Food Addiction Eating

I recently listened to some interviews as part of the online summit The Real Truth About Weight Loss. One interview in particular I found very interesting was with Dr. Vera Tarman which primarily centered around food addiction. To learn more about food addiction, check out Dr. Robert Lustig’s website.

Here are some of my takeaways [and commentary!] from the Dr. Tarman interview—

  1. Fats are safe to eat [Tova note: avoid hydrogenated fats & inflammatory vegetable oils high in omega 6 as much as possible. Choose healthy sources of fat like olives/olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds.]
  2. Cut out sugar, flour, and alcohol. [Tova note: when it comes to problematic eating like cravings & emotional eating, sugar and flour and processed foods in general tend to be the most problematic for most people.]
  3. Sugar substitutes are a grey area. If they are a trigger food for you take them away for awhile. According to Dr. Tarman, whether or not stevia for example is ‘healthy’, it can still spark dopamine.
  4. When considering whether or not a food is triggering, the question to ask it, does this spark dopamine? 
  5. If you have a cheese addiction, cut dairy. If you’ve cut out sugar and flour and are still thinking about food, cut out dairy.
  6. Some people also need to cut grains.
  7. Some people also need to cut all sweeteners, including non nutritive ones like stevia.
  8. Some people need to take out some fruits, especially really sweet ones like bananas and dates. Too much fructose can be overwhelming.
  9. Nuts are also commonly problematic. It might be the fat/salt combo that is difficult for some people.

When you stop eating addictively, you might be uncomfortable. Dr. Tarman notes that within 10 days – 2 weeks your brain will reset, but you’ve got to get there first. Meditation & exercise can be helpful.

Give yourself a month to follow a food addiction dietary paradigm. What are the foods you crave? Remove them for a month, remove your trigger foods for a month. The first week or so may be difficult but stick with it and see what happens in a month.

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