In this week’s group meeting, Dr. Tro and health coaches Amy Eiges and Brian Wiley discussed the subject of food addiction, the ways to differentiate what true hunger is and the things that drive us to eat that have little to do with physical hunger. Dr. Tro interviewed Amy asking her the questions from the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) which measures your level of addiction to food.

Discussion:

  • Most of us find that if volume, time, or distraction does not help and hunger continues after trying these strategies, then that’s probably an indication to eat. 
  • Some of us experience false hunger signals such as lightheadedness, stomach grumblings, and grumpiness which is often a response to blood glucose dropping.
  • Hormones can be released just by thinking about or seeing food. This can trigger dopamine being released which in turn makes us to want to eat. Advertisers have used this knowledge to entice us to buy their products when creating billboards, commercials, etc. 
  • Eating by the clock can be a difficult thing to break yourself of — if you are used to eating at certain times every day and then the schedule changes you can experience timed hunger even if you’re not hungry.
  • Changing the flavor profile of what you’re eating can trigger you to eat more, even if you are full and satisfied with your food. For example — if you ate a steak and vegetables until full and then someone brought out nuts or chocolate, you are very likely to eat it even if you’re full.
  • Everyone agreed that it is far more likely to overeat processed foods (even the keto/low-carb friendly versions) than real, whole foods like meat, fish, poultry and vegetables.
  • Health Coach Amy Eiges says that you do not need to cure food addiction to be successful and lose weight, you just need to be aware that you have a problem, you just need to navigate it. This is where she says low-carb replacements have been key for her, they can be a slippery slope, but for most of us they are a bridge to recovery and good health.
  • Dr. Tro said there are some of us that can overeat even plain things like meat, some don’t have the shut-off signal in the stomach. If you don’t have this signal it’s best to try and use strategies like filling your stomach up with volume by drinking water, seltzer, tea or coffee. Buy some by away from the food by taking a walk or doing something for 30-60 minutes — distract yourself by working on a hobby you enjoy or listening to music.

Article by Brian Wiley

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who struggled to lose weight for most of his life. He attempted most of the mainstream approaches, along with the standard advice to “eat, less move more.” This advice resulted in minimal short-term success, or no success at all. Brian then adopted a low-carb lifestyle in 2009, and succeeded in losing 100 pounds. He has maintained that weight loss ever since using a low-carb ketogenic IF lifestyle. "I see people every day, both in real life and on social media, struggling, going through the same cycles of unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful, is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution." Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer.