Healthy Eating & Eating Disorders - Anorexia, Bulimia, Binging


Huberman Lab

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.

For the full show notes, visit

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(00:00:00) Introduction: Fasting, & Defining Healthy Eating

(00:08:55) Morning Protein Is Important

(00:22:21) Sponsors: AG1, LMNT

(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

(00:59:58) Anorexia

(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

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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