Healthy Eating & Eating Disorders – Anorexia, Bulimia, Binging | Huberman Lab Podcast #36
In this episode, I discuss what drives hunger and satiety, and the role our brain, stomach, fat and hormones play in regulating hunger and turning off the desire to eat more. I also address how protein is assimilated better early in the day than it is later in the day, and why those using intermittent fasting might want to shift their feeding window to earlier in the day.
Then I delve into the topic of disorders of eating: Anorexia Nervosa, where people starve themselves and Bulimia Nervosa where people binge and purge their food. I discuss some common myths about Anorexia such as the role of media images increasing the rates of anorexia and the myth of the “perfectionist” anorexic. I also review the symptoms, and the brain and chemical systems disrupted in this condition. I explain how anorexics become hyperaware of the fat content of foods and develop reflexive habits of fat-hyperawareness. Then I discuss the most effective treatments ranging from family-based models to those that target the habitual nature of low-fat/calorie food choices. I also discuss new more experimental clinical trials on MDMA, Psilocybin and Ibogaine for Anorexia, and both their promise and risks.
I review the latest work on binge eating disorder and brain stimulation, drug treatments and thyroid disruption in Bulimia and why the treatments for Bulimia are so similar to those for ADHD. Finally, I discuss “cheat days,” body dysmorphia and the growing list of novel forms of eating disorders start to finish. As always, science and science-based tools are discussed.
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00:00:00 Introduction: Fasting, & Defining Healthy Eating
00:08:55 Morning Protein Is Important
00:26:29 Defining & Diagnosing Eating Disorders
00:29:00 Anorexia Nervosa (Overview & Myths)
00:33:44 Bulimia (Overview & Myths)
00:37:35 Binge Eating Disorders, EDNOS, OSFEDS, Pica
00:39:44 What is Hunger? What is Satiety?
00:42:00 Neuronal & Hormonal “Accelerators & Brakes” on Eating
00:46:17 Fat, Leptin & Fertility & Metabolic Dysfunctions in Obesity
00:50:30 Why We Overeat
00:55:30 Homeostasis & Reward Systems/Decisions
01:04:28 The Cholesterol Paradox
01:06:13 Psychological vs. Biological/Genetic Factors in Anorexia
01:09:44 Chemical Imbalances, Serotonergic Treatments
01:12:56 Altered Habits & Rewards in Anorexia: Hyperacuity for Fat Content
01:18:28 Brain Areas for Reward Based Decision Making vs. Habits
01:24:06 Habit-Reward Circuits Are Flipped in Anorexics: Reward for Deprivation
01:28:30 How Do You Break a Habit?
01:33:23 Family Based Models, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
01:35:39 MDMA, Psilocybin, Clinical Trials, Ibogaine
01:40:35 Anabolic vs. Catabolic Exercise, Spontaneous Movements, NEAT
01:43:23 Distorted Self Image in Anorexia
01:47:54 Bulimia & Binge-Eating, “Cheat Days”, Thyroid Hormone
01:53:05 Inhibitory Control, Impulsivity, Adderall, Wellbutrin
01:58:00 Direct Brain Stimulation: Nucleus Accumbens
02:04:28 Anorexia/Reward. vs Bulimia/Binging
02:05:45 Healthy Eating Revisited
02:10:55 Synthesis, Body Dysmorphias
02:14:15 Support: Podcast, & Research Studies
Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman’s teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.
Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac –
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