one for you. But I think what was happening to me when I was trying to love myself fan and concentrating on the emotional needs that were behind the urge. I think that I was just opening up to the lizard brain to do what it wanted to say They’re there. And now you can have what you need.
The opposite of that was that I really said it was that voice of justification that made it possible for the fire to jump out of the fireplace. So a roaring fire is not a problem in a well contained fireplace. As a matter of fact, it becomes the center of hearth and home, it’s actually an asset. You think of the fire, like your emotions when they’re raging, whether it’s, you know, sadness, or anger or loneliness or whatever it is raging emotion. You don’t have to be afraid of that. You need to have a very well constructed fireplace. And what this voice of justification does is it pokes holes in the fireplace, and if it can set it up, so even when ash can escape when spark and escape, then it can burn the house down. And I realize it was a lot quicker to recognize and disempower that voice. I got some help from other people who have similar models for drug addiction, Jack Champion in particular at rational recovery. He works with mostly drugs and alcohol. I always tell people don’t use my work for drugs and alcohol use his. But it’s a lot quicker to fix the fireplace to recognize and disempower that voice of justification than it is to fix the emotions that could take a lifetime to find the love of your life. Some people never do. It can take 10 years to cure, you know, depression through psychological means. But recognizing and disempowering, often little shots, your voice of justification takes it that fireplace that can be done in a few weeks to a few months. So here’s the embarrassing part. This is what I did. As a sophisticated psychologist who done 10s of millions of dollars of studies and had a full practice and published all these articles. I decided that I was going to call my lizard brain my pig. I wish I picked another metaphor. I was not going to publish this. This is a private thing. I was gonna call it my pick my inner pig. Turns out you don’t have to call it a pig. You can call it a food monster. Or Junkyard Dog or something. But I decided it was my pig. I decided I was going to have to turn the addiction into something black and white and make very clear, bright lines with very clear rules about what was on one side of the line and what was on the other. So for example, one of the first rules I experimented with was, I will never eat chocolate on a weekday again. Then I decided,
Dr. Liz [23:22]
when did your pig say when you made that rule?
Dr. Glenn Livingston [23:25]
Oh my pid doesn’t like that rule.
Dr. Liz [23:27]
Okay. So like when you initially made this rule, this is the first rule you made, and then decide to to call that voice of it the pig, right? Your pig, huh? How long did it take you before you were like, Oh, that is the pig and I’m not giving into the pig and you know, I’ve got to talk to the pig and get back in your cage. Like what was that process like for you?
Dr. Glenn Livingston [23:53]
It was not instantaneous. The rest of the model is that the chocolate itself on a weekend called that Pig Slop. And whatever the pig would say, like, Chief when you worked out hard enough today, you can afford a little chocolate you can just start tomorrow. I call that pig squeal. And whenever the pig would squeal, I would say, I don’t want that my pig does. That’s pig slop. I don’t eat pig slop. The farm animals don’t tell me what to do.
Okay, this was going to be totally private. I was not going to tell anybody about this.
Dr. Liz [24:24]
Well thank god you did. But gotcha, when you originally came up with this just for yourself.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [24:33]
This is working for you, right?
Dr. Liz [24:35]
Yes, I’ve lost . . . I did your coaching program in May I read the E book probably in February or March or April, somewhere around there. I started with a rule before I did your coaching program. So I started with one rule like you did. Even though I didn’t know that actually from the book. I thought I will just try one rule. That’s it. And it worked. And so then I had a handful of rules going on. I want to say these were important rules, I needed to make some changes in my life. And I’ll say not all of them were about food, too. So some of them . . . Your model, I want to be clear with the listeners is about food. That’s what the rules are for. For me, part of that was, I’m going to continue to persevere with figuring out what’s going on because I needed a medication change. I’m hypothyroid. I said, yeah, until I figure this out. Because in the past, I would read a little get overwhelmed, stop. Right and then continue eating way that was a very unhealthy for me. So that was enough. (that’s, that’s fantastic.) Let me fast forward. So as of Saturday, and we’re recording this in mid October, I’ve lost 30 pounds, and more importantly, I’m on the right track with my medication. So I persevered with my doctor requesting the testing that I needed requesting the change of medication even though she was like I’ve never prescribed this before. And I was like I understand that, you know, came from a place of compassion, right? Like they don’t teach you how to do this in a PA school, or medical school, honestly, like MD or PA school, they don’t teach this. So here’s the research, I’ve gathered here the studies, here’s the medication I want to try. So really persevered with that, and we’re on that path. And so it’s a combination, but I do believe that if I had not changed the diet, those pounds would not come off. I
Dr. Glenn Livingston [26:37]
