Food Addiction Made Super Simple – Video with Emily Rosen

Food addiction is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. So many people need to better understand how to manage their intense cravings or attachments to certain foods. The challenge is, though, there’s also quite a bit of confusion as to what food addiction is and isn’t.

Too many people believe that they have a food addiction when they truly don’t, while others have no idea that their biology has been hijacked and they’re indeed addicted. Well, it’s time to understand food addiction in a clear and simple way. In this great video from IPEtv, Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating does just that. She puts food addiction and overcoming food addiction in a digestible, fascinating context. We think you’ll make some excellent connections and discoveries!

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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:

Hi, I’m Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.

Today’s topic: Food Addiction Made Super Simple.

Food addiction is one of the hottest topics in the nutrition and eating psychology universe these days. And for good reason. It’s an important concept to understand, and it has an impact on a fantastic number of eaters.

Simply put:

• The foods you’re addicted to are likely making you gain weight
• If the foods you’re addicted to aren’t making you gain weight, they may very well be limiting your ability to lose weight
• The foods you’re addicted to are likely setting you up for diabetes
• Addictive foods wreak havoc on your appetite – they de-regulate it and make your body want more, even when you clearly don’t need more
• The foods you’re addicted to are likely impacting your mood and your brain function
• Addictive foods are likely causing inflammation in your body – an underlying cellular condition that’s a precursor for numerous unwanted diseases
• Addictive foods will fool you into believing that you have a willpower problem – somehow your character is weak because you can’t stop eating
• Addictive foods will distract you from eating life giving, nutrient dense food. The result is a greater probability of unwanted symptoms and disease

This all sounds a little scary, doesn’t it?

Well, it ought to, because it is.

Let’s define an addictive food – or any addictive substance for that matter:

An addictive food is one that hijacks the brain’s chemistry and biologically drives us to consume more despite their detriment to the body.

Think of it this way: nobody needs a cocaine addiction, an alcohol addiction or a crystal meth addiction. But when a substance is powerful enough – or correctly engineered – it can capture brain circuitry and command the body to compel us towards consumption – even if it kills us.

That’s how powerful an addiction is.

Now, here is the most important point I want you to take home about food addiction – and one that most experts fail to point out:

Food addiction means addiction to a group of very specific foods.

Food addiction does NOT mean that someone is addicted to eating in general.

Can you see the distinction?

What I notice happening far too often is that people are calling themselves food addicts as if they are addicted to eating food, and need to find a way to rid themselves of their appetite or desires. They see themselves as being defeated by the enemy called food. If only they can control their need for food – then they would be happy, have the perfect body, and have their real life.

Here’s the fallacy in this:

Saying you’re addicted to food, or worse still – calling yourself a food addict – is like saying “I’m addicted to breathing,” or “I’m addicted to blood flow,” or “I’m addicted to sleeping.”


We cannot be addicted to that which is natural and necessary for biological survival.

Calling oneself a food addict is a 100% false diagnosis that does not exist in nature.

Once again – we can be addicted to specific foods for sure.

But we need food to live.

Labeling oneself a food addict is a recipe for lifelong pain and suffering.

Now – what are the foods humans can be addicted to?

Sugar is arguably the number one food/drug.
That’s what all the current research is showing.
And so many foods contain sugar.

Next up for addictive foods are the highly engineered food products that the big companies literally and purposely engineer to access your “bliss point” to create your intense attachment to those foods.

I’m talking about potato chips, corn chips, breakfast cereals, cookies, prepared snacks, breads, canned soups, commercial macaroni and cheese, many frozen foods, many dairy products, fast food chicken, burgers and fries, and a number of commercial and highly processed luncheon meats, hot dogs, and more.

In a way, the big food companies are guilty of food terrorism. They spend millions figuring out how to hack into your brain chemistry via our taste buds.
Their methods are fantastically elaborate – and effective. They are the legal drug pushers.

Of course, the same neural circuitry that’s activated when we consume cocaine is activated when we ingest sugar and sugar-containing foods.

That’s a mind-blowing discovery.

The remedy for food addiction is quite simple:

Cold turkey. Not the food, but the act of letting go of all sugar and sweets and juices and even fruits, along with all processed foods for at least 10 days. The body needs time to unwind.

But what’s on the other side is experiencing your natural appetite, reclaiming your real taste buds, and liberating yourself from food that’s killing you and stopping you from your highest self expression.

Consider this a powerful experiment.
Consider this a practice in taking back your power.
We are more powerful than the food we eat.
We are more powerful than the corporations that attempt to addict us.
And we’re more powerful than we ourselves have likely imagined.

