Eating Occasions

female eatingAs a culture, how much of our eating is dependent upon how we feel at the moment, the social event that we are attending, a tradition, or the numbers on a clock? Perhaps, along with being addicted to food, we are addicted to eating occasions

I’m sad . . . .


I’m happy . . . .


I’m bored . . . .  


I’m lonely . . . . .


I’m stressed . . . .


I’m nervous . . . .


I’m frustrated . . . .


I’m at a party . . . .


I’m with friends . . . .


It’s 6am . . . .  


It’s 9am . . . .  


It’s noon . . . .


It’s 3pm . . . .


It’s 6pm . . . .


It’s bedtime . . . .


I have insomnia . . . .


I don’t feel well . . . .


I’m exhausted . . . .  



When did we evolve from a society that eats meals to fuel the body to one that eats many times a day; regardless of hunger? Numerous meals and snacks a day are now scientifically called, “Eating Occasions” [or EOs for short] As a culture, are eating occasions destroying us? In the past 30 years, eating occasions have increased among all ages, with the greatest for those in the 75 - 90 percentiles; plus, the time between them has exponentially decreased.  Not only are we eating more, but with less time spaced between EOs. 1

Before I committed to nutritarian eating, I was caught in the many-times-a-day eating occasion trap. Anything and anytime was a reason for eating. Even though I’m now free from toxic hunger that drives one to overeat, I still need to be vigilant when I’m out with others that I don’t eat for social entertainment, or eat because the clock reads 12 noon, if I’m not truly hungry.  

As Dr. Fuhrman states, “Frequent eating leads to higher calorie intake.” We all know that this leads to the excess fat that produces a lifetime of needless and ongoing suffering. It’s beneficial to renew our minds from time to time and re-read the chapters on toxic hunger in Eat for Health, or listen to Dr. Fuhrman’s teleconference, “Curtailing Overeating.” We need to seriously ask ourselves, are we eating to satisfy the body’s need for nourishment, or are we caught up in eating occasions? A quick tune-up of the mind is much easier and cheaper than a major overhaul.  May we all choose to eat for health today! 


American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  90: 1342-1347, May 2010

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Junk food - as addictive as smoking??


In Eat for Health, Dr. Fuhrman states that food addiction is the main reason that people eat too much and become overweight.

A study presented at the Society for Neuroscience national meeting last week agrees with this statement. Scientists presented their findings – that high-fat, high-calorie foods are addictive.

These scientists allowed rats to eat readily available, processed junk foods (such as sausages, bacon, and assorted cakes) at will for 18 hours a day – after only five days, they noted evidence of reduced sensitivity in the pleasure centers of the brain, which is a classic indicator of addiction. The rats were increasingly motivated to eat the junk food, consuming about double the number of calories as control rats - they soon needed to consume more food in order to get the same “high.” Even when the rats were given a foot shock upon eating the unhealthy food, they continued to eat. They found these results are similar to those of addictive drugs such as heroin. 

The addictive properties of the unhealthy food essentially support two biologic mechanisms of addiction. One, dopamine stimulation and two withdrawal supporting Dr. Fuhrman's explanation  of toxic hunger – detox symptoms from an addiction to unhealthy, low-nutrient foods. Most people eat more unhealthy food in order to relieve the discomfort of these symptoms, interpreting them to be true hunger. But this simply postpones the detoxification process, and perpetuates a cycle of unhealthy eating.

Unlike the rats in the study, we know the difference between addictive low-nutrient foods, and health-promoting high-nutrient foods. Without understanding the science behind food addictions, it becomes nearly impossible for people to follow a healthy diet or lose weight. Are you a food addict or are you a nutritarian? Did Dr. Fuhrman's information enable you to lose your food addictions?  Let us know.



1. Johnson PM, Kenny PJ. Motivational drives in obesity: Evidence for addiction-like compulsive responding for palatable food. Program No. 550.1/X15. 2009 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Chicago, IL: Society for Neuroscience, 2009. Online.



Do the Homework

I want to expound on a statement that I made in a previous post about “doing the homework” to get completely free from food addiction.

Dr. Fuhrman’s scientifically-based instruction on nutritional excellence exposes the lies that we’ve all been taught since childhood; and as the mind becomes renewed with correct information, behaviors change, and then the body transforms as a result.

There are no shortcuts to change, but the investment of time to thoroughly study the information in both his books and the member center will pay back huge dividends of permanent freedom from food addiction, eating disorders, yo-yo weight fluctuations, chronic malnutrition, disease, and astronomical medical bills. Also, it will save significant amounts of money from overeating expenditures and lost work productivity.

I know the following will sound like an advertisement for joining the membership at, and it could be, however I’m writing this to express not only my gratitude for what that membership did for me, but what I see is happening in others’ lives from being a part of it.

The members’ center provides informative tutorials and teleconferences, plus direct access to Dr. Fuhrman in the Ask the Doctor forum to answer specific medical and/or weight loss questions. There are also veteran, like-minded people on the forums which offer support and helpful tips; all of this for a monthly fee that is less than the cost of gas to drive to doctors’ visits or weekly weight loss meetings.

I’ve observed that those who’ve achieved freedom from food addiction are the ones who have thoroughly studied the materials and received on-line support.

Freedom from food addiction that leads to optimal health is a treasured gift that there is no regret in getting back!

Low Vitamin D May Lead to Metabolic Syndrome

Here’s more depressing vitamin D news. Writing in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, scientists have determined insufficient vitamin D is associated with a 31% prevalence of metabolic syndrome, compared to only 10% for people with higher levels. I got Dr. Fuhrman's thoughts on this vitamin D mess.

What nobody considers in the metabolic syndrome (and overeating) issue is my overall message and mantra and that is that low-nutrient eating in general creates metabolic derangements leading to discomforts relievable by overeating.

This I have labeled toxic hunger. Toxic hunger or food addition has at its basis, low micronutrient intake. We have an exciting study we just completed documenting the changing perception of hunger with high-nutrient density diet and it is compelling.

In related news, lack of vitamin D has been linked to depression, difficulty thinking, high blood pressure and back pain. Luckily, Dr. Fuhrman’s Osteo–Sun can help keep your Vitamin D level within ideal range.

Image credit: falcon0125