Exposing the High Cost of Food Addiction

For over twenty years I was addicted to the Standard America Diet, and as a result I overate and became 100 lbs overweight. Consequently, I developed several nutritional diseases: heart disease, pre diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, chronic bronchitis, and boils; just to name a few. And to maintain that obese state I had to consume at least 3700 calories a day.  

Last year I calculated the average food expenses of my indulgent eating habit and was nearly shocked at what I discovered. 

Basically, I was eating in excess of $4,500 / year than I am now as a Nutritarian. My entanglement with the Standard America Diet drained at least $90,000 from the family budget over a 20 year period of time! 

Numbers don’t lie. The following is the cost comparison of weekly food expenses for one person, Yours truly, Emily Boller:







 1 loaf of bread





 ½ lb of butter



 kale, collards, spinach





 colorful vegetables


 peanut butter



 fresh fruit


 2 bottles of dressing



 frozen fruit


 1 lb cheese





 32 oz. yogurt



 oats (on occasion)


 32 oz. cottage cheese





 microwave popcorn





 1 gallon of milk



 beans (dry / bulk)


 2 quarts ice cream



 tomato paste







 processed cereal



 mixed vegetables









 chips & crackers









 frozen pizza









 chicken breasts



 roast beef



 deli meats






 macaroni and cheese



 garlic bread



 rolls and biscuits



 Subway meal



 diet sodas



 Dairy Queen



 chewing gum



 ice cream novelties









THEN: $166.90* / week = $8,678.80 / year

*This amount excludes coffee and alcohol addiction; this number would've been much higher with daily stops at Starbucks or alcohol purchases.  Also, I was "only" 100 lbs. overweight so this amount would've been much higher if I would've been heavier as well.


NOW:   $ 87.00* / week = $4,524.00 / year

*This amount excludes backyard gardening; this number can be significantly reduced with homegrown produce.




Add to my former expenses a quarterly visit to an endocrinologist and a cardiologist, lab tests, surgical procedures, hospitalizations, and the various prescription and over-the-counter drugs that I had to take . . . .gluttony not only robbed me and my family of a quality life, it drained the budget as well, big time!

None of us can afford being addicted to the Standard American Diet. Food addiction is nothing to joke about. It robs and destroys health, relationships, careers, dreams, and financial resources. Instead, making the commitment to Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian approach is not only health promoting, it is cost effective as well. 


Here’s to great health, a quality life, and money in the bank to all!

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Comments (24) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Marsha - August 23, 2013 8:32 AM

Emily, I love all of your posts. You are such an inspiration. I haven't conquered my food addictions yet, but you give me hope that I CAN! Thank you!

Pat - August 23, 2013 9:28 AM

I am grateful for Eat to Live and I am practicing nutrtarianism. I couple that with a 12 Step program to incorprate daily accoutability and the spritual aspect of my recovery from food addiction. For both I am grateful and my body and soul say Yes!

Charlotte - August 23, 2013 9:37 AM

Emily, thank you for this information. How often I hear, "I would like to eat like you, but I just can't afford to buy healthy foods!"

Kristy - August 23, 2013 10:27 AM

Yes, I love your posts too! I truly believe in Fuhrman's diet but cannot seem to even make it one day without caving in to alcohol, pizza or chinese food in the evening. I wish I could overcome these cravings and addictions but have not been successful. I was going to go to the next one day immersion but I am too ashamed of my appearance to even attend. :(

Emily Boller - August 23, 2013 10:55 AM


I can totally relate to feeling ashamed of appearance, but please don't allow that to be the obstacle to freedom for you. Know that you will be accepted and loved at one of Dr. Fuhrman's Health Immersions, no matter what size you happen to be at the moment. Everyone is in different stages of progress, and you will be welcomed just as you are! The helpfulness that you will receive from Dr. Fuhrman and staff will set you on a firm path in overcoming your cravings and addictions.

Please don't let the addiction define you, but instead allow it refine you into becoming the beautiful person, both inside and out that you were meant to be.

You are understood and loved by many.

Cheering for you!