I hope this was helpful.

Emily Rosen

To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video training series at You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition that have helped millions forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health. Lastly, we want to make sure you’re aware of our two premier offerings. Our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training is an 8 month distance learning program that you can take from anywhere in the world to launch a new career or to augment an already existing health practice. And Transform Your Relationship with Food is our 8 week online program for anyone looking to take a big leap forward with food and body.


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  • Thank you very much for this insightful video. I have argued that what we know of as “overeating” and “binge eating” are entirely different things. Some see it as addiction while others do not. Also, while some derive pleasure from eating, overeating, or even binge eating, i know many find any of these quite unpleasant. Surely, binge eating is a terrifying experience and many do not, in fact, find it at all pleasurable. Beyond being traumatizing, it’s rather physically painful, otherwise, it would not be binge eating, it would be the milder form, “overeating,” right? So for some, perhaps it’s something other than “addiction.” I’m just throwing this out there.

    I am 56 years old and i have been though 34 years of anorexia and binge eating. I have never “thrown up.” I have usually been thin. I don’t eat processed foods, dairy, or sugar foods. I will STILL binge eat on veggies, and anything. I cannot even keep dog food in my home for my dog because that gets eaten by me. I’ve raided public trash barrels and eaten rotten food. The stupidest mistake I ever made was to go into “therapy.” After all these decades, I found I was teaching the therapists everything I knew about eating disorders. I hope I taught them a thing or two. Maybe they will be a little nicer to their next patients. They were mean to me. That’s why I am taking this class. Anything but more “therapy” or dangerous pills. I’d love to learn a few things about nutrition. Seems like Big Pharma wants to keep us ignorant and compliant. Julie

  • Hi Julie, Thanks so much for showing up here so vulnerably and sharing your story. You’re right on that binge eating can be very uncomfortable which it sounds like you have experienced yourself. Both binge eating and overeating can be uncomfortable for the individual and yes some can overeat on food and not necessarily be addicted to food (think Thanksgiving 🙂 Sounds like you have been through quite a journey with your relationship with your body and food and have cultivated a lot of wisdom and awareness around who you are and the body you live in. We are excited to have you in one of our programs and hopefully you will surely gain some new insight in terms of nutrition and approaching your body and your thoughts with loving kindness. Our relationship with food can always be a doorway to discover who we are on a deeper level. Thanks so much again for sharing and you might also enjoy this IPEtv on how Food is a Doorway:
    Warmly, Emily

  • Janice M Schriber

    What I am addicted to is not so much one food, but a texture. Chewy candies have become my downfall. Once I discovered what they were made of I lost most of the craving. But, when it does hit, I now grab some frozen, dried apricots and frozen, dried dates along with a few raw almonds. It isn’t the exact same, but it really does help. I have not been able to pinpoint the ‘why’ at this time.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this insight, Janice! I encourage you to keep exploring this craving and what it might be trying to tell you. Switching to dried fruit sounds like a great innovation! Warmly, Emily

  • Tandrea Spain

    It is hard for me to understand the constant fixation that I have for food. It is so tiring. From the time I wake up… till bed time… even as I sleep… I am obsessed with food. I’ve been this way since childhood when I was beaten for not eating all of my food. People tell me to exercise and lose weight… I do that and lose a little bit or maybe a lot. But the addiction still persist. People are so insensitive and do not understand that many overweight people are battling an addiction much like cocaine or heroin addiction. There’s all sorts of help for people addicted to drugs, but a lack of help for people addicted to certain foods. The thought is almost laughable. So I will read your website and see if any information will help me.

    • Dear Tandrea, Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your story here! It’s so true that there is a lot of misunderstanding in our culture around food and eating, and there is much more to the equation than simply “calories in and calories out.” I hope you will continue to explore our site, and if you have any questions or if you’d like more information, please get in touch with us at Sending you lots of love! Warmly, Emily

About The Author
Emily Rosen

Rosen is the Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating,
where she oversees business development strategies, student affairs,
marketing and public relations in addition to her role as Senior Teacher. With an extensive and varied background
in nutritional science, counseling, natural foods, the culinary arts,
conscious sex education, mind body practices, business management and
marketing, Emily brings a unique skill-set to her role at the Institute. She has also been a long-term
director and administrator for Weight Loss Camps and Programs serving
teens and adults and has held the position of Executive Chef at various
retreat centers. Her passion for health and transformation has provided
her the opportunity to teach, counsel, manage, and be at the forefront
of the new wave of professionals who are changing the way we understand
the science and psychology of eating and sexuality. Emily is also co -founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.