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The Key Elements Necessary for Healing Your Relationship with Food, from the OG of the Food Addiction Movement with Dr. Marty Lerner

Today’s episode calls for a pencil and notepad as Molly and Dr. Marty Lerner dig deep into the psychological relationship we have with food and how it affects us. Dr. Lerner, being a pioneer in the field of food addiction, starts off by talking about his foundations in research of eating disorders and food addiction and then his transition to the treatment of the individuals suffering from these diseases. 

Molly and Dr. Lerner give us some key takeaways that Dr. Lerner has gleaned from his food addiction research. First, the two discuss a three-stage process of what tends to happen when individuals begin avoiding food triggers: at first, doing it to be “good,” then it simply becomes easier, finally it becomes more comfortable and a preference. This leads to the conversation of SMERF– an acronym that Dr. Lerner notes should not just be for those that suffer from food addiction, but for anyone in general that simply wants to live a better lifestyle. 

Tune in!

Episode Quotes

  • “The whole gist of breaking up with sugar or finding what your biological triggers are and avoiding them is clearing the pathway so that you can start to make radical changes in your relationship with life.” –Dr. Marty Lerner
  • “Recovery isn’t about feeling good all the time. It’s about doing good, not feeling good.” –Dr. Marty Lerner

Key Highlights

  • The importance of differentiating between eating disorders and food addiction;
  • When we avoid our biological food triggers, it can lead to a lasting change that will become easier and a preference;
  • Hard work is the only way any form of recovery can take root in our lives;
  • As a society, we often overthink and underdo;
  • Using SMERF to improve any lifestyle: Spirituality, Meditation, Exercise, Rest, and Food Plan;
  • Your ego is not your amigo– when relapse or a slip happens, our ego or shame often get in the way and we are afraid to ask for help;

About Marty Lerner, PhD

Dr. Marty Lerner is the Executive Director of the Milestones in Recovery Eating Disorders Program located in Cooper City, FL. A graduate of Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Lerner is a licensed and board certified clinical psychologist who has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs that include The NPR Report, 20/20, Discovery Health and ABC’s Nightline, as well as having authored several articles related to eating disorders in professional publications, national magazines and newspapers including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Miami Herald, Orlando and Hollywood Sun-Sentinels. 

Connect with Marty Lerner, PhD

His free eBook is available at:

About Molly Carmel
Molly is a leading addiction and eating disorder therapist and the founder of the Beacon Program, which offers individual and group solutions to help people break free from their destructive relationships with food and dieting. She is also the author of ‘Breaking up with Sugar’ and the host of ‘What You’re Craving’ Podcast.

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