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Never Binge Again by Glenn Livingston.
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Introducing the Pig

Do you:

  • Feel unable to control your eating despite knowing it’s terrible for your health?
  • Feel powerless to resist anything that tastes good in mass quantities?
  • Find it hard to stop thinking about food?
  • Feel desperate to control your food problem?

There is a part of you that exists only to feast. It doesn’t care about your well being and about your life goals. It defeats you at every opportunity and wants you to fail so it can have food orgies.

Call this the “Pig.” The Pig is your fat-thinking self. It hijacks your survival drive toward food behaviors that do NOT serve your best interests. It’s an out-of-control eating machine that will destroy everything if you love it. It sabotages your plans and exists only to satiate itself. The Pig is responsible for a lot of misery in your life—eating the wrong foods, in the wrong portions, downgrading your health and quality of life.

The Pig is a bully that deserves no patience or tolerance. It’s held you back for years, possibly decades, talking you out of every reasonable weight-loss plan, robbed you of the body and energy you want, made you feel hopeless after years of effort. It’s time you put it in its cage.

How the Pig Developed

The Pig arose as a survival tool, to make sure you ate enough to survive. This was important when prehistoric humans went through periods of intermittent famine. This behavior is common to pretty much all animals—call this your Lizard Brain, which cares only about eating, reproduction, and survival.

But in today’s environment, when survival is much easier and food is aplenty, the Lizard Brain is counterproductive. Food developers hijack this survival drive with addictive foods that give you Food Highs that deceive you about their nutritional value. The Lizard Brain makes you overeat well beyond what’s necessary to survive.

Over time, your Pig was strengthened by external influences like addictively delicious foods, cultural...

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Never Binge Again Summary Never Binge Again Guide Introducing the Pig

Do you:

  • Feel unable to control your eating despite knowing it’s terrible for your health?
  • Feel powerless to resist anything that tastes good in mass quantities?
  • Find it hard to stop thinking about food?
  • Feel desperate to control your food problem?

There is a part of you that exists only to feast. It doesn’t care about your well being and about your life goals. It defeats you at every opportunity and wants you to fail so it can have food orgies.

Call this the “Pig.” The Pig is your fat-thinking self. It hijacks your survival drive toward food behaviors that do NOT serve your best interests. It’s an out-of-control eating machine that will destroy everything if you love it. It sabotages your plans and exists only to satiate itself. The Pig is responsible for a lot of misery in your life—eating the wrong foods, in the wrong portions, downgrading your health and quality of life.

(If the term “Pig” is offensive to you, or on the other hand too cute to be repulsive, pick any other term that works for you—“the inner food demon,” “the slob,” “the junkyard dog,” your “lizard brain.” It has to evoke the idea of an aggressive, manipulative bully instead of a cutesy...

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Shortform Exercise: Recognize Your Pig

Confront your inner Pig to know what you need to defeat.


What does your Pig want to do that you disagree with?

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Never Binge Again Summary Never Binge Again Guide Create a Food Plan

How do you distinguish Pig Squeals from your own rational hunger? By constructing a concrete Food Plan with your personal Food Rules. The Food Plan gets you to take control over your eating and over your Pig.

Here are the categories that make up your Food Plan:

  • Nevers
  • Always
  • Unrestricted
  • Conditionals

The Food Plan is what you want to follow with 100% accuracy, for the rest of your life. Violating it even by 1% is going to be Bingeing.

These lines need to be 100% clear, or else the Pig will use fuzzy lines to attack your confidence. Write down every single food rule so that it will be 100% clear if you violated the plan or not (if you showed it to 10 people, all 10 would clearly say that you Binged or not). Make it SIMPLE.

Don’t go from 0 to 100 right away. Start with the LEAST severe food plan that protects you from troublesome behaviors. You might even just start with the one food that gives you the most trouble, follow it for a few weeks, then add more food rules.

Let’s break down each category.

Nevers

What foods, drinks, and behaviors will you never indulge in again as long as you live?

Pig Squeal: OK, OK, I know you’re serious....

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Shortform Exercise: Develop Your Food Plan

Create a Food Plan that works for you.


What are your Never foods or behaviors? These are things you never, ever want to do again, for the rest of your life.

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Never Binge Again Summary Never Binge Again Guide Weigh Yourself Everyday

Weighing yourself everyday gives you continuous feedback on how you’re doing. It allows you to make fast corrections before you spend weeks going off track.

