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Interviewee Bio :

Biography and Resume

Bitten (Britt-Mari) Jonsson
DOB November 28, 1952
Address below.
+ 46 70-643 73 73 Cell
bitten.jonsson@bittensaddiction.com
www.bittensaddiction.com
Facebook: BittensWay
Twitter: Bittenjonsson
LinkedIn: Bitten Jonsson

Bitten Jonsson, R.N., Addiction Specialist, SUGAR/ADDIS-Certified, is a forerunner in this field in Sweden, an international lecturer, and has frequently been seen on TV and Radio in Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Bitten is trained in the USA and has developed a special treatment method, involving Integrated Functional Medicine and Orthomolecular Medicine together with American Addiction Medicine, Twelve-step based programs, and Traditional Medicine. Bitten has written 3 books about sugar addiction: “Sockerbomben I din hjärna ” (The Sugar bomb in your brain ) her first book, was published in 2004 and revised in 2010 and 2016. The Sugar-Free Cookbook, published in 2006, and updated in 2018. The books have all been very well received and one version is also published in Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Germany. She has also further developed SUGAR , the evaluation instrument for sugar/food addiction. Bitten Jonsson was a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) in the USA and NAADAC, USA ( www.naadac.org) for many years, and has been on the Board of Directors of the Food Addiction Institute (FAI), USA www.foodaddictioninstitute.org, since 2010.

2007 – to date
CEO at Bittens Addiction Corp. Developing new methods for teaching, lecturing, and coaching professionals, tutoring, and treating addiction, especially sugar/flour/food addiction.

The hands-on developer of policies and procedures for sugar addiction treatment and professional training.

Board of Director role, in charge of working to influence WHO’s group for developing ICD 10 (11), (International Classification of Diseases) to include food addiction as a diagnosis, Bitten is working alongside a team in the USA, within the FAI, that works on achieving the same for DSM5.

Developed SUGAR®, a mapping instrument based on ADDIS to evaluate if a client has a pathological use of sugar/flour/food, together with Dahl & Dahl. Reference: Börje Dahl Ph + 46 70 600 84 96 , www.addis.se

On the expert panel for Diet Doctor www.dietdoctor.com answering questions about sugar addiction since 2013.
Reference: Dr Andreas Eenfeldt ph. +46 70 973 39 50

A faculty member of INFACT, Iceland. Reference: Esther Helga Gudmundsdottir, Ph + 354 699 2676

Developing guidelines for sugar addiction treatment, teaching a one-year training for professionals since 2012. Reference: Dr. Jen Unwin.

Managing several groups on Facebook, two support groups for sugar addicts, and two for professionals in order to spread the message.

Started a program for further training for sugar addiction professionals. 2019

2008 – 2010 Responsible for developing and teaching a new curriculum for Addiction
Counsellors at Forsa College, Hudiksvall, Consulting.
Reference; Annica Strandberg-Schmidt ph +46 73 052 70 67

2006-2007 Participating in a Research program “ Neurological Background of Eating Disorders with special regards to Sugar Addiction. Jarmila Hallman (prof. of Psychiatry) and Lars Oreland (prof. of Pharmacology at Uppsala University, in cooperation with Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson (prof.in Physiol. Chem.) University of Lund, Sweden.
Reference: Jarmila Hallman MD, Ph.D., Professor, P +46 18-611 5205
On the board for the Nurses Association for Private Care, VIAM, for 4 years.
2005- During 2004-05 a member of The Nurses Association as an expert in Addiction Treatment, in order to write a new policy. Published in 2005.
2005- RN Addiction Specialist, Halsans Rus, Consulting.

1999 -2005 CEO/ Founder of Bitten Jonsson Center Corp., Treatment facility in Hudiksvall.
Registered with the National Board of Health and Welfare.

1993- Trained by Terence T. Gorski, CEO Cenaps Corp, USA in the USA. Relapse prevention, relapse treatment. Developed a unique relapse program for sugar addiction from his training modules. Reference: Tresa Watson, tresa@cenaps.com

1995-99 Started Hälsans Rus, open clinic in Addiction Treatment
1995 Started Friskhuset in Hudiksvall. An Integrated Functional Clinic. Chairman of the Board from March 2006.
Reference: Eva Bovin.Founder P +46 70 840 09 95

1990-95 Certified in ADDIS, www.addis.se diagnostic tool. Reference: Börje Dahl, www.dahlanddahl.se

1990-96 Executive Director at Provita Noor. 30-bed facility in Uppsala.
1990-97 Developmental Director at Provita Inc.
1990-98 Training at the Lutheran General Hospital and with Terence Gorski in Chicago

1990-1995 Responsible for developing and training staff for an addiction clinic at Hudiksvall Hospital.
Teaching Criminal Justice staff and developing a Drugfree Jail in Hudiksvall.
1987 Shasta options, Opencare alcohol and drug treatment in Redding, Calif.

1986-87 Student at Shasta College, Redding California.

1984-85 ”Department Head Nurse” at Trinity General Hospital i Weaverville, California.

1985 Capistrano by The Sea, California USA September, treatment for alcoholism.

1982–88 Registered Nurse in California, USA.

1978-82 Clinical Supervisor, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm

More references upon request.

