Vera Tarman: Changing Your Relationship With Food [EP 5]

Show Notes:

Description: In this episode, Melissa interviews world renowned food addiction expert, Doctor Vera Ingram Tarman. They discuss what it means to be addicted to food, the root of food addiction, and ways to overcome these sensations so that you can live a healthy and fulfilling life. 

In this episode you’ll learn:

What is food addiction?
11:26 What types of foods are addictive?
20:08 How to overcome food addiction
29:20 Learning to Change Your Relationship with food
34:00 A day of eating for Dr. Tarman

What is Food Addiction?

Melissa opens up by asking Dr. Tarman to discuss what her role is in terms of helping people with food addiction as both a doctor and an advocate for spreading awareness of food and sugar addiction. Dr. Tarman compares the process of being addicted to food as the same as being addicted to any other substance like alcohol or tobacco. The levels of dopamine, hormones, and your environment all play into becoming an addict. Dr. Tarman stresses the importance of recognizing that there are trigger foods, foods that will cause you to continually fuel the desire for more.

What Types of Foods are addictive?

Dr. Tarman emphasizes that food itself is not always the addictive element. She goes on to explain how when sugars are extracted from natural sources, like fruits and vegetables, they’re then processed and put into the packaged foods that we consume. All of these foods are created and marketed to benefit the food industries and the companies are not concerned with the consumer’s health. Since this is the case, it’s important to understand how to recognize food addiction and enable yourself to eliminate foods from your diet if that’s what works best for you. Since “empty” carbohydrates and sugars fuel food addiction, it might be beneficial to cut those things out of your life so that you can heal and connect to yourself rather than being reeled in by those obsessive cravings. Once you start, you can’t stop, so don’t start!

How to Overcome Food Addiction

Dr. Tarman’s book “Food Junkies: Recovery from Food Addiction” emphasizes the importance of  understanding how you became addicted to food and what types of food create the perfect environment for addiction. In her book, she tackles the obstacles of everyday thinking about food. Melissa and Dr. Tarman relate about how their thought process around food has changed in order to create a healthier environment for themselves to feel confident about what and how they eat. Dr. Tarman and Melissa both suggest ignoring the stigmas around food consumption for control and evaluating what works best for you. If it works to cut things out of your diet, do that. If it works to bring your own food to a dinner party, do that. Most of these feelings of guilt and shame around a food addiction can be handled by reaching out to a support system of people that you trust so that you can make these changes in your life to benefit your future. 

Learning To Change Your Relationship With Food

As someone who struggled with food addiction herself, Dr. Tarman has a lot of experience both personally and professionally with treating food addictions in a healthy way. She really emphasizes the fact that trigger foods are the main reason that most people suffer from food addiction. So many people find themselves unable to control their intake with certain foods and that makes it easier for them to become addicted to food. The way our food is made and processed is the reason you can’t control your intake. It is similar to being addicted to cigarettes, you just want more. In order to relieve yourself from this mindset and any guilty behaviors like sneaking or hiding food, you have to change your relationship with food. This seems very daunting, but you have to understand that the “withdrawal” will only last a short time. Once you accept that this isn’t going to be easy, you’re able to focus on moving forward with the help of a support system. You will no longer feel the same cravings and your self control will skyrocket once you accomplish this once.

A Day Of Eating For Dr. Tarman

Melissa ends the interview with Dr. Tarman, by asking her what a day of eating looks like for her, a professional who has mastered her own intake of food and balanced her life to overcome food addiction. Dr. Tarman began by explaining that not everybody’s eating habits will look the same. depending on your certain triggers and desires, you will need to come up with a specific plan that works for you. Dr. Tarman only eats three meals a day, plans out her meals ahead of time, and supplies her own food if she attends a social event. This regulation has helped her maintain a healthy lifestyle, weight, and mindset and live her life without focusing so much on food throughout the day. 

Resources from this episode:

Check out Dr. Tarman’s New Book “Food Junkies: Recovery from Food Addiction” Here

Follow Dr. Tarman on Instagram

Follow Melissa on Instagram

Find out more about Melissa Here

Get The M.A.D.E. Diet Ebook  Here

Thank you so much for listening to this episode! I’m honored and excited to be on this journey toward personal growth, a healthy lifestyle, and a greater more confident you. I’d love to hear from you. So please share this episode with anyone that you think needs to hear this message and remember to rate review and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. My name is Melissa McAllister. And until next time, thank you for being your own health advocate.