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The Keto Kamp Podcast With Ben Azadi

Apr 26, 2021

Today, I am blessed to have here with me Dr. Vera Tarman. Dr. Vera Tarman started addictions Unplugged in 2008 because she found a need for information on addiction and, more specifically, food addiction.

Today, the Addictions Unplugged website serves as a portal and discussion forum for medical professionals, front-line addiction workers, and those affected by addiction to reach out to Dr. Tarman and find out the latest information on treatment.

Dr. Tarman has been reaching out to the medical and addiction communities through her workshops and speaking engagements. She speaks on the topics of the science behind food addiction and why we use food for comfort. She has educated thousands of people across the world and hopes to help all those struggling with food addiction.

In this episode, Dr. Vera Tarman reveals how she found the connection between indulging cravings for "comfort food" and engaging in substance abuse. Yes, food can become addictive, and Dr. Vera explains how. Plus, we talk about how to know if you're addicted to food and what steps you can take to face that food addiction. Plus, we go deep into what's happening in our brains when we eat sugar and why scientists make food so addictive.

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[00:25] About Dr. Vera Tarman And The Inspiration Behind Food Junkies

  • Vera is an addiction specialist. She sees people coming into a residential setting, they're putting down their alcohol, cocaine, cigarettes, and marijuana. However, they start picking up the sugar. Within two or three weeks, they started to gain a lot of weight.
  • Eating was very much like their previous behavior of addiction.
  • Now, Dr. Vera loves to talk about the addiction that people have with food.
  • Plus, she even wrote a book on the subject – Food Junkies. It’s a fact-filled guide to coping with compulsive overeating problems.
  • Overeating, binge eating, obesity, anorexia, and bulimia – Dr. Vera tackles the poorly understood issue of food addiction in her book.
  • Get Food Junkies: 

[06:05] How Can Food Become Addictive?

  • The inspiration for Food Junkies came from another book, Hooked. Hooked is about the troubling story of how food companies have exploited our most fundamental evolutionary instincts to get us hooked on processed foods.
  • Get Hooked:
  • The food industry has made our food addictive by targeting the chemistry in our brains. Sadly, the food industry has figured out that the reward pathway will keep people coming back for their food.
  • Brilliant scientists are paid good money to figure out how to activate those pathways.

[08:50] The Negative Impacts On Your Brain When Consuming Sugars

  • Sugars will light up part of the brain that’s emotional and impulsive. It’s the part of our brain that makes us do things without thought - this is all subconscious thinking.
  • Plus, sugar will trigger dopamine primarily, which is our neurochemical of desire. There's also endorphins and serotonin. Endorphins trigger comfort while serotonin triggers connectedness.
  • Addiction will make you want an entire bag of chips. You can’t stop at one or two because your neural biology is so damaged.
  • The physical manifestations of sugar and high-carb addiction are happening in the brain.

[17:00] What You Need To Know About The Different Stages of Food Addiction

  • When we talk about food addiction, it's essentially like diabetes.
  • Food addiction is a chronic and progressive condition.
  • You may have a food addiction if you would rather stay at home and eat instead of going out for a social occasion.
  • If you consistently do not feel well because of the food you eat, you may be suffering from food addiction.
  • Another sign of food addiction is eating foods that you know are not going to make you feel good.
  • If your obsession with food is excessive, then you are a food addict.
  • Lastly, if you are in trouble with your health, then you may be a food addict.
  • “You have to be very careful if you're moving down this path of food addiction.” -Dr. Vera

[25:25] Fasting For People With Addictions To Food

  • Cutting out sugar will be the first step for people who have an addiction to food.
  • Sugar is the trigger – so, ditch the trigger!
  • If you have a food addiction, be aware of pitfalls. If you have a history of starving yourself, then fasting may not be the right path.
  • Fasting can be healing; however, it’s a tool that can hurt you if you do not know how to use it.
  • If it’s done carefully, fasting can be great for the body.

[30:40] Why Dr. Vera Is A Massive Fan Of Eating More Protein

  • Vera isn’t necessary a fan of protein. Instead, Dr. Vera is a fan of low-carb.
  • Protein and fat will give the body satiety.
  • Most likely, if you are low-carb, then you are eating higher protein.
  • Vera says she doesn’t have a problem with carbs as long as they are not processed.

[32:15] It Takes Three To Four Weeks To Kick Your Sugar Addiction

  • It takes about three of four weeks to quit an addiction fully.
  • A connection with a daily coach or sponsor will be critical on your journey.
  • So, find support from someone while kicking your addiction.
  • Keto Kamp is a great community of people who are ready to help you!

[40:00] Treatment: Ways To Help When You’re A Food Addict

  • First of all, you have to eat the right food - you have to stop the drug!
  • The first month is going to be difficult.
  • As time goes on, it will get easier and easier. By week four, you will feel free!
  • Lastly, you need to protect yourself from future triggers.
  • Check out Dr. Vera’s support group. Sugar-Free for Life Support Group: I’m Sweet Enough:


Resources from this episode:

Pre Order Keto Flex:


/ / E P I S O D E   S P ON S O R S 

PureForm Omega Plant Based Oils (Best Alternative to Fish Oil): Use ben4 for $4.00 off.

Upgraded Formulas Hair Mineral Deficiency Analysis & Supplements: Use BEN10 at checkout for 10% off your order. 

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Disclaimer: This podcast is for information purposes only. Statements and views expressed on this podcast are not medical advice. This podcast including Ben Azadi disclaim responsibility from any possible adverse effects from the use of information contained herein. Opinions of guests are their own, and this podcast does not accept responsibility of statements made by guests. This podcast does not make any representations or warranties about guests qualifications or credibility. Individuals on this podcast may have a direct or non-direct interest in products or services referred to herein. If you think you have a medical problem, consult a licensed physician.