Näsviken October 28th, 2020

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Transcript:

Carole Freeman:

Hey, welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat. I am your host, Carole Freeman, a board-certified keto nutrition specialist. You guys, I’m so excited today for my guest. I discovered her, I’d never heard of her before, I was listening to a podcast, Dr. Tro’s podcast, and she was talking about a topic that I love so much, and it’s so integral into being successful if you’re going to follow any kind of a dietary change long-term. And so please help me welcome Bitten Jonsson, all the way from the middle of Sweden. She’s a registered nurse, addiction specialist, SUGAR/ADDIS certified, is a forerunner in this field in Sweden, international lecturer and has frequently been seen on TV and radio in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Carole Freeman:

Bitten is trained in the USA and has developed a special treatment method involving integrated functional medicine and orthomolecular medicine together with American addiction medicine, 12-step based programs and traditional medicine. She’s written three books about sugar addiction, The Sugar Bomb in your Brain was her first book, and the Sugar Free Cookbook in 2006 and updated in 2018. And so please welcome, everybody clap for, Bitten Jonsson.

Bitten Jonsson:

Thank you, Carole. I’m very happy to spend some time with you. I have studied your website.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, wonderful.

Bitten Jonsson:

A huge interest with your journey. Wow. So happy to see you so healthy.

Carole Freeman:

Me too.

Bitten Jonsson:

After what happened to you, that’s amazing.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah, me too.

Bitten Jonsson:

You’ve done a lot of hard work. I know what it takes to really heal like that. It’s not something you do sitting in a chair and doing nothing.

Carole Freeman:

Yes, yes it was a lot of-

Bitten Jonsson:

Action. It’s action.

Carole Freeman:

It was a lot of Googling and searching and pleading with people to help. So yes. Thank you so much.

Bitten Jonsson:

And eating and moving and all kinds of things.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Yeah.

Bitten Jonsson:

I know.

Carole Freeman:

So take me back to the beginning. How did you get interested in this topic of addiction and sugar addiction? And tell me your path.

Bitten Jonsson:

Well, that’s a long one, but I’m going to be short. I started stealing sugar cubes when I was four. That’s how it started. I was a very happy-go-lucky kid. I grew up in a big family in the country, ate really good food, but absolutely loved sugar. My favorite drug was chocolate and ice cream all the time. I could die for that.

Bitten Jonsson:

So anyway, as a teenager, we started dieting, which is deadly dangerous to do. I mean, talk about gaining weight. So we started all kinds of crazy diets. And then starting nursing school, I always wanted to be a nurse when I was young, or a veterinarian, or a astronomer. Astronomer, not astrology. Astronomer or a pilot, all kinds of stuff. But anyway, I ended up being a nurse, started drinking, smoking in nursing school, just to lose weight, to curb appetite. That’s why it started. Nothing else. And then drinking. So when I was 19 was my first time tasting alcohol and I loved it, loved it, loved it.

Bitten Jonsson:

So let’s speed forward, and I’m an alcoholic, working as a nurse in US, married to an American, and totally trying to hide it, as we do, feeling of shame and all that. But my husband, he was a really nice guy. I owe him this forever. He slammed me into a treatment center in California in 1985. So that’s when I got sober, in September ’85. And I was shocked, totally shocked that alcoholism was a brain illness and that it had to do with reward center and dopamine and neurotransmitters.

Bitten Jonsson:

In Sweden, it was a psychosocial, blah, blah, blah, you drank because you were lonely or didn’t have a job or blah, blah, blah, there was a cost to it. And they said to me, “It’s a primary illness,” and I was freaking out. But at that point, I started to study addiction medicine, neuroscience, and I’ve been in love with that topic for ever since.

Bitten Jonsson:

So that’s what I do. I teach addiction. I don’t treat clients, I teach them. Because I mean, if you teach somebody what addiction is all about you take away the stigma. You understand that you didn’t cause this, you’re not a weak, bad person. You have a brain in there. And you know what I like to say? People say that, “Well, is it genetic? Is there something wrong in my brain?” I tell them, “No, it’s the opposite. You have a very sensitive brain. I’m thinking a space nerd, nobody would ever think that the telescope out in space that can see galaxies, that’s a very sensitive instrument, right? Would anyone think that’s bad? That sensitivity. So that’s what I mean.

Bitten Jonsson:

And that sensitivity is like having this Ferrari or this space telescope and not knowing what to do with it. So that’s what I mean, addiction is an illness that you need to understand on a very deep level. That’s what you can get out of it. So I got sober, then, but at that time, 1985, I must say, I knew nothing about nutrition. But I don’t feel ashamed because nobody taught me. It was not in nursing school. Nobody knew anything about nutrition.

Bitten Jonsson:

So we ate whatever we wanted. One day I could eat bacon because I liked salt, the other day I could eat only chocolate, and then I smoked and drank a lot of coffee, but I didn’t drink. So I was okay, right? Then I was listening to an American that’s an expert on relapse prevention and I was doing that in my line of working with alcoholics, drug addicts, and so forth, so I should help the clients, right? And he told me that, “If you keep drinking a lot of coffee, eating bad food, smoking, you have a high risk of relapsing in alcohol and drug addiction.”

Bitten Jonsson:

I said, “What? How come? How is that going together?” That’s how little I knew in 1992, [inaudible 00:06:44] sensitive brain. But that made me wake up. So of course I went home from that lecture, quit smoking, cut down on coffee and I thought, “Well, I don’t have to do anything about my food because I don’t like McDonald’s.” To me, junk food was only McDonald’s. It was not chocolate, ice cream, you know.

