karen header 3

Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.karenrkoenig.com/

To Carb or Not to Carb

Once more, a session with a client has got me thinking: if you don’t know whether or not you have difficulty metabolizing particular foods such as wheat or sugar, do you try to eat them “normally” or avoid them completely? Obviously, if you’ve been tested and diagnosed with a food allergy, you’ll want to steer clear. Remember, testing is the only way to know for certain that you have a bona fide food allergy (see my blog archive). Craving and having difficulty staying away from a food does not constitute a food allergy or addiction, so please don’t convince yourself that the problem is physical when it could be mental/emotional.

That said, it’s difficult to know how to proceed if you react badly to a food. You could give it—sugar, fats, wheat or even most carbohydrates—up completely. However: OA members avoid food for decades, then sometimes try a bite and succumb to overeating it because they can’t stop. Does this mean they have a physical addiction or a psychological dependence? My guess is that a “normal” eater who, for some reason, was unable to eat a certain food might also find a well remembered taste heavenly when she resumed eating it, so falling in love with the food again seems natural. The question is whether you spin out of control for emotional or physical reasons.

If a food really spells trouble and you’ve tried and failed to eat it “normally” (with rational beliefs about it for at least six months), it’s okay to stop eating it as long as the decision doesn’t make you feel deprived and crave the food more. Your thinking might go something like this, “I feel awful every time I eat this food and can eat it, but choose not to because of the consequences. Everyone makes choices about things and I’m making one here.” You need this exact mindset to not feel deprived—in order to look around and see other people eating the offending food and not want what they have or, to be more exact, to want it and decide against eating it.

There’s nothing wrong with cutting foods out of your life for the right reasons: if you don’t think that you’re bad for eating them or virtuous for passing them u[, if you don’t believe that life is unfair because you can’t eat whatever you want, if you’re not obsessed by what you forbid yourself, if saying no doesn’t keep you focused on food. I strongly advise you to try learning to eat challenging foods “normally,” and to get tested to see what you truly can’t eat. Having a food allergy is serious business, as is making peace with food whether you have an allergy or not. Either way, you need to have your head on straight to make healthy food choices.

Abuse and Eating Problems
Dealing with Hurtful Relatives

shelf new


This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy