Food as an Addiction

hi I am dr. Kathleen Hallinan and we are continuing with our weight loss vlog so today I'm going to go over some very specific strategies for you to help your environment and keep things such that they maximize your likelihood of being successful now something that kind of spawned me on this topic was in the past week when I've been counseling people about weight and and how they eat and things I've had now a couple of people this past week and this is not uncommon tell me well this just comes easy for you well I do everything that I am advising all of you guys to do so if you were to follow me around for a day you'd say hey are you on a diet and I keep my calorie count pretty precise and I really do a lot of exertion this past weekend I did a mini triathlon thing which was kind of a 5k with a 20-mile bike and a 3 mile kayak so so I'm doing a lot of exertion and maintaining my calorie counts weighing myself every day so I practice what I preach to you guys this is not just something that is voodoo it actually works so today I'm gonna go over with you an analogy that I think is has some validity now if you if you don't like this analogy then just kind of bear with it and just try to find the similarities and take what you can out of the lesson okay so when tobacco was completely unregulated and people were smoking everywhere and it was marketed to kids and you could get cigarettes all over the place we took a lot of time for us to learn that tobacco exposure causes a lot of cancer and a lot of heart disease and it took people testifying in front of Congress and laws being passed and it's not like anybody's taken away the freedom to buy cigarettes you can buy cigarettes you can go smoke trust me plenty of people still smoke however we have put in place things to safeguard people and help them succeed when they want to not smoke so when people want to get away from the cigarettes when they want to be healthy we stack the deck in their favor so that they can go to restaurants and not be exposed to smoke they can not be marketed to they can not have their children be have cigarettes marketed to them it's one of the most addicting substances we have the difference of course here is that you can quit smoking in its entirety you can't quit eating it in its entirety you still must eat so but there are an awful lot of similarities here and I'm going to encourage you to think about this the food company the food manufacturers do so many of the same things that big tobacco did they mark it to you strongly they have made their food and engineered their food to be very addicting so keep this in mind as you are reaching for your Doritos or what not or your coke or your Pepsi or your or your going through the drive-through so to get your Big Mac it these foods are marketed to a dick to you they are marketed to make you crave them and there's actually a psychologist who does a lot of clinical work I believe out of Harvard and he actually sets up testing labs where he has people do taste testing and he inputs all of their data and they they create foods that down to the crunch per square inch pounds per pressure of per square inch in the crunch of a potato chip are the most addicting it's called the Bliss point and and it is what makes your brain drive to go get that bag of Doritos again the next time you're in the store so with this in mind right you're fighting against companies that are trying to addictive I want to tell you things that will change this is how to change your environment your environment because we haven't really managed to get get the outside environment change so now you have to change your environment to make your success most likely okay so the first thing is here's my board again I wrote in green today okay food addiction it is an addiction trust me and so get it out of the house if there's stuff that you know is your weakness don't buy it unless it's maybe once in a blue moon right so my weakness would be Ben & Jerry's for sure if there's Ben & Jerry's in the house I absolutely would eat it so I don't buy it ie the last time I bought a thing of Ben and Jerry's was after I did a half marathon and that seemed like a decent reward but apart from that I will not buy it because I know if it's in the house I'll eat it and the other thing is within your home environment if there are people who are doing things that are not conducive or supportive to your success then if they love you and you have a good relationship and rapport with them I would suggest that you gently approach them about this and say hey I'm really trying hard to be healthy could you either support me in this and only buy healthy food in the house or if you feel so compelled to buy junk food that you want to have put it away somewhere so I don't see it and usually if somebody is very positive toward your success then if you word it that way like hey I really need your help and will you help me in this endeavor and give them an option to it's not like you're telling him get that food out of the house you're telling them hey either your choice either don't buy it or would you please if you happen to buy it can you just put it somewhere where I don't see it so trying to do that at home so again that if there are other people in the home that are getting things around it otherwise you would grab and eat then they'll support you and in that and the last thing is so is alternate behaviors so find something else if you are that will occupy your hands and sometimes the hand to mouth so let's say your weakness is that you are you sit in front of the couch and you turn on television and that's when you grab the bag of whatever it is so if you happen to have a craft like say anything creative this is not gender specific so I know men who do needlepoint sew but create something crochet needlepoint build a ship in a bottle I don't care find something to do with your hands so that you are occupying and making something do something that is going to result in a positive outcome if you are sitting at the computer and you need that something in your mouth then sometimes people do flavored toothpicks or something like that that no calories but you can just you know kind of hang out and twizzle it a little bit almost like people who find substitutes for cigarettes same idea but you need to find something that doesn't have any calories associated with it so look around for these ideas that you can substitute at home get the food out of the house change your environment get rid of the stuff that's in your kitchen that you know is bad for you and I think you'll find that you have much better success okay you guys have great questions you're doing really well I try to answer them as I get them so good luck and keep up the good work thank you


  1. Knowing they try to make me addicted still doesnt help me personally with the cravings. Idk, maybe that's just me but I will prob swing the wrong way the next time I see doritos and be more likely to notice them and ponder on them now than I was when I was ignorant of their analysis and such. And I will smell the chocolate at the next candy machine.

  2. Why didn't she mention OA? The AA model has worked wonders for addicts all over the world. Try a meeting near you if you're at all curious.

  3. I would like to be able to jog 3 to 5 miles in a decent time every day. I also really need to lift weights.

  4. Great videos, Doctor. You're very informative and motivating. Sometimes I have intense crunch cravings.
    Is air-popped popcorn with a light spray of coconut oil and pink Himalayan salt ok?

  5. Whole food plant-based diet. NO meat (to include fish, shellfish, etc.) , no dairy, no eggs. The best way to a healthy life! Nothing to loose (except excess weight). And everything to gain (like your health!).

  6. How to kick Pop. I try to but then the migraines come and I then drink more pop, the migraines go away..
    Its a horrible cycle.

  7. Is Diet Coke that bad? That's my addiction! Just started this drug and I'm taking half of the 37.5 and will go from there. I'm sensitive to amphetamine so I'm being careful I am a runner that runs 15-25 miles a week and don't want to blow my heart up. My long runs leave me starving so I'm greatful for this drug! Keeps me from overeating after my long runs of 8 miles. Love your blogs!! ❤️❤️❤️

  8. Dr. What state do you reside in? Btw I LOVE phentermine. I'm on it right now. I was on Phentermine in the past and dropped 65LBS in 2 months with a combination of diet & yoga for weight loss. However, I suffer from depression & when I went off it I started stressing due to life stressors and my addiction came back ( for food lol ) I put on more weight than I had before the very first time on it. This time, I'm willing to work through any life stressors the healthy weight and take advantage of the AWESOME benefits Phentermine brings to my life. I've decided to begin jogging this time around Phentermine until I officially begin the gym. What do you think? You have any other recommendations for me? Your advice is well appreciated. Love your information. Thanks!

  9. What food would you recommend to jump start your day in the morning when trying to lose weight? Also, if your still hungry before you go to bed should you just sleep it off or grab something small to eat?

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