Bitten Jonsson:

Anyway, that ended up with me gaining a lot of weight, and I think most of all, I know now, I didn’t know then, was the volatile blood sugar you get from [inaudible 00:07:17] you know. So my energy level was either on top speed or crashing bottom, and my mood swings was the same. Either I was really hunky-dory or I was very upset, very tired, very cranky. So it was up and down, and I wanted to sleep all the time. I almost drove myself into a car crash because I almost fell asleep twice in front of the wheel, even though I slept 14 hours a night.

Bitten Jonsson:

The tiredness, the moodiness, those were much worse than the weight gain. So anyway, I had the incredible fortune to work with an American woman at that time. Here in Sweden. I moved back to Sweden by then. So she was training in addiction medicine and how to do addiction treatment. So I said to her, “But Joan, how in the whole world is it that I can quit alcohol, quit smoking, cut down on coffee, but I can’t quit chocolate and ice cream? Because I tried, I promise you, I tried for nine months to really stop that, but I couldn’t.”

Bitten Jonsson:

She looked at me and she said, “Well, you might be a food addict.” And I got freaked out. “Food addict? You can’t be a food addict.” I said, “I never, never binge on boiled cod or cucumbers or anything in that way.” Because at that time, 1993, we didn’t know about sugar, flour and processed food. We didn’t understand that connection. So we had a horrible food plan in the beginning, you know? We thought we took away sugar, but we didn’t. We had grains and we had low fat and all kinds of things. So it was really hard to stay drug free, as I call it.

Bitten Jonsson:

But you know, I kept fighting. I kept learning more and more, and started to learn about nutrition. And then diet doctor Andreas Eenfeldt, and Annika Dahlqvist, another doctor, came along in 2005 and talked about low carb. And I had been sniffing around at Atkins, but I didn’t have the knowledge. I didn’t really understand why it was to work.

Bitten Jonsson:

So anyway, we started with low carb. That’s how it started in 2005. And we saw a remarkable difference in craving, less craving in clients. We started seeing they started to heal much better and it was easier to stick to that food plan, and so forth. By that time I’d been running a treatment center in Sweden for five years, and we saw results. But it was very hard to run a treatment center because the National Board of Health didn’t accept the diagnosis sugar addiction. So we had a hard time getting clients. Or I shouldn’t say that. We had a tremendous amount of clients wanted to come to us, but we couldn’t get paid by the national health system. So that was sad.

Bitten Jonsson:

But really, 1994, I started my food group, support group, and ’96 I started what I call my four-day intensive or one-week intensive, where people came and I taught them what addiction was and how to eat, and relapse prevention, and blah, blah, blah. So I’ve been working with thousands of clients with sugar addiction. And as being a nurse I know how important it is that you don’t guess what kind of problem a client has. If you step into my door and I think, “Well, I guess you have a problem with your knee,” or, “I guess,” you know, “I guess,” no, no. You want to know what’s going on.

Bitten Jonsson:

I knew that there were diagnostic tools for alcohol and drug use by that time. Many by the American called Norman Hoffman, called SUDs in the US, and that was brought to Sweden, and that’s what ADDIS is. ADDIS is Alcohol and Drug Diagnostic Instrument. We already

had that based on the international diagnostic criteria for addiction, which is ICD-10, or 11 now, and DSM-5. So I thought, “Well, why not do it for food? For sugar, flour, processed food?” So I did. I started to work on that quite some years ago. Started teaching people 2013, I think.

Bitten Jonsson:

So today, we have that tool where we can really assess somebody. Today, we can know if you have a harmful use or if you have an addiction, or eating disorder, or addiction. Because I think you know that if somebody had an eating disorder, what they try to teach you is to eat in moderation. And to tell an addict to eat in moderation, that’s the white unicorn, as my colleague David Wolfe used to say. It’s a myth. You can’t do it.

Carole Freeman:

It’s so true. That’s what they taught me in school, was-

Bitten Jonsson:

I know, I know.

Carole Freeman:

… if you restrict any food choices, that’s what makes people obsess about it. So you need to help them moderate their intake. And that works really well for people that don’t have that biochemistry of being [crosstalk 00:12:45]

Bitten Jonsson:

Yeah. People with harmful use.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah.

Bitten Jonsson:

People who harmful use can do that.

Carole Freeman:

We have a viewer here that’s got a question. So, Umay says, “I’m 21, not overweight.”

Bitten Jonsson:

Yeah. Hi, Umay. Not overweight. Oh, I used to say that sugar addiction comes in many shapes. People can be really, really emaciated, really skinny, and normal weight, and overweight. So it does not have with weight to do, because it’s a problem in your brain. One thing we see with people that are underweight or normal weight that they have visceral fat. They can have a lot of fat around inner organs, which is very dangerous too. So I mean, it’s not less dangerous. And you know how people say to somebody, “Oh, you can eat anything, you’re so skinny.”

Carole Freeman:

Yes.

Bitten Jonsson:

Another thing we know today, the problem is that you and I, Carole, we could eat one apple each, the same big apple or a smaller apple, exactly. And then we would measure our insulin, not our blood sugar, insulin, and if we do that, we could see that one of us could have 10 times more insulin response than the other one. From the same food. So we are also biochemically unique. So you know, one way to know if you are not overweight, but think you have a problem with sugar, you risk other health illnesses. Other consequences, you know? You could be depressed. You could get volatile blood sugar. You could be insulin-resistant. You can get all of the consequences but not being overweight. So that’s why it’s important to know if you’re addicted.

Carole Freeman:

What would you recommend for this person, then? I could point out a couple of bad symptoms or effects that they have that they don’t realize that they have, but the person is saying that everything’s normal, it’s fine. What would you advise this person? Not advice, because you can’t give advice here, but what would you suggest for somebody that feels like, “I’m not overweight so how can it be bad for me?”

Bitten Jonsson:

Yeah. Right. Well I would first of all go to my website bittensaddiction.com and take the screening instrument that’s on there. Six simple questions called UNCOPE. And if you have two or more yes, you do have a problem. But it will not measure the severity. So if you think that you want to look further into if it might be a problem, because you might not feel consequences now, but later on in life you can have very bad consequences. And that’s something we see with sugar. It doesn’t kill you right away. It takes a long time to really destroy your body.

Bitten Jonsson:

So that’s important to know, because our body’s not made to eat sugar, sweeteners, flours, processed food. Our body should eat biologically-appropriate food. And I used to joke and say, when people say, “What should I eat? What should I eat?” “Eat only things that have one ingredients.” You know? In a piece of meat it’s only meat. Fish, fish. Egg, egg. That type of thing. In a veggie, just a veggie. Then you’re on the safe side.

Bitten Jonsson:

But then of course, you need a coach or somebody to help you make a food plan and to develop the fuel mix, which is what I like to say. The fuel mix. The combination of protein, fat and veggies.

Carole Freeman:

Nice. Well, and then I’ll just add, too, that while Umay, do you know how to pronounce that? Okay. That while she’s saying there’s no bad effects or symptoms, but the fact that

she’s identifying as a sugar addict means that she is having the symptom of constant craving and obsession, and probably spends a lot of time every single day trying to obtain more sugar and making sure she gets enough sugar. So there is a negative effect or symptom that people have, even if they aren’t noticing any physical-

Bitten Jonsson:

And also, the body wants to have homeostasis. So the body tries to compensate. And you 21, a young person’s body and brain can balance this hassle for quite some time. But when the consequences come, they come big time. Then you’re suddenly into the depression, no energy, you might start to gain weight. Everything is going to play out very bad for you.

Carole Freeman:

And probably headaches, and people [crosstalk 00:17:37] in my brain.

Bitten Jonsson:

Yes, yes. Tired, mood swings, you name it. Yes.

Carole Freeman:

All right. All right, so there’s your website. People can go there for a quiz. Well, continue on. So I would love, next, if you’d just explain… So you mentioned that alcoholism, sugar addiction, food addiction, is a brain illness.

Bitten Jonsson:

Yes.

Carole Freeman:

For those of you watching who want a bit of information, explain that, right? Because like you said, most people think it’s somebody’s sad or they’re lonely, or they just need to have better coping skills with life to not care about alcohol or sugar or anything like that. Can you share a little bit more about-

Bitten Jonsson:

That’s the explanation people have to keep drinking, using, eating. But you know, the problem is that when we start doing this really deep, deep questionnaire, the sugar assessment, we see that the first symptoms of addiction usually come around age four to five. I used to say it’s simple. Don’t put the wagon in front of the horse. Basically you see it when you hear people, that what they thought was depression was low energy due to the sugar. So when they get on the right fuel it makes the energy come back, and there is no depression. All kinds of consequences they have will disappear on the right food plan. So the food caused the addiction.

Bitten Jonsson:

And then, sugar is the gateway drug. Sugar rebuilds the reward center, and you increase the tolerance, and you increase the tolerance. That’s the way the brain and the body works. So you need much more, after a while, to get the same kick, effect, or numb, whatever

feeling you want to obtain from it. And that’s another interesting thing when you study neuroscience. If you ask people, “What do you want the food or the drug to do for you?” And some people will say, like I used to say, I wanted chocolate and ice cream to make me alert. I want to be speeded. Woo hoo. I wanted alcohol to make me speeded.

Bitten Jonsson:

But actually, it’s not speed. Alcohol is a sedative. So my body and my brain reacted with speed on that drug. Do you see what I mean? Other people want to be calm, relaxed, and they use alcohol. Same drug, two different effects. That’s another interesting thing you need to know about neuroscience, neurotransmitter and the reward center, that it can react in different ways. But what I’ve found is that people who like flour, the bread, pasta, all that, they like to be tired, slow down, calm. They like the calmness. And people that go for pure sugar, they want the speed. And I was that way.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah. That’s interesting. I never thought about that. That’s really…

Bitten Jonsson:

Look at that. Start looking at that. At least in the beginning. Once your reward center have upregulated and downregulated the neurotransmitters, you usually use both because you’re tired from one drug, so you need to speed with another one, and then you feel stressed by the one you speeded with so you need to take another one to calm down. So this all starts in the reward center, in those pathways with dopamine and all kinds of neurotransmitters. So it’s the reward center where this process starts.

Bitten Jonsson:

Then, of course, it also affects our reptilian brain because that’s the survival brain. And if you think about it, the instinct to eat comes from the reptilian brain. It’s more like an instinct. It’s not a conscious thought up in the neocortex. So people think that they are very conscious and that they make a decision themselves, and I say, no, no. You’re run by a monster in your brain that is driving you, and that’s why you have loss of control, because you say, “Okay, I don’t want to gain weight,” but you keep eating. So you do the opposite. So you have lost control. And that’s actually what addiction is all about. The losing of the control.

Bitten Jonsson:

So actually, your brain have different parts. If you think about your brain, the most primitive part is the reptilian brain, and then you have the reward center. They are both very geared into survival. Survival. So they are ready-wired when you’re born. But then anything you do, eat, and that’s something that is very fascinating too, people don’t understand what kind of building parts they need for their brain. I tell you, you can’t go to the hardware store to buy stuff for your brain. It’s food, and it is keto food. That’s exactly what it is all about, okay? That’s how you heal.

Bitten Jonsson:

So when we talk about biochemical repair, the most important thing is the food, the food, the food. I mean, it comes to one to 10 is the food, and then you can add, I like to talk about breathing, I like to talk about sleep, I like to talk about physical activity, and then you can also use supplements. But there is no quick fix, and you know that. I saw that on your story.

Bitten Jonsson:

But anyway, other parts of the brain is the prefrontal cortex where your personality is, where you make logical reasoning, and you have the limbic system with all your feelings, and you have the neocortex with all the higher functions. They all cooperate all the time. But when a drug hijacks your reward center, and your reptilian brain, you become a little red dog monster, is what we call it, the red dog, you know? That is in there craving, making you do things you don’t want to do.

Bitten Jonsson:

When the activity is, as I say to my clients, it’s like you have this beautiful mansion with all the rooms. There is wiring for electricity drawn to all the rooms, but if you pump the big chandelier in the hallway, there’s not enough electricity to go to your limbic system, your neocortex, and your prefrontal cortex. You see what I mean? So your light starts to dwindle. You become drug-oriented. Your life is about eating the drug, the food drug, trying to recuperate from eating the food drug, feeling miserable that you ate it, thinking about how you can avoid it, another diet or some quick fix, or whatever, and then you eat it again, even if you didn’t want to. So you are in a vicious circle where there is very little light going out to all those other functions, all the rooms in that beautiful mansion.

Bitten Jonsson:

So what we need to do is take away the drug. Start healing. Neurons that fire together wire together. And I call it brain bypass. All the pathways that you created in your drug life, you have to create new ones. That’s why you can’t think yourself into recovery. You can’t talk yourself into recovery. You cannot read yourself into recovery, but you can act. It’s action. You need to get your butt off the chair and do things. It’s action. All about action.

Bitten Jonsson:

And then, my clients say to me, “No, I don’t want to do that, because it’s boring.” And I say, “I don’t care, do it anyway. Do it anyway.” Because you know, once you start doing little baby steps, and doing it and doing it, it’s going to be fun. You need a new pathway, then it’s going to be fun. So I mean, the brain, so many things that you could learn about the brain and the connections and how it works, and nourishment, and neurotransmitters and all of that. But that was more of a broad picture what’s going on. So the illness is in the reward center, but it fills the whole brain, and your stomach. Your body. Everything.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Well, and it speaks to-

Bitten Jonsson:

[inaudible 00:26:35] primary illness brain.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Well, it speaks so much to, you know, I’m mostly working with women because they’re very good dieters. They diet a lot, but they always say, “Well, that diet worked really well because I lost the weight, but something happened, I don’t know what happened and then I just fell off the wagon and I just started eating the way I ate before, and now I’ve gained the weight back.” So, it really is the food addiction part of the brain that’s never being addressed. That’s the part-

Bitten Jonsson:

You know what we call that? It’s addiction memory circuit, or euphoric recall. The thing is, it’s an irreversible thing in your reward center. Once an addict, always an addict. So that’s the problem that nobody teaches you about your addicted brain and teach you what to do and not to do. You can never have one bite. But nobody want to think that of their favorite food, their favorite drug. “What’s the meaning of life if I can’t eat chocolate?” And that kind of thing.

Bitten Jonsson:

So you need to be coached to grieve that, to find other things that are fun in life. And also I think one of the most important thing is never ever think forever. It’s only for today. It’s only for today. Everybody can think in the morning, “Only for today I’m going to stick to my food plan.” 24 hours. That’s it. Tomorrow you can make a new commitment. But don’t think about the rest of your life today.

Bitten Jonsson:

And also, you need to be aware that somebody need to teach you relapse prevention. What is a risk situation? How do you deal with a risk situation? What is warning signs? What is your warning signs? Your specific warning signs? I love to teach clients that, so they are aware of that. That here are my warning signs. And if you and I will hang together, and you were an addict, I’m sure that your risk situation wouldn’t be the same as mine.

Carole Freeman:

Right, right.

Bitten Jonsson:

I would have a different risk situation that I react to, and you would have different. So I need to deal with mine and you with yours. And also, the reason a support group is so important is that somebody’s always ahead of you. Okay? So let’s say that you were ahead of me and I will have a risk situation tomorrow. I call you and say, “Carole, tomorrow I’m going to do whatever, this and that, and that’s a risk situation. I might get craving. I don’t know. How’s it going to work? It might be a lot of food there. I don’t want to see it.” And then I ask you, “Have you done that?” And you said, “Sure.” “What did you do? What did you do?”

