WORK IT OUT// The F.A.T.T. List: Hidden Forces Sabotaging Your DietPublished by Rob Brace on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 9:38 am.
Ever feel like secret forces are sabotaging your diet goals? Why are you successful in many areas of your life but keep tripping up when it comes to eating healthy? To succeed we need to understand the hidden challenges that we face in the battle of the bulge. Here are a few that I like to call the F.A.T.T list.
Food & Feelings.
Food is supposed to be fuel that makes our bodies run efficiently, but for many of us it has become something much more. It starts early in life: Parents wishing to cheer up their children offer them candy, sending them the message that food will take away negative emotions and make them feel better. We use food pet names like honey, sweetie or cookie to express our love for those close to us. It’s funny how broccoli never made that list. Very early in life we begin to connect food with communicating love, soothing pain and calming our emotions.
Our ancient ancestors had to hunt, chase and kill their food, which was exhausting especially if they hadn’t had a good meal in days. Because of the scarcity of food they were genetically hardwired to crave energy dense nutrients that can be stored in the body and quickly released when needed; primarily fats and carbohydrates. Today we have an abundance of food with the same biological programming, meaning we still crave fats and carbohydrates even when food is readily available.
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.
In the last twenty years our food portions have become much bigger. The average bagel in the 1970’s contained 140 calories today a bagel may contain as much as 500 calories. The same is true for many other foods.