is a Registered Nurse since 1973, worked with addiction medicine since 1987 and sugar addiction since 1993. Developed a Holistic Addiction Treatment model, worked with group treatment for many years. She has been teaching and training professionals since 2012.
Bitten is a recovering alcoholic and her understanding of addiction has been a 26 year journey. She started to learn about addiction in the 70s when she commenced her recovery from alcohol addiction. She fell in love with addiction medicine. She learnt that those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction who also smoke and eat junk food have a higher risk of relapsing.
After this ‘light bulb’ moment, she promptly quit smoking but would treat herself with chocolate and ice cream. She gained a lot of weight but she was also very tired. She was told she was a food addict and set out to learn more.
She started a group in 1995 and helped those with food addiction deal with the addiction. The low carb movement started in 2005 in Sweden. Bitten was told she was mentioned in a book.
The low carb sentiment is that if you stay low carb you can be healthy but it doesn’t take into consideration that some are “Food Addicts”, who can stop eating the problematic foods but can’t stay stopped.
Drawing on her understanding of addiction, she was able to translate this to food and food addictions. Similarly to alcohol, social users of food can have a small piece of chocolate and then stop. Whereas harmful users of food are emotional eaters, comfort eaters. Food addicts have a different brain, they are biochemically unique. They don’t respond biochemically the same way as social users and harmful users. They are the most sensitive people.
Bitten developed a tool to differentiate between a harmful user and an addict. How much you eat and how often is not a criteria for addiction. She teaches, trains and certifies them in the sugar instrument.
Understanding that addiction is chronic, progressive re-lapsable and deadly illness if you don’t arrest it. You don’t have a chance if you don’t embrace that. First you have to understand the illness, then you have to rewire the brain. This is through eating the right types of food - such as the keto way of eating, with clean products, good foods, good fats and you have to figure out the fuel mix.
Eating the right types of food minimises the chemical release in the brain. These brain chemicals, particularly those that release dopamine is important. Increasing tolerance to dopamine is built up over time with the types and amount of food that is eaten. You eat more and more even though you feel miserable. It gives an initial high then it makes you depressed, moody, sad, unpleasant, tired, nothing is fun and you lose all your energy. You are not clinically depressed, you have lost energy on a cellular level.
Bitten says get the addiction under control first for at least two years before doing any therapy. Changing the way she eats, she has become less swollen and able to move more. She has increased her energy and feels better now she is 67 than in her fifties. Bitten is like a Ferrari, she has to fuel up. Food is her medicine and fuel. She makes sure she gets her nutritional needs met.
Sockerbomben - i din hjärna : bli fri från ditt sockerberoende - Bitten Jonsson
She also has some cookbooks
Bitten's Top Tip
If you suspect you have an addiction you need to deal with the addiction first.
Dr Annika Dahlqvist
Dr Andreas Eenfeldt
“The problem with food addicts is we can stop but we can’t stay stopped”
“It’s not the blood sugar that plays havoc with us, it’s the rewards system and the neurotransmitters”
“Recovery can never take place if you do not own your illness.”
“Addiction is chronic, progressive re-lapsable and deadly illness if you don’t arrest it.”
“Most sugar addicts react to milk products like cheese, sour cream, whipped cream and that has to do.”
“Sugar is like cocaine, it gives a big release of dopamine”
“Once you have done sugar too long, it doesn’t have an effect so then you turn to something stronger like alcohol”
“Addiction is a primary illness, it is not caused by anything, by trauma or feelings”
“If it is not an option, it is not a problem”
“One bite is too much and a thousand is not enough”
“Your commitment to yourself is the most important thing”
“Today I feel so sorry for children and young people, they are so nutritionally deficient.”
“Bread addicts have the worst addictions”
Connect with Bitten Jonsson on social media
To find help with a certified sugar therapist
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