Bitten Jonsson:

You have a lot of people to call and ask them, “How did you do it?” “Well, I brought my food with me,” or, “I went out, ate in a different place,” or, “I took care of it.” And then there’s something else that is very important to understand. We have something called euphoric recall. So anything that happens to us, I mean, sad things, good things, fun things, our brain, that part of our reward center, can suddenly say, “Ooh, wouldn’t it be good with chocolate now?” “Oh, you’ve been so good today, Bitten, you could have some chocolate.” Because that is the physical euphoric recall. I didn’t cause it. My brain caused it. A part of my brain caused that.

Bitten Jonsson:

So, we need to learn how to deal with that, to tell that little red dog monster, as I call it, “Hey, calm down. You know what? Sure. That’s a good idea. But you know what? We’re not going to do it today.” That red dog is street smart but not intelligent. So I can say to it, “We’re not going to do it today.” So it goes in the basket and say, “Okay, I’ll wait till tomorrow.” If that happens tomorrow I say the same thing. “Well, okay, not today.”

Bitten Jonsson:

And then in a couple of days that craving is gone. You feel much better. You’re in balance again, and so forth. So it’s very important to learn, of all addictions out there, of all the outlets of addictions, I think that sugar addiction is the worst in the way of craving due to the fact that we are exposed to that drug very early in life. Baby babies. Very early. So the pathway is very strong for the particular addiction.

Bitten Jonsson:

Not only that, you tell me. Can you go anywhere in society today and not see the drug? So we are constant exposed to our drug. I mean, cocaine addict is not having cocaine at the gas station, grocery store, wherever they go, they are not and in little pots and filled with cocaine, you know?

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Right.

Bitten Jonsson:

It’s everywhere. Smell. And we are more sensitive to cue-induced cravings than other addicts. The smell of things. Bread, chocolate, whatever you have, food. So that hits our brain much harder. It causes craving. We need to be aware of that and we need to learn how to do craving management. We used to say, one bite is too much, and 1,000 is never enough. Does it make sense?

Carole Freeman:

Absolutely. Yeah. Let’s talk to the people out there right now that might be a little in denial, that, “Well, no, I just need something sweet to get rid of my cravings. That’s how I cope.” For the people I’m working with, I’m appealing to out there, following a keto diet that they feel like, “No, I need the keto desserts and the sweets and all this kind of stuff, because the cravings get too intense if I don’t have those things.” What would you say about that?

Bitten Jonsson:

I would say that first of all look over your food plan. Is the fuel mix wrong? Do you need to increase the fat or do you need to increase the protein or where do you need to increase something, you know? You need to be very aware of that. Are there other factors you need to look at? Salt, minerals, fluid? Are you drinking enough? Are you moving? How’s your sleep? I would just shoot a lot of questions at them first of them.

Bitten Jonsson:

And then, I would say that the absolutely most stupid thing you can do if you’re a sugar addict is to eat keto bread and keto desserts, because those are substitutes, and substitute will never work on an addict. So if you take one bite, you’re waking the monster up. If you have been a heroinist, you can’t take a little bit heroin on a Saturday. That’s going to start the illness all over. I mean, it’s going to just go downhill ever since.

Carole Freeman:

Well, yeah.

Bitten Jonsson:

You need to be aware. You need to accept that you’re an addict. You can cry and be mad at that, that life threw you that curve ball, but you know, if you accept it you need to act in that manner. You need to learn about it. Lots of knowledge. You need to hang with other addicts, you know? “How did you do it?” And then you have to share. You have to share your problems so that people can mirror you and tell you what to do. Not by saying, “You do this,” by saying, “This is how I did this when that happened. Try that, try that, try that.”

Carole Freeman:

Yes, yeah. And I advise my clients that the brain can’t tell the difference between the keto version and the real version, right? When it sees a keto pizza, it thinks a pizza, it doesn’t know-

Bitten Jonsson:

Of course.

Carole Freeman:

… “That’s a keto version. That’s not the same.”

Bitten Jonsson:

No, no, no. No, no, no. No, no. And also, we have to understand that people of different trigger foods, some people trigger on seeing pizza. I was never a flour addict. Bread, pizza, pasta, not interesting. Chocolate, ice cream. Chocolate, ice cream. That was my drug. So of course I don’t eat the keto substitute, but that wouldn’t trigger me, as something chocolatey, ice creamy. That would trigger me. So I stay away from that, you know? And I wouldn’t try that substitute, because I know how dangerous it would be for me. It would wake up the monster, and I don’t want to have that monster waking up because it steals energy from me. I want to live life to the fullest.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s the truth, the freedom. Instead of coping with cravings by feeding them, you actually get rid of them, or reduce them, minimize them, so that you do have the freedom that you’re no longer obsessed and compulsively eating.

Bitten Jonsson:

Yeah. Well, if you go on a craving and eat something for the craving, it’s going to increase, I promise you.

Carole Freeman:

Yep. Yes, yes, yes. So true. So what are some basic steps of moving towards addiction recovery? What do you recommend with your clients?

Bitten Jonsson:

Yeah. If you have a hard time accepting that you might have the illness and you’re in and out of diets, and you’re always crashing and getting back up, and you’re tired of being sick and tired, I would certainly advise you to go to my website. There is a PDF with trained professionals, and look for one that you contact to do a sugar assessment. That is an in-depth assessment, I promise you. It is two to three hours really working with a professional to get your whole life laid in front of you in chronological order. And that will help you to see how this has affected you, and also give you a lot of tools in what you need to do next.

