Is Food Addictive?
Lay’s potato chips got it right, “betcha can’t eat just one.” What is it about a potato chip or other processed foods that makes it hard to stop with a bite or two? The answer lies in the feel good chemical in our brain : dopamine.
Ultra-processed foods that contain sugar, fat and salt give our brain the equivalent of a chemical “high five.” Think salty and crunchy snacks or gooey, sweet desserts.
The bursts of flavors and melt in your mouth texture is what makes processed foods hard to resist. Not only is the taste pleasurable, the chemical release rewires the brain to seek more. Food made in a factory is designed to entice you. The packages are bright colors, placed at eye level in the grocery stores and line the check out aisles. These types of foods definitely can be addictive. “Betcha “ if you asked 100 people, most would agree: processed foods are addictive.
Is there good news? Yes! Think about this saying: “What you eat today is what you crave tomorrow.” That’s the good news! Start craving real food by eating real food.
Choose combinations of protein, vegetables and fat. These foods fuel your body, control your hunger and stabilize your blood sugar. Stock your fridge with easy sources of protein instead of stocking the pantry with quick grab ultra-processed foods. Real food is not addictive and it’s not easy to overeat. Could you have another piece of chicken or another pork chop if you were full? “Betcha” you couldn’t.
Do yourself a favor and get dopamine from other sources of pleasure: learning something new, meditating. reaching a goal, crossing something off your to-do list or helping other people. Those are real dopamine rewards worth repeating and if they turn out to be addictive, that seems like a good problem to have.
The more you fuel your body with healthy foods, fill your life with rewarding activities, the less you will be tempted with addictive foods.
So what’s your next step? What do you want to do? How does weight loss surgery help with getting away from food addiction? It allows you to focus on good nutrition, prioritize what your body needs and focus on the parts of life that bring real pleasure: learning, growing and helping. It helps to break a cycle of poor food choices and a hungry brain.
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Check us out at Total Wellness & Bariatrics, we are here to help you make the best decision for you. Together, we can look at your case because at Total Wellness & Bariatrics, we have a wide array of options to best address your issue. So, schedule your first appointment to get started and contact our office today to discuss what’s best for you!