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INFACT

The INFACT International School for Food Addiction Counseling and Treatment, is the first and only training for sugar/food dependency counseling which meets qualifications for a Food Addiction Professional (FAP) certificate from the European Certification Board (ECB). 

Endorses the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) definition of addiction as a primary, chronic brain disease of reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.

Promotes strong ethics among our trainees. INFACT Students have access to State-of-the art online communication and technology • Live meetings with world-renowned faculty.

Supports abstinence from sugar and foods that trigger the pleasure centers of the brain.

Teaches screening, assessment and treatment programs; clinical guidelines for addiction counseling and treatment (specifically sugar and food as substance use disorders); various counseling techniques; abstinence-based food programs; co-dependency and family issues; trauma; relapse prevention and education; 12-step recovery; Food Addiction Counselors ethics and Food Addiction biology and brain chemistry.

Support from international experts in food addiction counseling, treatment and science.

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Do You Have A Client or Patient Who Is A Food Addict?

Are you frustrated by repeated attempts to help your client or patient develop healthy eating habits?  Have you tried everything you know to assist your patient in reaching a healthy weight?  If so, we can help.  The INFACT School has been training counselors and medical professionals for over two decades to treat those who are addicted to food.  True food addiction can be defined as, clinically significant physical and psychological dependence on high fat, high sugar, and highly palatable foods. This is not the same as binge eating or binge eating disorder though it shares some similarities.

Here are criteria that may indicate food addiction. At least three factors must be present to indicate food addiction.

  • Craving  – physical and/or psychological;
  • Failure to fulfill major role obligations – leaving infant or young child at home alone to go out and get food; having to quit job due to eating all day;
  • Social or interpersonal problems – stopped connections with friends/relatives;
  • Use in physically hazardous conditions – eating out of the trash or bingeing on spoiled or uncooked food.

When a person struggles with food addiction, there is significant impulsivity and compulsivity. For example, having difficulty thinking through long-term decisions; once focused on a thought, it becomes obsessive and intrusive and he or she can only think about food.

Treatment protocols for food addicts are different from those designed for eating disorders.  At the INFACT School, we have trained counselors and medical professionals for 5 years in 14 countries in therapeutic protocols to successfully treat food addicts.

How To Help Your Clients Or Patients Overcome Food Addiction

Our cutting-edge educational program includes proven therapeutic techniques designed to teach you how to help your clients or patents overcome their food addictions and live happy, productive lives.

We teach you how to get to the root of the issues behind their food addiction and focus on strategies to help you guide them in becoming addiction free. The goal is ultimately for them to be able to enjoy nonaddictive foods without feeling out of control.

The INFACT School’s program will provide you will insight into food addiction and the ability to pass this information onto your clients or patients.  Many of our alumni [insert link to alumni page] tell us that not only have they been able to help those clients or patients they once thought were beyond hope but that they, themselves, have experienced improved eating habits and behaviors.

Take the next step to help your clients and yourself live a brand new life [link to events page].

Is My Client/Patient A Food Addict??

For a very small percentage of the population, genetics and lifestyle factors may indicate something more akin to food addiction. True food addiction can be defined as, “clinically significant physical and psychological dependence on high fat, high sugar, and highly palatable foods.” This means addictive eating behavior. This is not the same as binge eating or binge eating disorder though it shares some similarities and may be a more extreme form of binge eating disorder.

Here are criteria that may indicate food addiction.

(At least three factors must be present to indicate food addiction.)

  • Craving(all food issues have this symptom);
  • Failure to fulfill major role obligations– leaving infant or young child at home alone to go out and seek food; having to quit job due to eating all day;
  • Social or interpersonal problems – isolating from friends and family members;
  • Use in physically hazardous conditions/inability to “cut back” – eating out of the trash, attempting repeatedly to follow diet after diet without weight loss.

When a person struggles with food addiction, there is significant impulsivity and compulsivity. For example, food addicts have difficulty thinking through long-term decisions; they focus on a thought until it becomes obsessive and intrusive and can only think about food.

