Today, the purpose of eating food is not only to help us survive but to gain pleasure from it. We eat food for many reasons like – celebration, boredom, depression, stress, or just because it’s time to eat.
Our ancestors didn’t have this luxury of eating food whenever they wanted. They had to work hard to hunt or gather the food. Today, it is becoming easier than ever to get food.
The problem is that as our life gets busier or the technology advances; the food is becoming more processed and unhealthy for us. Our taste buds get manipulated and more often than not, we get addicted to sugar.
On top of that, our modern way of living is becoming more stressful. So, it’s an epidemic of emotional eating as we get addicted to unhealthy foods and then use it to cope with our emotions.
Emotional eating is a problem we have to solve together if we want to stop the rising epidemic of obesity, type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndromes, etc.
Having pleasure while eating food is not a problem. The problem arises when we rely on unhealthy foods to cope with our emotions all the time. Hyper-palatable food gives us immense pleasure with its flavor, texture, smell, etc. that our brain ignores the ‘stop’ signal from our body and we keep on eating.
Leptin is the hormone that tells our brain to stop eating. Leptin resistance is the condition in which it is harder for our brain to hear the ‘stop eating’ signal.
Such condition develops when we get in the habit of eating too many hyper-palatable foods. Over time, it injures our brain neurons in the
hypothalamus and causes hypothalamic inflammation. Then, it leads to leptin resistance.
So, what’s the solution?
1. The best way to tackle this rising problem is to eat more whole, real foods and minimize eating processed foods. I know it’s harder said than done. But if you care for your health and wellbeing, you have to take the initial steps and make effort to change for better.
2. Practice slow and mindful eating. Take the time to chew your food, notice the texture of the food, think about all the places your food have been to before ending up on your plate, look at yourself in the mirror while eating your food, etc. Such practice is not only good for letting your body hear the leptin signal to stop eating but it’s also good for being present and think about what you’re eating and how it’s impacting your health.
3. Use other activities like socializing, laughing, playing, walking in nature, listening to music, journaling, exercising, sleeping etc. to cope with your emotions instead of using food. Try to become more mindful of the emotions you feel and then choose not to use food to handle your emotions.
4. Make sure your food is palatable but not hyper-palatable. Your food should give pleasure but not up to the point that it destroys your internal system. Healthy foods can be tasty if we learn to prepare them and give our tastebuds some time to adapt to the natural tastes.
Remember, it will take some time for your body to fix the internal system once we start developing the healthy habits. Think how it will benefit you in the long term and let go of short-term urges.
The food engineering is manipulating our tastebuds and making us addicted to their foods. It is our duty to take our rights back and take charge of our own health.
Prakhar is a blogger at foodgymtraining.com. In the past 5 years, he has dedicated his life to studying behavior science, food psychology, nutrition, health, and fitness. His mission is to help people achieve their full potential of health and vitality at Food Gym.
Food Gym is a place where you can learn to enjoy healthy foods, curb cravings and become healthy forever. Find out more at https://www.foodgymtraining.com