“I have never met an anorexic or bulimic who was not a traumatized person,”

said Dr. Gabor Mate, renowned Vancouver physician and best-selling author, to a captive audience in the intimate Studio Space of Empower Health Clinic.  “[You] have a person who is desperately trying to exert some control over themselves.”

According to Dr. Gabor Mate, eating disorders are linked to early childhood experience & trauma

Dr. Mate was invited to share his perspectives on dieting and weight loss — a conversation which cannot be had without understanding the root of all addictive behaviour:  early childhood experience.  Even the physiology of our hormonal system, which can make or break any weight loss program, has its roots in how our bodies have adapted to stress at at young age.

The vicious cycle of obesity

To further complicate the issue of obesity:  while genes do exist that predispose people to weight gain, we now also have a food system that produces food that “soothes” us in all the wrong ways (AKA “junk food”, “processed food”, etc.) by feeding into our neurohormonal system of desire and reward.  The more traumatized we are, the more we desire toxic, addictive foods, the more we gain weight and the more vulnerable our brains become… and the vicious cycle continues.

A weight-loss program of the future?

Most weight loss programs have proven themselves globally unsuccessful, and obesity rates have continued to climb year after year.  Perhaps this is because we have never focused on treating the root cause?  Perhaps all weight loss programs should begin with a counselling program that helps us to resolve our past traumas and come to peace with ourselves and the bodies that we live in.

“When We Eat Not To Nourish But to Nurture”

Emotional Eating and Addiction – a talk by Dr. Gabor Mate