Definitely Struggling with, ‘Moderation’
I have always said that controlling your diet is as hard if not HARDER than an alcoholic trying to abstain from alcohol (or shake any drug addiction for that matter). Before you throw your empty bottle at me consider this. You can LIVE without alcohol, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, or whatever your party pleasure of choice may be.
BUT, you can NOT live without food. We must eat it everyday of our lives and face our struggles with it everyday. Some people count calories, some count points, some count fat, or carbs. But what is for sure most of us are TERRIBLE at this. What’s the deal?
In America 60% of people consume alcohol. However, 100% of people eat food. Roughly 20% of Americans abuse or are addicted to alcohol, yet 66% of Americans are overweight, and 34% are obese (it is estimated that by 2015 that 75% of Americans will be overweight). I am assuming you may have heard about this epidemic. Look down, chances are 2/3 that you are guilty. We know drugs and alcohol can be very dangerous. Well, we do know that obesity is directly correlated to the top 2 causes of death in the U.S. (cardiovascular disease and cancer).
While I am not downplaying alcoholism or drug abuse as they are terrible conditions. But, I would like to emphasize and face directly the seriousness and implication of the state of nutritional habits and ideals in America. You can point your other finger directly at inactivity, but let’s focus on food.
There are definitely two types of people in this world, those who can abstain, ‘portion control’ and those who can not, and follow the ‘see food diet.’ Seek and destroy, if it is in the house it is gone in 24 hours. You either have one bite of that cake or all of it, no middle ground.
Recent research as highlighted that milkshakes activate the SAME areas of the brain as cocaine (Chicago, Reuters). This can explain why some foods may be triggers for some and simply need to be TAKEN OUT OF THE HOUSE. You don’ give an alcoholic a 12 pack and say, ‘ok, just have one, you will be fine.’
“If certain foods are addictive, this may partially explain the difficulty some people experience in achieving sustainable weight loss.” Ashley Gearhardt of Yale University in Connecticut and colleagues wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Are you one of those people that either uses sweetened coffees all day to survive, and then claim to eat nothing all day, and you just can’t lose weight? You might also be the person who is constantly attacking that candy jar because you keep skipping meals, or attack that muffin from the vending machine from that enormous craving that keeps coming up every few hours. Your not a bad person, your just stuck in a vicious cycle that must be broken. When an addicts blood level of the active substance drops they crave and use. When you eat crap food all day sending your blood sugar up and down spiking your insulin up and down all over the place you are chasing the same high.
Many people are surprised that I don’t have them count calories to often when trying to lose weight. In fact I NEVER do this. What’s the point? if that’s all we were going to do then that is the same thing as simply giving the crack head a smaller rock. Sorry sir, no rocks for you! We get our ‘viscous cycles’ in check by restoring quality of food to the diet with a constant frequency. Then hunger pangs are fixed as well as the dramatic shifts in blood sugar causing binges and crashes. We focus on quality of food, frequency, and timing of eating, and by default the QUANTITY goes down. This is much easier, more fun, and WAY more successful. This study illustrates the point that NO, a calorie is NOT a calorie.
These researchers also found a positive correlation to simply SEEING the food. The brain responded simply to visual stimuli. Proposing that simply he enhanced anticipation of this food brought a reward response to the brain.
The study goes onto to further claim that advertising in the U.S. and visual stimuli may have and effect on the American obesity problem. While this may very well be, the fact remains we all have a CHOICE to make. While many dietitians and nutritionists will tell you that diets that ‘eliminate any one food or food group is not healthy,’ this evidence supports that maybe some foods just need to be sworn off for some. And for those of you who can ‘just have one drink,’ may be able to enjoy these foods with little portion control, and moderation, you know who you are. Me, I have ZERO chocolate or cookies in my house. Instead, I have a nice cold 12 pack of Budweiser (just for Saturdays;).