very happy to hear that. Yeah. And just so you know, you don’t have to apologize for having success without the coaching program. It’s it’s actually set up, the book is set up and I give the book away for free. I’ll tell people where they can get it. It’s set up to help people comprehensively without assistance. The coaching program makes it go faster. Like
Dr. Liz [26:57]
Oh yeah the coaching program was really valuable for me Because it was a level of commitment for me, honestly, of I went more in depth than what the book is giving me the coaching program definitely gives that. And I this is a commitment to myself for this path. And so it was accountability for myself in Honestly, I like support it like I like to know support, it’s there. And you have different levels that people can sign up for according to their own budget, but the level I signed up for was a year of support. Should I need it? Fantastic. I really haven’t used it. But I like knowing it’s there. It’s like Yeah, definitely. I get it if I need it.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [27:44]
That’s terrific. I’m really glad it’s working for you. It’s and it’s not unusual that people once they discover that you can structure your mind like this to use it for other things. And that’s what that’s really shining example. I love that. Well see you asked me How long it took? Yes. And initially, what happened was instantaneously, I would recognize when it was the pig versus me. And I would wake up and have those extra microseconds to realize that this is not what I promise this is against my rules. That’s my pig talking. I figure squealing for slop. I don’t eat pig slop and on the front, and I would save those things. And I realized that I was in control. Sometimes I would decide to do it anyway. But it eradicated the sense of hopelessness. I no longer felt hopeless or powerless or defenseless against this chronic progressive mysterious thing inside me. I suddenly realized what was going on. And that gave me tremendous hope. And so I kept at it, I persevered. Over time, I found the binges became less serious. Sometimes I would listen sometimes I wouldn’t essentially said, Now, wait a minute, nobody’s imposing this rule upon me. These are my own rules. It’s kind of silly to break my own rules. Let me try. I mean, if I want to have chocolate more often I’ll say, I’m not gonna have chocolate on Tuesday and Thursday and not on any other day. Okay, if I really wanted to do that, I could do that. And so I tinkered with the rules.
And I decided to make following the food plan, following the rules, a paramount importance in my life. When I did that, and I was really kind to myself and gentle about forgiving myself, if I made a mistake, I say you want to commit with perfection, but forgive yourself with dignity. Then they started to stick quicker. You know, I would start with the one ruler of chocolate. But then I fairly quickly realized ended two rules about sugar and flour also. And then maybe I needed a role to help me be sure I was eating enough. And it’s easy to use this to become too restrictive. And that’s, by the way, if there’s anybody who’s struggling with being too fan or anorexic or anything like That you have to be really careful. Make sure that you’re, you know, objectively tallying your nutrition and calories, either with a licensed professional or I am, or at least with one of the online calculators like chronometer or My Fitness Pal or something. And I would say, the chocolate struggle lasted another six to eight months. And I finally came to the conclusion with chocolate that I just never would have it again, I realized that I was trying six ways to Sunday, all these different combinations of rules and there were just some things that tasted too good. Now, that doesn’t mean that everybody listening has to stop having chocolate fear. A lot of people
Dr. Liz [30:38]
That strikes fear into some listeners heart.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [30:43]
As a matter of fact that the more typical course with my clients is that there are foods that they were out of control with. The first things that we try are some very specific boundaries around those foods without giving them up. You know, for example, I can have one ounce of dark chocolate pretty Day, but not after six o’clock. And once those decisions have been made, they found that what they were really suffering from with decision fatigue, they hadn’t made a decision about how much chocolate was enough for too much very specifically. And because of that they had to make constant decisions. And there’s a lot of research that suggests that decisions wear down your willpower. Yeah, and so someone who says, I’m going to have one ounce a day and that’s it is more likely to be be able to comply than someone who says I’m going to avoid chocolate 90% of the time. Because you say you’re going over chocolate 90% of the time, when you’re sitting in Starbucks, and your pig says, you know, chocolate grows from cocoa bean, which comes into plant and therefore it’s a vegetable. I’m being a little facetious. But I’m being a little facetious, but those types of things happen or if it just says, you know, you could just start tomorrow. We’re if it says you’ve been good, how do you know if this is one of the 10% or one of the 90% of the time so you have to make Another decision, and that worries that you will power. But if you still only have chocolate the last three calendar days of the month, then 90% of the time your decisions have been made, and it becomes a lot easier. So the more typical course with the clients that I work with is usually that they put very specific boundaries on the foods that are out of control. And I’d say 70% of the time that works on the other 30 we have to eliminate it.