Bitten Jonsson:

Because, I mean, if we look at the steps, it’s easy. You need to detox. There’s no other way around it. Oh, you did the Swedish version.

Carole Freeman:

Well, the website, well, you can pick translate-

Bitten Jonsson:

Oh, yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Carole Freeman:

… into English, but the URL still is in-

Bitten Jonsson:

Oh, okay. Good. Good.

Carole Freeman:

Let’s see, up here we can do… Yeah. People can’t click on it from here, so I’ll just leave it as.. We’ll put back up… Here, that’s easier for people to copy down.

Bitten Jonsson:

Yeah. Okay. And then they go to For Patients, and Help, Getting Help. And then you have a PDF there. And then you need help to detox. I have been doing this for 27 years and thousands of clients. I think that cold turkey is the best, but you need to know what you do between the meals. Then it is, in the beginning, three meals it is. It is glutamine powder and coconut oil between meals as curbing cravings. Salt shots. I mean, there are tricks you can do to ease that period.

Bitten Jonsson:

And what keto world call keto flu we call withdrawal. So that’s exactly the same symptoms, right? And there are ways to work on that. You can’t take it all away and be hunky-dory in two days, I promise you. But after three weeks you will have a different level of energy, outlook on life. You will feel much better. The first three weeks might be the toughest. And you need a lot of support. I would advise you to ask a professional for help. They have done this so many times. They know exactly what to do and what kind of tools you need.

Bitten Jonsson:

And then, one of my favorite, favorite de-stressing tools is… I’m going to try something on you. Can I do it just on you, Carole?

Carole Freeman:

Sure.

Bitten Jonsson:

To show what this is all about, what I mean. Short. You look straight forward. Don’t move your head. Don’t move your head, only your eyes. And okay, start. Look up. Look down. Look to your right. Look to your left. Look up. Look down. Look to your left. Look to your right. And look up. And look down. How many good breaths did you take?

Carole Freeman:

I noticed at least one but I wasn’t focused on the breathing.

Bitten Jonsson:

This is a very good test to do, because most people say, “None.”

Carole Freeman:

Oh.

Bitten Jonsson:

Because they forget to breathe because they were so focused on doing what I told them, so they hold their breath. And this is something we do many, many times during the day. This is called stress apnea. And you open your computer, and 30 mails come bouncing in, boom. Telephone goes high wired. Kids are screaming. Noise at the office. I mean, there are so many stressful things in your life. You’re rushing around. You hold your breath, and that is very, very bad for your body. That increases craving tremendously and it puts the body on hold.

Bitten Jonsson:

There is a lot to read about this on the site consciousbreathing.com. So I learned about this many years ago, and I tape my mouth every night because many of us snore a little bit, or sleep with open mouth. And nose breathing is the natural way to breathe, and it’s the healthiest way. And also that is very good to think about now when we have the COVID, that you breathe through your nose. If your nose is stuffed, it is because you’re mouth breathing too much. So you can read a lot on the site consciousbreathing.

Bitten Jonsson:

So first the food, and then the breathing. There is something called the sleep tape, or you can take surgical tape from the pharmacy, and tape. I kiss my dog goodnight and then I tape. And if I fall asleep not taping I’m much more tired the day before. And more tired is the biggest warning signal that wants us to start eating, right?

Bitten Jonsson:

And then I use my favorite tool, the Relaxator. It’s breathing resistant. There’s a membrane in here. So if I were stressed, or when I drive the car, or when I’m in front of the computer, when I watch TV, I train my diaphragm with this. I get a much better breathing and a much better oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in my body, which increases fat metabolism and curbs craving. There is a book written about this, about the science behind breathing, this exercise and the nose breathing and the taping. So that’s another thing I do. I love my little pacifier.

Bitten Jonsson:

Okay. So I use that. You can use it 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at night and whenever you want during the day. Out walking or whatever. Forget about people looking at you. They’re just jealous.

Carole Freeman:

Well, if you put it under your mask, these days, nobody will even see it.

Bitten Jonsson:

That’s right. That’s right. Exactly or a visor. Okay. Yeah. But anyway, so food, one, breathing, two, sleep. How to sleep, and get your sleep hygiene as I call it in Swedish, I don’t know if you have a word in English, about to work on your sleep, to improve your sleep, is incredibly important. Your body needs rest. It needs to recalibrate. It needs to resynchronize everything in your brain and your body. It’s very important to get your sleep in.

Bitten Jonsson:

Everything you do start with baby steps. Tweak it a little bit. Baby, baby steps. Very important. And of course, physical activity. I say to somebody that is very overweight, the word exercise makes them puke, “I understand that. The reason is because your body doesn’t have any energy on a cellular level. You’re tired to your bone because of this eating.” So I tell them, “Forget about exercise.” And they look at me, “Oh, you mean I don’t

have to exercise?” “Well,” I tell them, “You can’t exercise away any obesity or overweight anyway. You need to do that with the food. But for one thing, if you had a car where the fuel tank were broken, would you try to run it?” And they say, “No.”

