We have all experienced the guilt and shame of eating unhealthy foods in more than moderation. Even though we know it is unhealthy we do it anyway, but the reasons for this go far beyond knowledge and logic.
One thing all unhealthy foods have in common is that it is processed. What you may not know is that processed food is scientifically engineered to be habit forming. Food brands hire food chemists and food engineers who use the same data and technology designed to cure substance addiction, to create food addiction. The two most common addictive ingredients are caffeine and sugar. Surprisingly over 70% of food products contain sugar—even products you wouldn’t expect and products that don’t taste sweet. This addictive engineering is one of the reasons why you can’t stop eating your favorite unhealthy foods. Also, why 1 out of 4 teenagers are pre-diabetic or diabetic.
When you don’t plan your meals ahead of time your fastest option is often unhealthy processed foods. If you don’t cook much you must stock your home and workspace with healthy snacks. Also, make a list of restaurants and delis that have nutritious and delicious menu options. Bonus points if they deliver!
When your diet is high in low-nutrient fake food your body sends hunger signals to alert you to your need for nutrition. If you respond by eating more fake food you may fill your stomach, only to continue the cycle of addictive cravings and nutrient deficiency.
I saved comfort eating for last to highlight that it isn’t the only reason why we overindulge. If you comfort eat daily it is likely a food addiction as mentioned above. Occasional stress or emotion-driven eating isn’t the end of the world but if it occurs once a week or more it is time to create a healthy alternative. Some tips to curb your comfort craving are:
If going it alone hasn’t worked for you so far, it’s time to try something new. By working with a PNC nutrition expert you will learn to think about food in a whole new light. Unlike fad diets, we focus on quality and flavor, not deprivation. If you are ready reach out to Personalized Nutrition Concepts today!