Dr. Liz [32:24]
Okay. Okay. So that’s a process that people try out. Let’s just try rule first and see if it works. And if you keep breaking your own rule, then we change it to where it works for you but in a way that’s good for you, basically in a way that the pig is not running the game here.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [32:44]
It’s really important that you develop the autonomous ability to make food decisions with your intellect as opposed to your emotions, which which are real shorthand way of saying that is You make the decisions in your frontal lobe you don’t let the reptilian brain make it in the in the midbrain and lower brain. So once I gave up chocolate, people think you’re going to be tortured with those cravings forever. But you’re really not because there’s a process in the brain and a process with the taste sense the taste system, taste buds, called upregulation. In down regulation, it’s like this if you if you eat sugar every day, you eat chocolate every day. Your taste buds are going to desensitize themselves, because it’s an artificial concentration of sugar in stimulants and fat and it’s more delicious than anything you could find in nature. And so our neurology in order to deal with that downgrades, the level of responsiveness and this is why you get to the point where people say, Well, I need this to survive or nothing. Nothing tastes good to me besides chocolate or salt or whatever it is. Kinda like stopped underneath the subway in graduate school the first year. Got an apartment underneath the subway.
Dr. Liz [34:05]
I’m glad it was an apartment under the subway. Yeah.(laughter)
Dr. Glenn Livingston [34:10]
I wasn’t homeless (laughter)
Dr. Liz [34:12]
not unheard of though for graduate students,
Dr. Glenn Livingston [34:15]
not unheard of no, That was a tough time. The first week it was really difficult to sleep with somebody was just too loud. But then something kind of miraculous happened. I couldn’t really hear it after three or four weeks. It’s because my brain downgraded they responded downregulated his response to that supersize stimulus, yes. Now when I went and spent a week in the country and then came back to my apartment in Astoria, Queens, the subway sounded loud again. what that says is that if you take away the excessive stimulation that your nervous system up regulates its responsiveness again, so it wasn’t permanently damaged, permanently damaged, it was just suppressed. Same thing happens with your taste buds. If you eat chocolate all the time. fruit and vegetables are not going to taste great to you. If you stop having chocolate, then your taste buds I think the research says they’re going to double insensitivity This is if you give up a lot of excess stimulation, they double insensitivity over the course of six to eight weeks, and you’ll start to be able to taste the natural natural pleasures that nature intended. You know, you’re not supposed to believe that every bone in your body is supposed to say glad to hand over the chocolate or I’m gonna punch you in the face. But if you try it if you try it it will happen.
Dr. Liz [35:33]
Oh yeah, it’s happened there is a time where I gave up all sugar, all sweeteners. And an apple became like so sweet that my kids would just laugh and laugh because I was like, Oh my god, I can’t eat it. It’s too sweet. The apple’s too sweet. It’s like my taste buds shifted. Absolutely
I could taste sweetness and all kinds of natural things. Before, they were not as appealing,
Dr. Glenn Livingston [36:03]
not only do you taste the sweetness, but you can start to taste subtle differences in different species of apples. Yeah. So a Fiji Apple is going to taste different than a gala Apple, which is going to taste different than a Pink Lady versus going to taste different than it.
Dr. Liz [36:17]
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So it does happen. You hear people talk about this, it is hard to believe if you haven’t actually had the experience yourself. Yeah, there’s enough people that talk about it. And now we do have the, the research on the brain to go behind it, that it really does happen. So it becomes a process I think of saying, you know, if I just try this out for six weeks, I’m going to shift I won’t crave that anymore. It’ll go down. My health will be much more important. Like you know, whatever that is for you. That motivation,
Dr. Glenn Livingston [36:51]
and the first hundred hours of the hardest. You may just be 100 hours from freedom. A lot of people will never make it that hundred hours to find out But it’s a little scary for people to think about doing an experiment for six weeks, but do an experiment for 100 hours and see how you feel.
Dr. Liz [37:08]
Yeah, that’s only . . . how many days is that?
Dr. Glenn Livingston [37:10]
That’s, that’s four days. For it four and a quarter days, I think four and 1/6th day something like that.
Dr. Liz [37:17]
Yes. So we are getting to the end of our time here. I do want to say that and I want to make sure that people know how to find your book, and how to find you. So can you let them know that
Dr. Glenn Livingston [37:30]
once you go through the website, Never Binge Again.com which is where you’ll find everything, and you click the big red button for the free reader bonuses and you sign up for them, you will get a free copy of the book and Kindle Nook or PDF format. You can also buy the physical format or the article format, but you can get a copy for free and Kindle Nook or PDF. I recorded a bunch of full length coaching sessions, because I know this sounds really weird in theory and you must be thinking why does not grow Elizabeth have this have a psychologist who has a pig inside him. It sounds really harsh. It sounds really bizarre. But it’s not. It’s it’s a very compassionate soul enhancing process. And if you listen to how it works in practice, you’ll feel better about it. And the last thing was that the last thing that the third big thing you get for FREE when you sign up there is a copy of the food plan starter templates. We call them starter templates, because I don’t want to take responsibility for your food plan. It turns out it’s very important to be autonomous, not to feel like anybody else told you what to eat. Because if someone tells you what to eat, the pig is eventually going to say that guru doctors diet plan is no good. We’re going to have to find another one. But if you do with you, your pig can’t play with you like that. So food plan templates, no matter what diet you happen to be on low carb, high carb, point counting, Calorie Counting, it’s, this is a diagnostic program. I’m not pushing any
Dr. Liz [38:59]
It can apply to any way that you choose to eat.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [39:02]
Yes, I’m not pushing my way of eating, because everybody would run away screaming if they knew what I ate. People use that on all sorts of diets and just go to neverbingeagain.com, click the big red button. You can use the contact button there also, I will eventually see those notes if you need to write to me.
