Strike a Spark

A recent post mentioned the importance of making specific plans. This is about a fundamental idea that carries into counseling practice, and that went into the making of the Brainweighve app:

You will learn to rechannel the overflow brain energy to non-harmful displacement behaviors.

Yes, but why, again? To what end? For starters, to drown out the “food noise.” It goes back to the concept of displacement. The goal is to move one thing out of the current behavior pattern, remove it and put something else in its former location. You want to grab “food noise” by the scruff of the neck and kick it out, and make sure there is no room for it anymore. It has lost its seat on this flight, another passenger is sitting there instead.

In “The Displacement Mechanism as a Basis for Eating Disorders,” Dr. Pretlow wrote:

Theoretically, the displacement mechanism functions by rechanneling overflow mental energy to another behavior, typically whatever behavior is most readily available at the time or is most commonly used in the animal’s repertoire…

As previously mentioned, as a type of animal, humans resemble other species in a major way. Food consumption is for us, like them, a “most readily available” behavior. When we feel life closing in on us, that mental energy revs up and we tend to grab the handiest displacement mechanism which, for a lot of people a lot of the time, is eating.

At this juncture, it is appropriate to ask oneself, “What are my most readily available, typical, commonly used behaviors?” And if it turns out they all are related to eating, then it’s time to get some new customary behaviors.

Here’s a quote from “The displacement mechanism: a new explanation and treatment for obesity“:

In addition to dealing with the sources of the displacement, it also is possible to replace the displacement with another displacement that is less destructive.

Take a look at the “Rechannelling” section of the BrainWeighve manual. This is where the planning comes in. Could the instructions be any more clear?

Go back to the homescreen and tap on Rechanneling. Eating urges and cravings may be briefly relieved by Rechanneling the food displacement energy to a non-food displacement activity. Type non-food activities that you will use to rechannel the displacement of eating, such as taking deep breaths.

When you deal with your dreaded situations and triggers or rechannel your overflow brain energy to a non-food displacement, this should decrease your urges to snack… The app has additional displacement strategies to help you stop snacking that you may select.

BrainWeighve can help tame that rogue energy and transform it into something useful. The app is a tool whose use can turn random sparks from static into signal.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Image by Bill Ohl/CC BY-ND 2.0

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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