'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Star Struggles to Curb Appetite, Lose Weight

Comedian Jeff Garlin Dishes on Love-Hate Relationship With Food

Even if you don't know his name, you might remember comedian Jeff Garlin as the overweight co-star in the movie "Daddy Day Care," or recognize him as the voice of the rotund captain of the axiom spaceship in "WALL-E."

But it's on the hit HBO show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" where Garlin is best-known. His character Jeff Greene struggles with marital problems and his weight. His wife, Susie, is almost uncomfortably direct, calling him a "fat f***" in their screaming matches.

Jeff Garlin: Im a Food Addict
Jeff Garlin: I'm a Food Addict

"People ask me if it bothers me, 'I'm like, why would it bother me, we have a good time," Garlin said of his on-screen nickname. "If I don't want to be called that anymore, all I have to do is lose some weight, like, that's all I have to do."

If only it were that simple.

Garlin has penned a new memoir, "My Footprint: Carrying the Weight of the World," which gives a funny and honest account of his lifetime struggle to lose weight. Like many overweight people, first he had to admit he had a problem.

VIDEO: Comedian offers a behind-the-scenes peek at his struggle not to pig out.
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"I am a [food] addict, no doubt about it," he said.

Food addiction is a physical or mental craving for food -- not unlike addictions to alcohol or drugs -- according to experts. Food addicts' habits are often characterized by obsessive or emotional eating.

"You're doing it to, to push down feelings. That's really the reason why," Garlin said. "So, you can never get enough, it's just never enough."

To get a sense of his addiction, "20/20's" Elizabeth Vargas joined Garlin at one of his favorite places -- the Los Angeles farmer's market.

"I bet you I've spent over the years at least $500 to $1,000 on donuts here," he told Vargas.

At Coffee Corner, the haunt Garlin frequents for breakfast, the comedian used to order half a dozen items off the menu.

"I would get a big vanilla milkshake and two or three donuts," he said. "I'd get lox and bagel with cream cheese and eggs and onions and another bagel and a couple of apple juices."

CLICK HERE to see photos of Jeff Garlin battling weight loss through the years

Garlin: I Never Feel Full

But even a three-course meal wouldn't tide Garlin over for long. "There's never a time where I feel full," he said. "I feel, like, bloated and sick, but once that goes away, I want to eat more."

Garlin said he would frequently stop at a burger joint on the way home to eat dinner.

"A lot of times I'd be, like, 'Oh, I know we're going to have this for dinner, that's not going to be enough. Here, I'll stop over here at In and Out Burger and get a double-double' -- It's two double cheeseburgers."

And on the set, a table full of free gourmet sandwiches, pop tarts, and Garlin's favorite cereal, Cap'n Crunch -- present an endless temptation.

"When I am working, this is as much as I want. There is no cash register. I walk up and I take what I want," he said.

Garlin said he didn't try to hide his compulsive eating from his wife Marla or colleagues.

"If you're fooling yourself, somebody with food, you're only fooling them for a brief second, because all you have to do is look at you and they know what you've been doing," Garlin joked.

Larry David on Garlin's Eating Habits

Larry David, co-creator of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," said he's known about Garlin's issues with food.

"Most people who are overweight have issues with food, right?" David said. "I suspected as much when I constantly saw him eating. I put two and two together."

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