Why Sometimes You Want To Eat Something Harmful, And What To Do About It
Everyone knows that bad food is evil. We understand that poor nutrition can cause heart problems, high blood pressure, and many other health problems. You must have even heard that fast food can cause depression. But if everything is so wrong, why does the irresistible desire to eat something harmful periodically arise? Why do we continue to hamster chips, bitmask, overcooked thighs, donuts and tons of incomprehensible than flavored ice cream?
Whence There Is A Desire To Eat Something Harmful
Steven Weatherly – a well-known expert in the field of food – for the last 20 years has been studying what makes certain foods more appealing and tasty. His studies prove that when we eat delicious food, two factors give us pleasure.
The first is the feeling of eating. The way it tastes (salty, sweet, sour), what is its flavor and texture. These “oral touch” can play a significant role.
Food companies spend millions to find the taste of potato chips, from which you will blow down the roof.
Their scientists are struggling to find the optimal number of gas bubbles in a sweet pop canister. All of these factors generally create the very feeling that your brain associated with a particular food or drink.
The second is the actual amount of nutrients contained in the product: how much protein, fats, and carbohydrates it contains. In the case of fast food and other types of junk food, manufacturers are looking for the perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fats, which would excite our brains and encourage us to return to this product again and again.
How We Teach A Passion For Junk Food
Scientists and food manufacturers use a variety of tricks to make food more attractive.
Dynamic contrast means a combination of different sensations in a single product. Steven Viterbi gives a good explanation of this phenomenon:
The food with a dynamic contrast – good crispy shell or crust, under which lurks something delicate, creamy, with a vibrant taste. This principle produces a lot of well-loved, but not very healthy products: caramelized or chocolate-covered ice cream, a slice of pizza, a chocolate bar – the brain perceives the game “VS crisp stuffing” as something exciting and original.
Salvation is an integral part of food intake. And the more food provokes salivation, the longer it will be in the mouth, and it is better to cover your taste buds. For example, butter, chocolate, ice cream, mayonnaise – increase salivation, which helps to cover more taste buds, which means it is better to taste the rich taste of the product. This is one of the reasons why many people like food flavored with sauces or icing. Products that stimulate salivation beat off a kind of tap in your brain. Therefore, it seems to us that they are tastier than those that are not watered with sauces or are not covered with glaze.
Harmful food “melts in the mouth” and seems to be low-calorie
Foods that are eaten quickly and literally “melt in your mouth,” make you think that you eat very little (although a lot). In other words, such food “speaks” to your brain: “you are not full,” although many calories have already been eaten. The result: you overeat
The Same Stephen Waverley Explains The “Disappearing Calories” Of Harmful Food Like This:
Chips – one of the most brilliantly created products on the planet, delivering real pleasure. If something quickly melts in your mouth, your brain thinks that there are no calories in the product, and you can continue to eat it for even ages.
The brain loves variety. When it comes to food, if you feel the same taste again and again, then over time you will get less pleasure from this food. In other words, the sensitivity of this particular taste sensor decreases with time. A few minutes is enough.
However, junk food can deceive the taste sensor. Such products are saturated with taste just so that your brain is not tired of their use. At the same time, junk food deftly balances on the brink and does not provide excessive stimulation. Therefore, from its consumption, taste sensitivity is not dulled.
Harmful foods, in particular, fast food, is designed to convince your brain that you are not eating enough but just snacking. Taste receptors in the mouth and the stomach send information to the brain about how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates are contained in a particular product, as well as how nutritious it is for you. In the case of junk food, the brain seems to say: “Yes, it will give us some energy, but not so much to feel full.” Initially, there is an overwhelming desire to eat this attractive muck, but it will take some time to get enough of it to taste.
Memories Of The Past Taste Experience
This is where psychobiology is far from useful products specifically aimed at working against us. When you eat something harmful, but tasty (for example, chips), your brain remembers this feeling. Whenever you see this product next time, smell it, or even read something about it, your mind will begin to recall all the sensations you experienced while eating it.
These are memories can cause physical reactions, such as salivation, increased appetite – what you feel when you think about your favorite foods or dishes.
- Summarizing the above, we can draw the following conclusion:
- Food companies spend millions of dollars to develop addictive products.
- But what can we do about it? Is there a way to resist all this science of harmful food?
How To Break The Habit Of Eating Junk Food
Immediately good news! Studies show that the less junk food you eat, the less you want it. After you start eating correctly, gradually you will notice that you wish to ice cream, chips, crackers or some purple-green marmalade less and less. But it should take some time for you to reprogram.
Here are three methods to help you get into life without harmful food with minimal losses:
Products Without Packaging And Rule 5 Ingredients
Best strategy: avoid purchasing packaged products. Instead, give preference to whole grains that you can feel in your hands: fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, etc. Of course, not all packaged products are harmful. However, following this strategy, you will be able to avoid buying the large number of junk food.
Also, follow the rule of 5 ingredients when buying products in the store. If something has more than five ingredients in its composition, do not buy it. Avoid such products and try to choose natural and organic.
Eat A Variety Of Foods
As already mentioned above, the brain craves novelty. You can vary your diet so that the products do not bother. For this, it is enough to add new spices and seasonings to your dishes. Then the food will sparkle with new colors and flavors; it will become more tempting and desirable. Even if the usual carrot dip in a creamy sauce, it will no longer seem so fresh and boring.
Optionally, a healthy diet is something bland or tasteless. Mix products to get different flavor combinations and sensations. This is not difficult, as it may seem at first glance.
Find Alternative Stress Management Options.
One of the common reasons why people eat so much junk food is to try to cope with stress. The fact is that stress stimulates certain areas of the brain to produce certain chemicals (in particular, opiates and neuropeptides). They can cause something similar to the desire for fatty or sweet food. In other words, when you are under stress, your brain feels the need for something fat or sweet — as you eat junk food again and again.
Stressful situations are present in the life of everyone. However, the ability to cope with stress in another way can help overcome the habit of eating junk food. It can be anything: both simple breathing techniques and deep meditation, both exercise and art.