Andrea - August 23, 2013 11:08 AM

I empathize with Kristy too. I believe strongly in the food program but must admit that at least once a week the thought of yet another salad or pile of vegetables makes me slightly nauseous. I have little patience for making the special sauces, etc. which might be the problem.
I am not pigging out on anything but have lost only 12 lbs. in 10 weeks. I feel it should be more. Sometimes I just don't eat rather than face more greens so I am somewhat concerned about proper nutrition.
I would love to hear any ideas anyone might have.

John - August 23, 2013 11:29 AM

Thank you, Emily!

Emily Boller - August 23, 2013 12:07 PM

How about a delicious green smoothie?! Mix greens with blueberries, a ripe banana, and some almonds in a high-speed blender and that makes a wonderful meal for breakfast.

Learn to make simple but scrumptious salad dressings such as an Orange Cashew Dressing made with peeled oranges, raw cashews, and a bit of vinegar and lemon juice. Yum!

Or a Caesar Salad Dressing made from roasted garlic, almond milk, raw cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard and black pepper - again, blend in a high-speed blender.

And if you don't have a blender, you can always massage a ripe avocado, lemon juice and favorite spices into a lovely salad made of shredded lettuce, shredded kale, red onions sliced paper-thin, and diced red peppers.

Add fresh blueberries, diced cantaloupe, or sliced strawberries to a salad for extra flavor!

The possibilities are limitless!

I encourage you to add some variety to your meals by adding dressings, hummus dips, frozen fruit sorbets and ice-creams; and always have a favorite soup on hand such as Tomato Bisque.

You will be amazed at what a couple of favorite dressings, dips and soups will do for your enjoyment and pleasure of the nutritarian diet-style!

Click on the following link for more ideas --> #library/recipes.aspx

And Dr. Fuhrman's new "Eat to Live Cookbook" is coming out soon. Click here for details --> #shop/books.aspx#ETLcookbook

Bert - August 23, 2013 12:48 PM

That's why the food industry tries so hard to encourage "eating right" and discourage "eating less." A cut of twenty calories a day per person in the USA equates to at least a $500 million hit at the retail level.

Annie - August 23, 2013 1:40 PM

I am going to be 67 in January, female, very overweight at approximately 5'5", 250 lbs. Was not an obese child or young person and was very active and fit but came from a family that had mixed quality of nutrition. At my advancing age, I am a little nervous about not getting proper nutrition that will have long-term negative affects on bones and muscle mass. How well I know the harms that are coming from being so obese, but I don't want to trade one known bad thing for another, possibly also harmful thing. Also, I am very, very worried about excess skin left after weight loss at my age. Can people "of a certain age" who are of adult obesity category discuss their experiences and thoughts on these matters? I am a reader and believer in Dr. Fuhrman's work, as is my slender and fit husband, but I have not had the courage to take the leap; I just THINK about it and toy with the idea and think, "well, Monday, I'm going to start..." while many Mondays have come and gone.

Barry - August 23, 2013 2:57 PM

Thanks to Dr Fuhrman,When I pack a daily lunch for work anymore,I have 5 small containers marked G-O-M-B-S.I have chopped,sliced & diced more Greens,Red onions,Kale,Cooked mushrooms & fruits in the last 1-/2yrs than I have ever done before in my entire past life.Reading his(3)books has actually proven to me how bad the Standard American Diet(S.A.D.)truly is.During this 1-1/2yrs,everytime I reached for the non-value added junk food,I selected the value-added food instead.Sometimes I may have failed but as time progressed,I got myself regimented & started not to miss the junk food entirely.I chose to do this because of what I see primarily happening at work whereas several co-workers entire diet is based upon"junk food" period.But guess who is typically having all the medical issues also as they approach retirement??? For me personally,It's clearly a matter of making a lifestyle change!!! And I have Dr Fuhrman to thank for providing me with the right knowledge that changed my perspective entirely.Additionally,this is coming from a 53yr old guy who does lap swimming most days after work and hikes out in the mountains of Colorado most of September each year. I simply want to live a healthier life come retirement. ,,,,,,,,Barry

Emily Boller - August 23, 2013 3:02 PM


There are several active members on Dr. Fuhrman's Member Center discussion forums who have successfully lost a lot of weight in their older years. I'm sure they would be more than happy to interact with you and share their success tips that worked for them, to cheer you on, and to be there for you in your journey to get your health and quality of life back. I encourage you to start a thread on the Member-to-Member discussion forum and title it, "67-year-old needs help" and you will get several responses, I'm sure!

