Stage 1: Detox (3-4 weeks or more). The diet consists of 30 percent to 35 percent carbs (primarily vegetables, fruit, and whole grain), 30 percent lean protein, and 30 percent healthy fats. The goal is to replace all “false fix” foods with natural foods that offer a “safe high.”

Stage 2: Beginner Recovery (6+ months). The diet emphasis is on mindfulness and focusing on foods that build the PFC such as choline and omega-3s.

Stage 3: Master Recovery (the rest of your life). Continue to emphasize nutrient-rich foods to support a healthier brain. Some controlled exposure to less healthy sugars (such as 70% dark chocolate) may be possible for those without cross-addictions; carefully experiment with your body’s tolerances.

"The only people who should be experimenting with controlled exposure are those who carefully adhere to my cautionary guidelines," adds Dr. Peeke. "Those who have cross addictions should not attempt this. It's really meant for people with a milder issue with food and addiction. 

"A good example is chocolate. The cheaper candy bars have a huge amount of refined sugar. However, the organic bars with at least 70% cacao have much less. So, try an ounce and see if you can handle that without going out of control. Again, refer to my guidelines about a controlled exposure. The key is to avoid a mountain of sugar. The best idea is to attempt it with something that has much less in it; hence my chocolate example. Natural applesauce that contains no refined sugar but only its own natural sugar is another example, or cranberry juice diluted in carbonated water for a refreshing drink."