When embarking on a diet change, it can be difficult to give up comfort foods. Many people eat emotionally. The most common story is that of a premenstrual woman who is stuffing chocolate and chips down her throat while crying in front of a Lifetime Movie on TV. This might not be too far off, because emotional eating, like emotional drinking, or drug taking is a real problem for some.
Addictive Properties in Processed Food
Hippocrates stated it many years ago that food is medicine. Since food is a medicine it can also be a drug. In fact some studies show that sugar is far more addictive to rats in studies than heroine and that is proved more and more when you also add in fat and salt to the equation. So, if you find yourself in a huddle on the floor crying into that big bowl of salted caramel ice cream there is a reason. It is a drug and should be treated as such.
Highly processed food will elicit a comfort response in most humans when eaten. Grabbing that donut is just as addictive as grabbing for a cigarette or sticking a needle in your arm. Just one is more acceptable still than the others. Even babies like to suckle for comfort. This is something that our bodies are designed to do and food scientists have found ways to make us want their products even more.
You Can Get Control
There are many ways in which you can get control of emotional eating that does not involve giving up eating food that tastes good, although it does involve stopping your ingestion of processed foods entirely. Processed foods are not even recognized by the body as food. That is why you can eat a double cheeseburger and fries and you’re still hungry a couple of hours later. Your body is still starved for macronutrients. Take these two steps to overcome emotional eating.
Remove & Replace – Have sweet and fatty foods on hand that are healthier. For example you can make a wonderful dip out of just dates, water, and a pinch of sea salt blended in a high speed blender. Use as a dip for apples. Eating this instead of that ice cream will satisfy you and give you the nutrients you need.
Avoid Extreme Hunger – When may people go on diets they are often very hungry. But, if you embark on a whole food, plant based diet; if you get hungry you should eat. Eating leafy greens and fruit between meals is encouraged. Eating any low fat plant food that is rich in water, and grown from the ground at anytime is good for you.
The truth is, it’s not your fault. Food companies purposely fill the food with the perfect combinations of sugar, salt and fat to entice you to eat it. Our bodies are hardwired to eat the most caloric dense foods available in case of famine. Most of us aren’t worried about starvation today, and unfortunately, some of who are worried about affording the grocery bill each week have been taught dangerous information that causes obesity and poor health in those who can least afford it.