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Interview with Dr. Joan Ifland

Food addiction can be a significant driver of excess weight and overeating. When unrecognized, it can lead to feeling like you are unable to lose weight or unable to stick to a “diet”

Dr. Joan Ifland, PHD is a food addiction expert and author of the only food addiction textbook, Processed Food Addiction. She speaks on the topic and has developed a treatment program for people with food addiction.

Backed by new technology developed in the textbook, Dr. Ifland has developed cutting-edge innovations in online programs addressing compulsive overeating and diet-related diseases. 

I really enjoyed my conversation with Dr. Ifland. She is truly a wealth of knowledge on the subject. I thought I would share my take home points from the interview here.

  • Food addiction is far more common than acknowledged. In our conversation, Dr. Ifland runs through the DSM-V criteria for diagnosis of an addiction disorder. When you apply it to eating, a lot of people have experienced quite a few of the criteria. Many people I have worked with regarding weight (myself included) meet this criteria.
  • I know that for some, the word “Addiction” is a loaded word. It may feel like it adds another label to someone who already may carry a lot of blame. But think of it this way…understanding the role of these pathways in the brain can actually give some relief. I find that if you understand the behaviour as a biological tendency, it helps in this process. In the specific situation of food addiction, if you understand the behaviour as something that was purposefully created by food companies and that our food was designed to make it hard to stop or stay away from, it releases some more of the blame.
  • Accepting that you have addictive behaviour towards food is not the same as saying that you will never be able to manage your weight. All it means is that you may need to try different approaches. Rather than just doing the next fad diet, it would help to look for programs that offer long-term support and focus on removing the sugar and processed foods from your diet.

Below are some useful links to find more information fro Dr. Ifland on food addiction:
Dr. Ifland’s Food Addiction reset program
Dr. Ifland’s Food Addiction Resources 
Processed Food Addiction Textbook on Amazon 

Check out my interview with Dr. Vera Tarman for more information on Food Addiction and her book: Food Junkies


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