Are you addicted to food?

After a nice lunch, you have your dessert. Despite feeling full, have you ever had more cravings for a snack or two soon afterwards?

Recently, I came across an interesting article about a study that proves that higher-sugar, higher-glycemic foods are addictive in the same way as cocaine and heroin are. Food high in sugar activates the nucleus accumbens in our brain, which makes us feel good and encourages us to seek out more of this good feeling. In the study, two groups were given milkshakes that had exactly the same nutrition (exactly the same amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrate). The difference was that one group had milkshakes that contained more sugar with a high glycemic index. ‘This high-sugar, high-glycemic-index milkshake caused a much greater spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, and also yielded reports of increased hunger and cravings four hours after they consumed it.’ This explains why people find it so difficult to cut down on snacks.

In today’s fast paced society where processed food are so convenient and fast food is readily available, it is difficult to avoid being drawn into the vicious cycle of cravings, especially if you are feeling stressed from a day of work.

cycle

I am trying to reduce the amount of snacks I eat each day. Here are some tips which I find helpful if you wish to do so too:

1. Out of sight, out of mind. A simple rule that helps a lot. When you avoid keeping any food just within your reach or sight, you are less likely to think of it, and much less likely to eat it. That means no food on your table when you are working!

2. Hide any snacks far away. When you have to get up and walk 100m to get it, you will think twice about having it.

3. When you have a craving for something, try drinking a cup of water first. You may think you are hungry, but you may actually be feeling dehydrated instead. Try drinking a cup of water!

4. Grab a fruit instead of a snack. Always better to go natural.

Diana
200hrs YTT (weekend)