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Time offers seven reasons that cause us to eat more than we need. The Lean Saloon has discussed many of these reasons, and we’ll continue to discuss them.
One of the reasons we tend to eat more than necessary may be our mindless practice of the scheduled meal — i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or even our belief that eating 6 small meals a day is the way to go. These regularly scheduled mealtimes — as dictated arbitrarily by culture, tradition and so-called weight-control experts — diminish our sense of true hunger. We don’t even know when we’re hungry anymore. Instead, we eat just because it’s time to eat.
Another reason we overeat may be traced to foods that bombard our sensory system. These foods — heavily salted, sweetened, and greased — over-stimulate senses like smell, sight, and taste, which increase dopamine levels in the pleasure center of our brain, the nucleus accumbens. This powerful chemical pleasure motivates us to seek more of this reward, often at the expense of our well-being.
And of course, easy-digesting grains and grain-based carbohydrates make us eat more. These carbohydrates trigger the release of insulin, which can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and make us crave more food. And we likely eat more of the same appetite-stimulating, satiety-depressing foods. This on-going cycle can lead to Leptin resistance, which disrupts appetite control and satiety.
What Can We Do?
While the Time article is interesting, it doesn’t offer solutions. What can we do? The Lean Saloon discusses these solutions:
- Intermittent Fasting. This eliminates the feeding frequency our bodies are used to, but don’t require. I.F. helps us get back in touch with our physical hunger, rather than being controlled by habitual hunger.
- Avoid hyper-flavored foods. Avoiding these foods (also discussed here) can decrease the stimulation to the pleasure center of the brain, and up-regulates dopamine sensitivity to more natural foods, rather than requiring hyper-flavored foods for activation.
- Eliminate grains and sugar. This helps control insulin, which can prevent or correct both insulin resistance and leptin resistance.
TLS will continue to explore these and other factors that control our health and body weight in future posts. Stay tuned!