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Finding Bliss: Overcoming Food Addiction with Functional Medicine

Updated: Nov 18

Root Causes of Food Addiction:

Experiments in animals and humans (HEBEBRAND et al., 2014) show that the same reward and pleasure centers of the brain triggered by addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin are also activated by food, especially highly palatable foods rich in:

  • Sugar

  • Trans Fat

  • Salt

The Food Industry is well versed with these studies and intently create foods to have a highly palatable design, smell, texture, and taste to trigger these feel-good brain chemicals including dopamine known as the bliss point. The "bliss point" being the right amount of sugar, salt and fat that makes you desire and crave more. Once one experiences the pleasure associated with increased dopamine transmission it's stored in the brain's reward pathway (HEBEBRAND et al., 2014).

Today, the average American from birth has signs and symptoms of food addiction such as compulsive eating, loss of control, and emotional eating (Wolz et al., 2017). We live to eat, taking pictures of our food and look forward to our next meal with a desire that is stronger then a drug. From birth the media has conditioned us with numerous adds that associate pleasure and relaxation with food and drink.

The Journey to Overcoming Food Addiction:

1. Self-Awareness:

The first step to breaking your food addiction is becoming aware of the factors that cause an intense desire for foods you know are bad for you. You won't need me to convince you - just watch the documentary FED UP and you be be floored! The second step is to detoxify your palate by preparing your food ahead of time and eating clean nutritious food that comes from the earth rather then processed foods containing extra sugar, trans fats or added salts. In other words... EAT TO LIVE-DON'T LIVE TO EAT!

2. Seeking Support:

Support starts with a functional medicine practitioner who can do rigorous testing to assess for nutritional and hormonal deficiencies. At the Med Spa at Clinical Edge we partner with Thorne which allows you to get started by choosing the right tests for yourself based on your symptoms. Your results will be sent to our practitioners for evaluation during your wellness visit with us. Correcting imbalances and supporting your mitochondria will immediately change your mood and desire to eat healthier. Feeling the difference in your body when correcting these issues allows you to overcome the old desire and create a new healthy habit and way of life - no need for expensive counseling sessions.

3. Mindful Eating:

When reviewing the real evidence of the ingredients that cause chronic inflammation, cancer, autoimmune disease, obesity, heart disease and diabetes it won't be difficulty to choose your food wisely. You can be assured that most things from a box, bag or can contain harmful and addictive ingredients. Eating whole foods from the earth like protein, green leafy veggies, fruit and some grains will be easy. Dr. Hyman explains it nicely in his podcasts how a piece of fruit does not have the same effect on your brain as all of the various sugars hidden in common prepared foods. In fact, a piece of fruit leaves you with a feeling of fullness and craving that has been satisfied; whereas eating a bowl of ice cream or bag of potatoes chips just makes you want MORE all the while your body keeps starving for nutrients.

4. Overcoming Common Barriers:

You think eaing healthy is expensive? Think again! Studies show (Rockefeller Foundation Issues Report Entitled 'True Cost of Food Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System'.2021) that using food as medicine saves you money! In fact for every dollar you spend on procssed foods you are actutally spending three dollars in the long run! Don't know what to cook? Here is an excellent book to get your started!

Food: What the Heck Should I Cook?: More than 100 Delicious Recipes--Pegan, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and More--For Lifelong Health (The Dr. Hyman Library, 8) Hardcover

Maintaining Long Term Wellness:

Rediscover your Food Bliss and maintain long term wellness healthier eating habits, a new pleasure and enjoyment around your food, a newer you with energy and happiness that help you cope with the every day stress of life. Feel young and energetic again call today at the Med Spa at Clinical Edge. 


HEBEBRAND, J., ALBAYRAK, Ö, VAN DER PLASSE, G., DICKSON, S. L., ADAN, R., ANTEL, J., DIEGUEZ, C., DE JONG, J., LENG, G., MENZIES, J., MERCER, J. G., & MURPHY, M. (2014). “Eating addiction”, rather than “food addiction”, better captures addictive-like eating behavior. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 47, 295-306. https://10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.08.016

Rockefeller Foundation Issues Report Entitled 'True Cost of Food Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System'. (2021, Jul 27,). Targeted News Service

Wolz, I., Granero, R., & Fernández-Aranda, F. (2017). A comprehensive model of food addiction in patients with binge-eating symptomatology: The essential role of negative urgency. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 74, 118-124. https://10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.01.012

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