Dr Oz: Food Addiction: Are You a Food Addict & Addicted to Food?

Dr Oz did a segment called Are You a Food Addict?  One of the most addictive substances in our life is not illegal, but it can be as destructive as heroine or cocaine … and this is food.  If you cannot stop eating no matter what you do, this Dr Oz Segment will help you with 5 warning signs of Food Addiction and a 3 Step Plan to Break Your Food Addiction!

Dr Oz: Are You a Food Addict?

Does this sound familiar – your heart races, your mouth waters, you can’t concentrate, and you may not even feel hungry, but all you can think about is what you will Dr Oz Are You a Food Addicteat next.  Millions of Americans are addicted to food and the latest research shows that when you consume unhealthy food, your brain reacts in the same way as it does to drugs, alcohol, etc.  Your brain gets flooded with dopamine, just like any other junky.

Dr Oz: Food Addicts

Dr Oz brought on three ladies who are all Food Addicts.  Rhonda says she hides food everywhere and the most embarrassing part is that she is actually the leader of a weight loss group.  Michelle is an emotional eater who eats when she is sad, depressed, and mad.  She does not even realize how much she eats.  Takiesha said she promised her mom the day that she died that she would lose weight.  She knows that eating food is killing her, but she does not know how to stop it.

Dr Oz: Are You Addicted to Food?

As part of week 3 of Dr Oz’s Move It and Lose It program, Dr Oz spoke about Food Addiction as a possible cause of being overweight.  Dr Oz brought on Ramani Durvasula, PhD in Clinical Psychology and Professor at California State University, Los Angeles, who was a Food Addict and but continues to fight it off every day.  Dr Oz asked Durvasula what is it like to be a Food Addict?  Ramani Durvasula said that food preoccupied her life and she built her life around eating.  It distracted her from her children, marriage, and work.  She could not get it under control.  Dr Oz asked her when she hit rock bottom.  She said she was getting ready to go to a wedding and she ripped four dresses trying to find something to wear, so she had to put on a shawl over her dress.  She stepped on the scale and weighed 200 pounds when she thought she weighed 140 pounds.  She was so upset that she ate everything she could at the wedding.  She was a woman consumed by having to get food and cake.

Dr Oz: Food Addiction vs Overweight

Dr Oz asked what is the difference between being a Food Addict and being overweight?  Ramani Durvasula said that when you are just overweight, it could just be due to overeating.  When you are a Food Addict, you are out of control, preoccupied with food, and very emotional.  Dr Oz asked her what are the hardest parts about breaking a Food Addiction?  She said that it is there every day and it never totally goes away.  She has lost 85 pounds over 17 months, but she still struggles with her Food Addiction 4-5 times a day.

Dr Oz: 5 Warning Signs of Food Addiction

Dr Oz said that the following are 5 warning signs that you could be a Food Addict:

1.  You Hide Food

Dr Oz said that if you hide food in your car, home, or office, this is the first warning sign of a Food Addict.  Rhonda hid her food stashes in closets, dressers, and even in her children’s bedrooms – anywhere she felt was safe from other people finding it and taking it from her.  This is a sign that your Food Addiction is getting out of control.  Dr Oz asked Rhonda how she feels when she eats in secret?  Rhonda said that she feels ashamed and worthless.  She has a beautiful family and 2 grandsons, and she does not want her life to be dominated with thoughts of food.

2.  You Think About Food Over 1 Hour A Day

Dr Oz said that the 2nd warning sign of a Food Addiction is if you think about food more than one hour a day.  Takiesha said that food is a diversion and it is easier to think about food than something else when she is sad.  In her office, food is everywhere and it helps her stop thinking about sadness when she can focus on yummy food that she will eat later.

3.  You Eat After Arguing

Dr Oz said the 3rd warning sign of a Food Addict is that you eat after arguing with your spouse or friend.  Michelle said that when she eats, she stops thinking about the fight and feels comfortable.  The food does not criticize her back.