Think about how you drive. Do you open your eyes for a second, adjust the wheel, then close your eyes for 5 seconds hoping for the best? Obviously not. You make tiny corrections in fractions of a second.

Weighing yourself is the same. Ideally, weigh yourself at the beginning of every day, so you can adjust your eating plan for the rest of the day.

Any decision NOT to weigh yourself is the Pig convincing you not to because you’ll feel bad. But without knowing you’re going off course, it’ll be much easier to Binge.

_Pig...

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Never Binge Again Summary Never Binge Again Guide Perfection and Making Mistakes

Here’s the attitude to adopt: You will NEVER binge again. Remove the possibility of failure from your mind. Do not think, “I’ll try”—think “I will.” This is the only attitude that succeeds with impulse control.

Stick to the food plan to perfection. Don’t give yourself 90% leeway—multiplied over days, this exponentially decreases the effectiveness until you’re back to 0. Just like a drop of sewage ruins a bottle of champagne, don’t eat even one spoonful off your food plan. This counts as binging. The only way to maintain 100% is to stay at 100% every day.

Consider marriage vows. Does anyone say, “There’s a 90% chance I’ll stay committed to you, but there are a lot of attractive people out there, so no guarantees!” No—the only good commitment is a 100% commitment.

Making Mistakes

But—if you fail, don’t be ashamed. Forgive yourself.

Treat yourself like a child who’s genuinely trying to accomplish something important. If your 5 year old daughter wants to learn to ride a bike but falls off, would you say, “OK, this is a sign that it’ll never work. You should never even try again, it’s just hopeless.“

Don’t make yourself feel weak for making a mistake. It takes...

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Never Binge Again Summary Never Binge Again Guide More Pig Squeals

More Pig Squeals

The Pig complains a lot to get you to binge again. It provokes thoughts, feelings, or impulses to revert to your bad habits.

Since you’ve committed NEVER to binge again, any squeal must be coming from the Pig.

Hard squeals to recognize, and how to deal with them:

Just a Little Bit Pig Squeals

  • You’re getting really good at this, so I can’t do much harm anymore. Let me out so we can binge safely just a little, then lock me up whenever you feel like it.
  • You’ve been doing so well for a month! You deserve a binge!
  • You can binge once out of every ten meals. It won’t kill you! It’ll make it so much easier!
  • Just this one last time...please?! We’ll start again tomorrow!

Response:

  • Give the Pig an inch and it will take a mile, and you know it. Binging even once makes it so much easier to fall downhill all the way back to where you started.
  • You need to aim for 100% perfection on your food plan at all times.
  • There is no need for Cheat days. This implies breaking the rules, and you don’t want to give yourself ANY lenience. If you must, make it a...

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Never Binge Again Summary Never Binge Again Guide Troubleshooting

Finally, Never Binge Again addresses a number of common setbacks that weaken your resolve and make you listen to the Pig.

Dealing with Cravings

Once you set your Food Plan, your response to cravings is simple:

  1. Remember that consuming any Pig Slop is a Binge.
  2. Remember that all thoughts that want you to Binge are Pig Squeals. You don’t have the cravings, your Pig does. ALL cravings are Pig Squeal. Every craving is nothing more than a desire for Pig Slop.
  3. Repeat to yourself: “I will never eat Pig Slop again! I will remain 100% committed to my Food Plan until my dying breath.

Eat according to your Food Plan, and your cravings will subside.

Your only job is to kill the craving. It is NOT to get high on what you crave. You only want to eliminate the craving to get on with your day—your Pig wants to get high with food.

Killing a craving is like pouring water on a fire in your backyard so you don’t burn down the house. Getting high with food is like throwing gasoline on the fire and inhaling the fumes.

Also consider contentment vs mania. Contentment is a gentle state of mind that is repeatable, sustainable, and responsible. Mania is unstable—it’s a temporary...

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Shortform Exercise: Never Binge Again

Commit to your decision not to binge again.


What tips struck you as the most helpful?

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Table of Contents

  • 1-Page Summary
  • Introducing the Pig
  • Exercise: Recognize Your Pig
  • Create a Food Plan
  • Exercise: Develop Your Food Plan
  • Weigh Yourself Everyday
  • Perfection and Making Mistakes
  • More Pig Squeals
  • Troubleshooting
  • Exercise: Never Binge Again