Why don't you stop giving it another thought and commit to follow Dr. Fuhrman's Six Week Plan starting today; your next meal. It sounds like you know the information, but now you just need to make the firm decision to do it.

Make sure you completely understand Dr. Fuhrman's teachings on toxic hunger - that will help you get over the most challenging part of withdrawal from toxic foods.

All the best to you!


PS My 88-year-old mother lost over 80 lbs two years ago after a stroke at the age of 86; and she's kept it off! One is never too old to eat for the best health that's possible! Here is an interview with her --> http://www.onlyourhealth.com/archives/success-stories-interview-with-a-nutritarian-helen.html

Ann - August 23, 2013 5:45 PM

Wow. Powerful post. Thank you!

susan - August 23, 2013 9:32 PM

I need help.I am 55 years old and weigh 250 at least and im short. I have diabetes, acid reflux, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, and I'm tired of living like this.

Emily Boller - August 24, 2013 8:59 AM


I encourage you to read Dr. Fuhrman's book, "The End of Diabetes." You can eradicate your diseases starting today.

The following are some success tips from those who have been successful with the nutritarian diet-style.


May you do whatever it takes to live in the best health that's possible!

Jeane - August 24, 2013 12:06 PM

From an article by Victor Chan:

For a long time, psychologists focused on raw intelligence as the most important predictor of success in life. Nowadays most would agree that IQ is largely at the mercy of self-control. The brightest kids cannot always get by purely on their brainpower. Long-term success depends on the ability to self-regulate, to mitigate harmful impulses and enhance life-affirming ones.

There it is. Self-control = Success , without self control there is failure. The six week plan, teaches self control, with a side effect of getting rid of cravings.

To many times I practice dieting when I should be practicing self-control.

Victoria - August 24, 2013 1:03 PM

Dear Annie, I can relate to your concerns. I am 69 and have great respect for Dr Fuhrman. I've been following the nutritarian way sort of half way for a couple of years, but still have 30 lbs to lose. I feed a family who would revolt if I didn't buy cheese, milk, etc but at least I've eliminated most white bread, sugar and potatoes. Even if you just start with some of his suggestions, you will make progress and be healthier. I found that fasting a couple days a week, following the 5:2 diet which is popular in the UK, helps me to eat less on other days. I'm hoping that is okay to combine with the nutritarian lifestyle.
Don't give up, we are never too old to change our habits and feel better.

Jennifer B - August 24, 2013 10:06 PM

Emily! I love this! I think I have about the same cost issues. Not to mention the cost to my family in work they had to do that I could not. Even just co-pays for all those dr's appointments and prescriptions! And the waste of my flagging energy to get to the doctors.

So very grateful to be free,


Corey G. - August 25, 2013 5:51 PM

You know, I know some people can exist on the SAD without ill effects or weight gain...I am not one of them. Fortunately for those of us "allergic" to SAD there is Dr. Fuhrman and the NUTRITARIAN Lifestyle that is saving my life, too. 12 weeks and 36 pounds lost, cholesterol down, ldl down, BP down and better blood sugar control and all without weighing or measuring. I love it!

Matt K - August 27, 2013 10:49 AM

I am currently trying to seek a balance between healthful foods and cost. I heard the average american spends $300 a month on groceries. Emily's food bill translates to $348 which isn't bad. Ideally, I would like to drop my bill down to $200 a month...

Emily Boller - August 27, 2013 6:26 PM


When my daughter was single, she only spent $30 week on groceries for herself. (She's a Nutritarian on a limited budget). It can be done and still get the same, great results!

My bill could be cut almost in 1/3 to 1/2 by gardening and freezing the greens, tomatoes, cabbages, etc. for soups in the winter months.

Neil Butterfield - August 29, 2013 10:00 AM

Wow! This puts things into perspective. Imagine what you can do with that saving? Pay your mortgage off quicker, go on vacation, educate your kid. The list is endless.

Sharon Williams - September 4, 2013 6:26 AM

Thanks for the good information! I also experience food addiction, so after reading this article I am truly inspired and I strongly believe that I can also avoid food addiction now. Nice post!

Matt K - September 10, 2013 10:30 AM


Thank you for replying and thanks for the encouragement!

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