Dr. Liz [39:16]
Fantastic. So Is there room for psychology, let’s say in this like when do you find that people need extra help? Let’s say for a therapist or hypnotherapy, like however they decide to get that.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [39:33]
Oh, well, you know, there’s the fire in the fireplace. And there are a lot of soulful, interesting things you can learn about yourself by looking at the fire. I’ve seen a therapist for a lot of years, and working on the loneliness and depression. I am a big proponent of psychology. I just think that it needs to be looked at as secondary to getting control of the thoughts that justify the binges first and People would say that psychology anyway like, like, like the evidence and binge eating seems to be circling around cognitive behavioral interventions like this. So you could say it’s psychology I typically don’t because I think it confuses people. But the understanding of what happened with my mom made me a lot more compassionate for myself and I pursued that both with a therapist and with my mom. And it helps in the forgiveness phase because see here, here’s a really bizarre trick the pig place. When you make a mistake, the pig jumps on top of you and pounds the gavel and says, You’re guilty, you’re guilty, you’re guilty and now all bets are off, and it gets you caught up in negative self talk. That negative self talk makes it much harder to get up and aim at the target. Again, it makes it much harder to resist the next binge. As a matter of fact, you’ll find it difficult to keep binge eating or to keep overeating. If you refuse to use yourself. And so the psychological insight that I had really helped me in the forgiveness Phase I it’s softened that negative voice and it helped me to get up and aim at the target again, more quickly, doing less damage when I made a mistake.
Dr. Liz [41:17]
Okay, very interesting. I’ll tell a similar story, actually, of, I was hitting somewhat of a plateau. And I said to my own hypnotherapist and mentor, I said, all these feelings are coming up, like when I hit a particular weight. Hey, so when I hit the 180s these feelings about where I was the last time I was at that weight came up, I hit the 170s all these feelings came rushing back. And I just, I don’t like them. You know, like, I don’t want to feel this way. Like, and I don’t want it to stop me from losing more weight or breaking my rules or doing any of that. So she and I did some work around that around resolving those feelings around breaking through that plateau like you know some of that so that I stay with my rules so that I continue to put the pig back in his cage can totally make the good decisions to help myself
Dr. Glenn Livingston [42:18]
totally in favor of that you can make life more comfortable, you don’t have to be super miserable. You do have to tell your pig though, that there is no level of emotional misery that will cause you to feed the pig. You have to be to be willing to experience it. But there’s no reason to be uncomfortable for the sake of being uncomfortable when you can work with a hypnotist or a therapist to you know, tamp down that fire a little bit.
Dr. Liz [42:45]
Okay. Okay, great. That’s helpful. Thank you. Well, thank you. Yeah, thank you so much for being here and not just for being on the podcast, but you’re work in general really has helped me
Dr. Glenn Livingston [42:57]
Thank you dear, thank you
Dr. Liz [42:59]
I know Lots of people I’ll be listening to random podcast and they’ll talk about the never binge again book.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [43:05]
We have almost a million readers now. I can’t believe it.
Dr. Liz [43:08]
That’s fantastic, fantastic.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [43:10]
They don’t recognize me though people know they kind of started recognize me in person but they don’t remember my name. They just pointed me and go pig guy, pig guy.
Dr. Liz [43:19]
Oh, your branding’s too good.Yeah, I still remember the name of the book and the image and the you know, the little the pig.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [43:31]
Yeah, that’s not really something you want to have happened when you’re on on your first date. But
Dr. Liz [43:39]
right. Thank you again for being here.
Dr. Glenn Livingston [43:42]
Have a good day.
Dr. Liz [44:19]
Hope you truly enjoyed today’s episode. Remember that you can get free hypnosis downloads over at my website, Dr. Liz hypnosis. com Dr. Li seen hypnosis, calm. I work all over the world doing hypnosis. So if you’re interested in working with me, please schedule a free consultation over at my website and we’ll see what your goals are and if I can be of service to you and helping you reach them. Finally, if you like today’s episode, please subscribe to the podcast or tell a friend that way more people learn about the power of hypnosis. Alright everyone, have a wonderful week. Peace
Transcribed by https://otter.ai