Research on food addiction has also found that those meeting criteria for food addiction have significantly higher levels of body fat. In certain individuals with increased body fat and unique neurological and biological systems, the body fat actually works as a communicator to the brain and gut. In obesity, ghrelin (an appetite stimulating hormone) does not decrease with food intake. Typically, ghrelin decreases after eating, which lets the body know it’s eaten and is now satisfied.

Similarly, obese individuals have decreased leptin receptors and thus, chronically elevated leptin levels. Leptin is the satiety hormone. A lack of leptin sensitivity means it takes more food to feel satiated, which also increases cravings. This makes it extremely difficult to eat when hungry and stop when full as the body cues aren’t working properly.

It’s important to differentiate what your client/patient’s unique struggle is because if food addiction is truly a concern, specific, proven and effective treatment protocols must be put into place immediately.  The INFACT School’s instructors and guest speakers have a combined total of over 200 years of experience training counselors and medical professionals to treat those who are addicted to food.

Overcoming Food & Sugar Addiction

Our approach to food addiction counseling training is to teach you how to guide your client/patient in discovering the root of the issue, help balance what is out of balance, and focus on strategies to regain power and feel in charge. The goal is ultimately to be able to enjoy foods without feeling addicted or out of control.

In reality, there is not one cause for food addiction nor is there one solution. A combination of factors are more likely to help your client/patient overcome food addiction:

  • increasing pleasure
  • identifying physical, mental, and emotional triggers and underlying needs
  • coping with emotions
  • reducing and responding effectively to stress
  • mindfulness vs numbing or distracting
  • compassion vs judgment and fear
  • balanced eating behaviors vs restrict-binge
  • increasing confidence and trust in self
  • reducing black and white thinking
  • balancing hormones, blood sugar, and vitamin/nutrient deficiencies
  • learning to set healthy boundaries

At the heart of recovery is self-acceptance. That is, guiding your client/patient in truly knowing his or her worth, adequacy, deservedness, belonging and lovableness as a human being. Willingness is another key component. That is, the willingness to experience (and cope effectively with) painful feelings in service of a bigger life.
At the INFACT School, we will provide you with proven therapeutic techniques to guide your client/patient in living a happy, productive life free from the obsession with food.

Increasing Pleasure in “Food Addiction Recovery”

One of the most important factors to address in food addiction is that of pleasure. The reality is that highly processed foods are easy to overindulge in for anyone. Highly palatable foods increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, which is highly rewarding and pleasurable and perpetuates the cycle. This process can become compulsive when this is the only source of pleasure in one’s life. Further, as the behavior increases, the actual number of dopamine receptors in the brain may decrease, which can lead to more frequent seeking out highly rewarding foods.

Other activities such as socializing, playing games, exercising, sex, discovering new things, finishing tasks and accomplishing goals (yes, write down your tasks and check them off for a dopamine boost!), creativity, meditation, and listening to music also increase dopamine in the brain. When there is a deficit in naturally pleasurable activities, the balance gets tipped over to food. Food is comforting, accessible and quick.

Excessive stress, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, lack of sleep, vitamin and mineral deficiency and more, can all lead to dopamine depletion. To overcome food addiction, specific therapeutic protocols and techniques are needed.   Meaning, the most effective protection against food addiction is creating a recovery plan, working towards rewarding actions, activities, and ultimately, a lifestyle of fulfillment.

As you can imagine, issues such as anxiety, depression and trauma can make it difficult to pursue dopamine boosting activities. Thus, addressing these factors and healing from trauma in particular, is an essential component of recovery.

Contact us to start learning

The INFACT School’s instructors and guest speakers have a total of over 200 years of combined experience in training counselors and medical professionals to use state-of-the-art therapeutic protocols to guide those addicted to food in finding recovery.  Our instructors understand how frustrating, exhausting and shame-inducing the struggle with food can be. We also understand how frustrating it can be for those professionals trying to help food addicts.  With little accurate and reliable information and almost an absence of well-known treatment protocols, most counselors and medical professionals are left feeling ineffective and unable to help those who most need it.  With our help, you can learn not only to help food addicts find recovery but also gain experience in a cutting-edge field and work with clients/patients on a deeper and more effective level. You deserve nothing less! Contact us for more information about how we can help you to start making an even bigger difference in the lives of your clients/patients.


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