Bitten Jonsson:

So we need to fix the fuel mix. And this I can really see in clients. When you’ve worked on the food for three weeks, they start feeling energy and wanting to move. So if all they are do the first days of this is take a walk around your living room, do that. And then do the living room, the bathroom and the kitchen. What I’m trying to say is, start slow and increase. Don’t feel that, “Oh, my God, tomorrow I’m going to start eating really good and I’m going to run and I’m going to go to the gym.” I mean, that’s how people do it and crash after four days. They are in bed and they think, “I never want to do that again.”

Bitten Jonsson:

So I want them to really do that, and have somebody supporting you, somebody that calls and said, “Carole, did you walk around the living room twice? I love it. You’re good.” That type of thing. And that makes people feel really good about themselves, and not have these high, high goals, because it doesn’t work when you’re an addict. Addicts can’t have big visions and big goals. They need to get through the next 24 hours, and then feel good.

Bitten Jonsson:

And then my favorite, favorite de-stress spiritual changer is the gratitude list. No matter how shitty your day was, excuse my French with that word, that’s a Swede, how bad it was, when you go to bed, think about or write down three things that you can be grateful for that day. Did you go outside on the porch and breathe air? Maybe that was your little exercise. Did you have good food that day? Were you kind to somebody? Was somebody kind to you? It can be anything. Did you really hug your pet for oxytocin? So important. Whatever. But it can be very small things. But I think if you do that for 90 days, you’re going to have a different outlook on life, I promise you. Do the gratitude list for 90 days and build on that.

Carole Freeman:

I love it. So based on what you’ve shared with me here today, I’m going to recap.

Bitten Jonsson:

Sure.

Carole Freeman:

There is four steps to sugar addiction recover, where number one is you need education. You need to understand that you are an addict, you need to come to terms with that, and you need to understand how that all happens in your brain. Number two is you need support, both from a trained professional, and group support, other people that have been through the process. Number three is you need to change your food. Cold turkey is best. Not only do you need to eliminate the addictive foods but you need to eat the right fuel mixture, and nourish your body and eat healthy, one-ingredient foods.

Carole Freeman:

Number four is the category of self-care, and you’ve covered a lot of those things. Stress management, relaxation, breathing, sleep hygiene, movement, even if it’s not to the degree of exercise, and also gratitude exercises too.

Bitten Jonsson:

Yes, yes, yes.

Carole Freeman:

That’s simple. It’s simple. There’s the process. There’s just four steps you have to do.

Bitten Jonsson:

It should be very simple, otherwise, you know, you won’t do it. And if you fall down after Day Three, get back up and talk to somebody about it. Nobody is doing this perfect ever. You can fall down a year later, and relapse is not failure. You are not a failure. It’s not something that you should stay stuck there, just because you fell down, you can’t get back up. Get help. Ask for help. Have somebody talk you through it and see, what could I have done different? Is there something I should take away that I’m doing? Is there something I should add? That’s all it is. It’s just a lecture. Relapse is lectures.

Carole Freeman:

Yes. Excellent. Well, in wrapping this up, is there anything else that you were hoping I would ask you about or that you want to share with people watching?

Bitten Jonsson:

Well, all I want to say is, if you sit out there and you feel this is your problem, please, please be in touch with us. We have been there, many of us. We have been there ourself. We know how to get out of the jungle. We guide you. We do that with love. Please contact us. We are many today that can help you.

Carole Freeman:

Yes. You’re not alone in this world of addictive substances at every turn. Yeah.

Bitten Jonsson:

No. Not at all.

Carole Freeman:

Well, excellent. Thank you so much. This has been such a pleasure. I’m sure that you and I could talk for three days straight and never run out of topics to cover, so I appreciate you taking the time.

Bitten Jonsson:

Yeah. I loved it.

Carole Freeman:

It’s a big one that’s really missing out there, right? Because we’ve got the diet specialists and the nutrition people, and the healthy food, and then we’ve got the psychology people, and there are so few of us that bring those together, and they’re essential if we’re going to solve this obesity, and chronic disease, and all those things that people are suffering from, from their missed diagnosis of sugar and food addiction too. So I believe that that’s really at the core of why we’re struggling with all these chronic diseases and overweight, it’s because we’re eating these foods that are addictive-

Bitten Jonsson:

Very.

Carole Freeman:

… and in denial that they are, and everyone else is telling us that we should be able to moderate the portion of it, and it must be something wrong with us that we can’t just eat less of that. So I really appreciate you being here and getting the word out.

Bitten Jonsson:

I appreciate you asking me. Thank you very much. It was wonderful to hang with you for a while and get to know more about you.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah.

Bitten Jonsson:

I read your website. I love that.

Carole Freeman:

Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much. We have a few people still watching, any last-minute questions for Bitten before we wrap this up? Pop them in now. Any questions about sugar addiction, food addiction, recovery from any of that. We’ll hang out for just one or two more minutes. There’s a little, tiny bit of a lag, so if they want to pop a question in there, we’ll do that real quick. So all right.

Bitten Jonsson:

Otherwise, email me.

Carole Freeman:

Yeah. I’ll put her website up here one more time, too. So all right, thank you all for watching. If you enjoyed this on the YouTube, give us a thumbs-up, subscribe, hit the bell for all the notifications too. Always working on bringing you the best of the best people to help you live a healthy keto lifestyle. So thank you again, Bitten, for being here-

Bitten Jonsson:

Thank you.

Carole Freeman:

… and we’ll see you later, everyone. Bye for now.

Bitten Jonsson:

Bye.

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