The 3 Week Diet

Dr. Mike Dow, Diet Rehab Author on Food Addiction (Video)

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Dr. Mike Dow is a a cognitive behavioral therapist and author of a newly published book, Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Finally Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat as well as host of TLC’s Freaky Eaters.

In the book, he brings his expertise in eating disorders and addictions to focus on offering a self-help solution to the vexing problem of food addiction. Scientific studies show that food addiction is a reality, that foods high in fat and sugar impact the brain — increasing serotonin and dopamine levels, the neurotransmitters that affect our mood — just like such drugs as cocaine.

These issues were explored in a segment reported by ABC’ News Juju Chang and Erin Brady on Nightline on Thursday, January 5, 2012 (with portions rebroadcast the next day on, Good Morning America on Friday, January 6). Watch video above. In it, Dr. Mike Dow discusses how the 28-day plan works to break the addiction to food. It is an alternative to quitting cold turkey (an approached touted and used successfully in such plans as Neal Barnard’s 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart), in that the dieter replaces the trigger foods with more nutrient dense alternatives which naturally raise levels of serotonin and dopamine — the fiber rich, healthy complex carbohydrates of oatmeal and fruit rather than bottomless-pit consumption of doughnuts, for instance.

Food addictions, leading someone to overeat to the point that they have taken on chronic conditions of obesity such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease can be life-threatening, and is not a matter of finding “will power” or of coping psychologically with the stress of dieting. He points out:

“Heroin will kill you faster, but food addiction is killing a lot more people in this country and now we have the data.”

See the accompanying article at

The new book, Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Finally Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat, is available at online retailers including as well as in stories. See also Dr. Mike Dow’s official Web site which has numerous resources including a support forum and an online coaching program, and the Facebook page as well as Twitter @DoctorMikeDow.

It’s gratifying to see this approach to food addiction becoming more mainstream and that recent studies have validated what certainly has been personal experience for some, myself included as I think back to old behaviors that began in childhood when I found my desire to binge on cookies and chocolate candy uncontrollable at times, despite my attempts to diet. Getting such trigger foods out of my life, permanently has been the only solution. But it’s the getting rid of the addiction that is such an unwieldy struggle.

Landmark books such as Dr. David Kessler’s The End of Overeating, and Dr. Doug Lisle’s The Pleasure Trap, (with co-author Alan Goldhamer, D.C.) — and his outstanding hour-long lecture on YouTube video — have revealed the challenge we have living awash in such high fat and sugar saturated foods constantly tempting us, and putting us at the mercy of our own biology. We need the knowledge and resources to help us to overcome these food addictions.

Please let us know in the comment section what you think. Have you have read the book and/or tried Dr. Mike Dow’s Diet Rehab approach to food addiction?

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