I started writing this article and realized it was getting LONG! I went over it many times and decided that I couldn’t delete any content. There is too much that you need to know about this topic that will help you overcome the habit of overeating. So I broke it up into TWO articles. You’ll see one right now! The other will drop next week. So enjoy this one today and stay tuned for Part II next week.
Ready? Let’s dive into WHY WE OVEREAT!
So I have good news and bad new for you when it comes to the topic of eating too damn much. Ready for this?
The good news first…
It’s not ALL about your willpower. Isn’t it annoying when personal trainers and nutrition experts say something like, “You just have to be stronger than your cravings” or “just say no!” Easier said than done, right?
Yes, we have cravings and you should be practicing self-control when it comes to choosing unhealthy foods and how much you consume. However, your brain is the enemy when it comes to cravings. Don’t worry; you are about to have a massive knowledge bomb dropped on you with this article.
Ready for the bad news?
YOU are the one that is training your brain. Yes, your brain is responsible for sending these nasty little craving/signals that “force” you to open that bag of chips or run out for donuts. However, your decisions are directly related to how your brain talks to the rest of you.
The truth of the matter is, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for your cravings. Sorry, friend. Just remember, all is not lost. I am going to break it down for you so you understand the science behind it. Then I will load your arsenal solid strategies in order to reprogram your brain so those cravings diminish or disappear completely. Yes, it’s possible!
Ok ladies and gentlemen, please buckle up and get ready for ride of your life. Ok, maybe I’m a little optimistic because I love “nerding out” on this sciency stuff. I just assume you do as well!
Let’s first talk about the major cravings you see with Americans today:
- Salty chips
- Burgers and fries
- Ice Cream
I’m sure you can think of many more to add to this list. Have you ever opened up a bag of chips, pretzels or cookies and snacked on them mindlessly? Then moments later you realize you blew through the entire bag? This is not uncommon! These highly processed foods lack the vital nutrients your body needs. You eat and eat and eat! Yet, you still feel unsatisfied.
Why does this happen? The food industry is very smart! They engineer cheap, easily accessible and hyper palatable foods to be consumed in excess ON PURPOSE! Why? So you buy more of them, of course. The more nutrients they can strip from them and the more processed they are, the better. For them! This is what keeps you spending your hard earned money on their chemically designed foods. Unfortunately for us, our brains are hardwired to crave more of these nasty little creations. They are packed with calories but lack proper nutrition in order to keep your body healthy and performing at it’s best.
Here are just a few symptoms of poor nutrition:
- Sluggish or fatigue
- Loss of focus or scatterbrained
- Fragile immune system
- Swings in blood sugar
- Weight gain/Fat gain
- Deteriorating mental health
- Digestive Issues
Ready to hear something that might blow your mind? Tighten that seatbelt.
There is a HUGE amount of the population in America that suffers from malnutrition and they don’t even know it. When you think of the word “malnutrition,” you may think of individuals that LOOK malnourished and starving. This is unfortunately common in third world countries and other remote places of the world. They don’t have enough food to eat and therefore, they are not consuming the calories and nutrients they need to thrive. In America, we suffer from a different problem all together. We are constantly consuming highly processed foods with such a weak nutrient profile that we are seeing these symptoms of malnutrition in an overweight/obese society. Isn’t that crazy?!
Your body is very smart and will try to adapt. When it isn’t getting what it needs to thrive and maintain proper function, it’s going to tell you. These signals come from your brain via the vagus nerve! Your brain is saying, “Feed us! We need nutrients!” Now unfortunately for you, you’re body and your brain don’t speak English. It’s not going to tell you, “Hey, I’m low in iron, can you feed me some spinach please?” When you are lacking nutrients (which we have now determined that most Americans are) your brain sends signals telling you it’s time to get nutrients.
This is where most of us take a wrong turn.
We have determined that your body and your brain don’t speak English. Therefore, YOU have to interpret what it’s trying to say. It’s a lot like having a baby. They are crying and screaming at you because they NEED something. You don’t know what it is because they can’t talk yet. So you play the baby guessing game. You feed your baby, still screaming. You rock your baby, still screaming. You play with your baby, still screaming. You burp your baby, still screaming. Finally you discover that your baby had a huge crappy diaper explosion! You change them and snuggle them in a clean and dry diaper. All is well and everyone is happy again.
Let this be a lesson to you… get the crap out of your diet and your body will stop screaming at you? Reality check.
Typically, the foods we crave are yummy, right? There are so many problems with them. In my opinion, the biggest problem is the vicious cycle they create. Within this cycle we experience guilt, feelings of being out of control and even poor mental health.
Let’s break down the cycle…
You eat a burger and fries.
You’re now nutrient deficient.
Your body performs poorly and tells your brain.
You misinterpret your brains signals/cravings.
You decide to eat chips and salsa.
You’re still lacking nutrients.
You’re still nutrient deficient.
And so on…
Thousands of “empty calories” consumed. Empty calories are calories that lack vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that are essential for every system in your body. You are trying to give your body what it needs as it “craves” food. But instead you jump on the cravings roller coaster that never stops! GET OFF ALREADY! Not sure how?
Stay tuned for Part II next week. I got you!