4.  You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms When Not Eating

Dr Oz’s 4th Warning Sign of a Food Addiction is that you experience withdrawal symptoms when you are not eating, like getting shaky, dizzy, sweaty, or clammy.  It is like going through a drug withdrawal and effects your physical body.  Why are foods so addictive?  Neuroimaging studies have shown that foods that are high in sugar, fat, and salt do the same thing to the reward pathways in your brain as drugs.  Children are often given food to soothe and comfort themselves during childhood.  When you had a bad day as a kid, your mom handed you a cookie, and so these bad habits start at a young age.

5.  You Can’t Stop Eating Even When You’re Not Hungry

Dr Oz’s 5th Warning Sign of a Food Addict is that you can’t stop eating even when you’re not hungry.  Michelle said the she will be eating a bag of chips and not even realize it until she puts her hand in the bag and feels that it is empty and then it hits her that she just ate a whole bag of chips.

Dr Oz: 3 Steps to Break a Food Addiction

Dr Oz said that if you have 3 of these warning signs, you may suffer from a Food Addiction.  Here are some steps for breaking a Food Addiction:

Dr Oz: FLAB: Frustrated, Lonely, Anxious, Bored

Dr Oz said that you should put a FLAB Card in your wallet with the words Frustrated, Lonely, Anxious and Bored on it.  If you are reaching for food when you feel any of these emotions, you should have a list of diversions to do to prevent yourself from eating, like calling a friend, taking a walk, listening to music, or playing with your dog.  You want to break the association between these feelings and food.

Dr Oz: Journal Emotions About Food

You should keep a Food Journal and write entries about the emotions that you sense when you eat food.  When you look back, it is not always easy to see what emotions triggered your eating.  Write down an entry every time you eat and write what you ate, how you felt, and then focus on diversionary activities (as described earlier).

Dr Oz: Food Log

The final tip for Food Addicts is to write down what you eat, when you ate it, where you ate it, and how you felt when you ate it.  By doing this exercise, you can start to figure out your triggers which can be certain places, people, or specific emotions.

Comments

  1. rose doty says

    Dr. Oz, I DO THINK ABOUT FOOD ALOT, EVEN WHEN iM FULL, i GOT TO HAVE SOMETHING SWEET. i DONT GET ANY TYPE OF RUSHES LIKE YOU MENTIONED. i AM AN EMOTIONAL EATER. HAVE LOST 28 PDS 4 OR 5 TIMES IN PAST THREE TO FIVE YEARS THEM SOMETHING HAPPENS IN MY LIFE AND I STOP. FOR INSTANCE 1 YEAR AGO jULY I WAS GETTING IN SHAPE WEIGHT TRAINING ETC, THEN MY DAUGH PLUS THREE KIDS HAD TO MOVE INTO MY HOME. THEIR STAY WAS TO BE TWO MONTHS BUT IT WILL BE 1 YR IN JULY. iI QUIT EVERYTHING I WAS DOING AND HAVE REGAINED THE WEIGHT. NOW MY SUBCONSCOUIS SOFTLY TELLS ME TO GET UP AND MOVE , BUT HAVE LOST MY PASSION TO BE FIT. NOT SURE IF THIS WAS THE COMMENT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR.
    ROSE

  2. Kathie Friesen says

    I really feel that I’m addicted to Food. I’m 65 and I work at a clinic as a drs assistant and phlebotomist, I’m a singer, and artistic. Wonderful children and grandchildren, my life is good, but food is in my thoughts always. Emotional upheavals such as happiness, sadness, embarrassment, anger, loneliness all trigger my eating binges, which are not good. I crave salty, carbohydrates, and sugary food. I know what I need to do but how do I get started. I have no will power.

  3. Linda Flatt says

    Dr. Oz … I am starting a “Food Addicts Anony. Class in my town. I am wondering what you feel about this approach to weight loss. There are ALOT of people in my area that follow you and your helpful (healthful) hints. This is a battle that i have been fighting my whole life, but i want to help others with this demon. There is power in numbers. thank you for your time in this matter. Linda

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