THE BLOG
04/17/2014 01:01 pm ET Updated Jun 17, 2014

Why Overeating Doesn't Make You Fat

If you’re overweight and feel like crap, it’s not your fault. Food addiction is a genuine biological addiction to sugar, flour and processed foods that drives our overeating behavior. And it makes us have FLC Syndrome, which means we "Feel Like Crap."

It's quite simple: eat crap = feel like crap.

When you eat crap, which means anything that turns to sugar, your body produces hormones -- primarily insulin. When insulin is pumped out in excess, it does two horrible things.

First, insulin is a super fat-storage hormone, which causes all the calories you eat to be laid down as belly fat.

Second, it completely messes up your appetite control system, making you crave sugar and carbs. And then the vicious cycle continues.

In fact, when you eat sugar and refined carbs, they reprogram your fat cells so those cells are hungry all the time. It's the fat cells being hungry that makes you overeat. The fat cells are demanding to be fed. Then they suck up all the calories you eat, causing weight gain.

The conventional wisdom of why we gain weight -- that we eat more calories than we burn -- is simply dead wrong. It's the toxic, bad calories, the calories that quickly turn to sugar, that are causing our country's obesity and chronic disease epidemic. For decades, there's been a misinformation campaign orchestrated by Big Food, aided and abetted by the U.S. government. The message is all about energy balance, that there are no good or bad calories, that all calories are the same, that losing weight is all about eating less and exercising more. That advice has gotten us nowhere -- except being trapped under the weight of our obesity and diabetes epidemic.

Why you need a medical detox program

I used to work in the emergency room where I treated heroin addicts and alcoholics. We had to use a carefully designed medical detox program to "bring them down" from their drugs. Otherwise they would get agitated, anxious and even have seizures. In human and animal studies, the exact same thing happens when you quit sugar. It has to be done carefully.

If you take the right approach to ending your food addiction, your cravings will go away in just a day or so. The right approach will rewire and reprogram your hormones and biology so you don't have cravings, you don't go through a bad withdrawal and you can actually learn what it feels like to be back in your body healthy and alive. It's about getting back to your original factory settings. And in 10 days or less, you can break free from food addiction and FLC Syndrome.

What to eat and what to do

The basic idea is simple. Eat whole, unprocessed, real foods. Cut out food that causes inflammation and blood sugar and insulin spikes, such as sugar and flour. This kind of eating plan will create changes in your body's hormones and neurotransmitters, to rewire your biology very quickly and get all the signals back in balance so you naturally feel good and crave real food, not junk. You’ll lose weight, keep it off and create long-term health.

Other simple things can boost your weight loss and success, too. Things like daily detox baths, deep breathing exercises, walking, journaling and connecting with others for support and encouragement.

How cooking can save your life

The propaganda that the food industry has convinced us of is that cooking is hard, expensive, time-consuming and messy. That's why we have outsourced cooking to corporations and are now the sickest, fattest nation in the world because of it.

I recently visited a poor, seriously sick and overweight family in South Carolina and taught them to cook good food on a tight budget. This family of five lives on food stamps and disability, and ate only processed foods, green beans from a can and fast food. The father was on dialysis and needed a new kidney but couldn't get one because he needed to lose 40 pounds first.

By teaching them to cook real food from real ingredients, by getting them to understand how the food industry had duped them with all the "healthy" processed options that are still junk, they had a radical transformation. The mother lost 67 pounds and got off her blood pressure meds. The father lost 45 pounds and got a new kidney, and the 16-year-old son lost 40 pounds.

Anyone can do this. And everyone should do this, at least for 10 days.  Everything you need to break the cycle of food addiction is in my new book, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet -- an easy, step-by-step plan to lose weight and reboot your health. You'll see how radically different you can feel.

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Join Dr. Hyman on his path to revolutionize the way we think about and take care of our health and our societies at DrHyman.com, on Twitter, on Instagram @MarkHymanmd, and on Facebook.