Food Blitzkrieg

Read time: 2 minutes


Walking through downtown Palo Alto, Ca., one gets bombarded every few steps with signs, window ads, aromas, and visual cues of food, food, food. Every few paces there’s a restaurant, a cafe, or a bakery, most with doors that open like arms of loved ones.

Although food has been enjoyed through the ages, at certain periods even in abundance. But I don’t think it’s ever been unleashed on us blitzkrieg-style the way it is in the age of modern commerce and free market.

Business competition is fierce, and food manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants all want to sell us a plate, and their marketing is so aggressive that it practically resembles cultural force feeding.

In the spirit of “added value,” meal portion inflates to ridiculous sizes, just to charge a few pennies more. And we’re conditioned to seek this added value on our plate, even if that means the result is added fat on our hips.

Studies show that we tend to eat the entire meal placed in front of us, regardless of its portion size. Also, the site of food, the proximity to food, and the expectation of eating food, are enough to trigger appetite in our brain. Immerse ourselves in such an environment and we have an uphill battle; unfortunately, much of the Western world is such an environment.

Of course, there are multiple and complex factors affecting appetite and eating behavior, but the constant and abundant appeal to eat eat eat is a strong driver of overweight and obesity.

Overweight and obesity have little to do with our own will power, but much to do with the food industry’s resolute to manipulate our behavior, at the expense of our health, through advertisement and manipulated literature (i.e. “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”).

We’re virtually helpless against this industry assault.

But it’s irresponsible to place the entire blame on the current state of food commerce, as we still have choices, no matter how difficult.

The continuous expectation to eat (lunch, snacks, etc.) causes an ambiguity that constantly nags at our brain’s reward system, triggering a hormonal cascade that exerts powerful control over our behavior. We become obsessed with the thought of eating.

But when we acquire and adopt a different perspective on eating habits — that it’s OK to not eating all the time — we liberate ourselves from eating obsession. We learn to eat less through time, and eventually we realize that the terrible hunger to which we once succumbed has actually diminished.

Intermittent fasting is like shutting off the valve. One swift twist of the valve. And all the noise that is industry coercion to eat eat eat becomes silenced. Turn off the valve, and it’s easy to walk right by the 18 screaming bakeries in downtown Palo Alto.

However, if you’re ever in the area you must stop by the Prolific Oven. After all, you gotta enjoy the little gifts in life. Intermittent fasting allows us to still enjoy these little gifts.

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13 Responses to Food Blitzkrieg

  1. steve says:

    I was curious If you could give your opinion on my day? First meal(3pm): 4 eggs(omelet)with 1/4 cup cheese. Second Meal: 1 grilled Chicken Breast, 1/2 grilled eggplant with olive oil and Rosemary + 2 glasses of Malbec. Done until 3 pm tomorrow. Trying to lose bodyfat, around noon: 50 weighted Chinups, 50 Bodyweight squats, and 30 leg raises. Any advice would be great.

  2. Johnny says:

    Steve,

    Sounds like a great day! The meals sound delicious and the Malbec got my heart racing. The workout sounds great, too. Nothing I wouldn’t do myself.

    Best,
    Johnny

    • KevinT says:

      “The meals sound delicious and the Malbec got my heart racing.”

      I guess you could add “reading about food” to you list of appetite triggers for the brain. 🙂

  3. steve says:

    Awesome, you just made my day. Glad I’m on the right track!

  4. Dimo says:

    Johnny, it is already official: your blog is on the very top of my fitnessblog list 😉 The simplicity that you write with is just amazing. I’m also among the smart ones that took the easy way with IF to better health and good lookings many months ago 🙂
    I’m also personaly a sucker for sushi… So many places here.. IF has helped me enjoy it without any negative thoughts. Also enjoy an ocasional beer with it. Trying to switch to red, as you, still, it’s not that simple 😉
    Greetings from Berlin!

    • Paul says:

      Dimo, that’s great!
      I’m also from Berlin!

      Yes, leansaloon is great.
      I also enjoy the Blog of Rusty Moore and Martin Berkhan.
      That’s all i read. So basically 3 blogs about fitness for me. There is no need for more. The most important step to a good looking body:
      never ever join a Bodybuilding forum!

    • Johnny says:

      Glad to have you join us, and I hope that The Lean Saloon helps keep you motivated.

      Best,
      Johnny

  5. golooraam says:

    Prolific Oven is really good Johnny

    I also like Patxi’s in Palo Alto

  6. KevinT says:

    Sorry … this post is just askin’ for it… 🙂

    Blitzkrieg Bop

    • Johnny says:

      Perfect, Kevin. I love the Ramones. My high school band covered this song. Haven’t picked up a guitar in nearly two decade.

      Johnny

  7. Pingback: Check the links… | Pure Spontaneity

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