The Psychology of Food Addiction with Joan Ifland

Could you be suffering from a food addiction? Joan Ifland suffered from rage episodes for several years, which took a toll on her family and personal life. When she discovered she had a food addiction, she was able to change her habits and her life. 


Dr. Ifland has been creating breakthroughs in recovery from food addiction from 1999, with her first popular book, to 2018 when her textbook, Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery was published by CRC Press.  Dr. Ifland is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. She earned her Ph.D. in addictive nutrition at Union Institute and University (2010); her MBA at Stanford Business School (1978) and her BA in Economics and Political Science at Oberlin College (1974).

She was selected by the Oprah Winfrey Network as the food addiction specialist on the Book of John Gray. 


What you’ll learn in this episode:


  • The reason Joan became interested in the psychology of food addiction and addictive traits (2:02)
  • Her background prior to diving into that field (2:30)
  • The rage she struggled with prior to discovering the source (3:05)
  • The moment she realized her cravings had finally stop controlling her life (5:28)
  • Immediate results that she noticed when she cut out processed foods and sugar (6:33)
  • Benefits her children noticed when she stopped feeding them processed foods and sugar (8:16)
  • Her first attempts and getting people to give up processed foods (11:11)
  • Resources she developed, such as printable handouts and a website, for people struggling with food addiction (16:09)
  • After 14 years, what finally worked in getting people help with their addictions (17:47)
  • The importance of having a support system when attempting to break addiction, no matter the type (21:21)
  • The length of time it takes to unravel decades of brain programming regarding addiction (24:40)
  • Why carbohydrate and food addiction is an actual problem and not just a person’s need to take ownership of their decisions (28:53)
  • The science behind addiction (33:38)
  • How surrounding yourself with people who support you and want to make you better is the key towards battling addiction (42:52)
  • Helping group members who “fall off the wagon” and are too ashamed to come back because of their relapse (43:30)
  • Elimination vs. moderation when it comes to food addiction (47:59)
  • What is going to be the key to changing the way the general population views proper nutrition and food addiction (52:04)


To learn more about food addiction and Joan’s work: 



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Written By

Robert Sikes

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