Secret Forces Sabotaging Your Diet
Why are you successful in many areas of your life but keep tripping up when it comes to eating healthy? Ever feel like secret forces are sabotaging your diet? To succeed at weight loss we need to understand the hidden challenges in the battle of the bulge. Here are four factors you need to consider when starting a diet.
Food & Feelings
Food is supposed to be fuel that makes our body run efficiently, but for many of us it has become something much more. Starting early in life many of our parents cheered us up by offering us sweets and candy, sending the message that food will take away negative emotions and soothe our hurt feelings. We use food pet names like honey, sweetie or cookie to express our love for those close to us. Very early in life we begin to connect food with communicating love, soothing pain and calming our emotions, making it what we turn to in times of stress. Look for other ways to deal with emotional ups and downs. Exercise, yoga, time with friends; be adventurous and try something new.
Our ancient ancestors had to hunt, chase and kill their food, meaning they burned lots of energy chasing it down. Because of the scarcity of food they were genetically hardwired to crave energy-dense nutrients that can be stored in the body for energy; primarily fats and carbohydrates. Today, food is no longer scarce and we no longer spend energy hunting, yet we still have the same biological programming, meaning we still crave fats and carbohydrates even when food is readily available. Exercise is key to burning excess fat stores. Also eating well-balanced meals that contain all the major food groups will prevent you from overloading on fats and carbs.
When we eat foods that we find pleasurable (especially fatty and sugary foods) our bodies release pleasure hormones. These are the same hormones that are released during sex and can affect the brain in similar way to drugs and alcohol. The brain remembers foods that release the most feel good hormones making us crave them even more. It is important to understand which foods cause you to over-indulge. Are you a sucker for sugar or do you faun over fatty foods? Maybe you need to limit your exposure to them or only eat them on special occasions.
In the last twenty years our food portions have become much larger. The average bagel in the 1970’s contained 140 calories today a bagel may contain as many as 500 calories. The same is true for many other foods. Portion control is the key. It’s ok to enjoy your favorite foods but knowing when to put down the fork will save you from unwanted weight gain.
Written by: Robert Brace, Creator of D28 For Life