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Why You Can't Stop Eating

Wonder why you can’t stop eating certain processed foods? Emerson reveals how overconsumption is commonly triggered by substances & ingredients in food & why it’s not a matter of self-control. You’ll learn how ingredients & stimulating substances like caffeine, sugar & monosodium glutamate drive cravings, hunger & appetite. She’ll tell you where to look & how to find these stimulating substances. And you’ll get practical tips on how you can still eat these types of foods, enjoy yourself, avoid the over-stimulation & not destroy yourself.

You can listen instead to this same info on my PODCAST: Why You Can't Stop Eating

By design, there are lots of processed foods like potato chips that include ingredients that are really stimulants.

There are ingredients that are added to foods that improve the flavor & also stimulate the tongue & the brain, which is why I call them stimulants. They literally drive us to eat, stimulate our appetite and promote cravings too.

Why You Can't Stop Eating: Most Processed Foods

Other diets and weight loss programs will tell you to just portion it out. Shut your mouth and stop eating. These programs keep you dependent, relying on willpower and compliance. The only way to solve this problem is to understand it and then you have a solution that's sustainable.

There's nothing wrong with you. You're not the reason why you can't stop eating the chips or the cookies. You don't need more willpower. What you need is more information.

I want to make sure that you don't feel powerless or like you have to avoid certain foods like they're your kryptonite. The truth is some of these processed foods can render us all helpless because they do control and drive our behavior.

More specifically, it's the stimulating substances in the foods that drive consumption and our need to eat, which is why I really want to share this message. There's nothing wrong with you. You're not weak. It's a normal response to these stimulants and substances in these foods. 

Stimulating Substances

These are things like sugar, caffeine, fat & msg. These substances trigger a dopamine response in our brains and stimulates receptors on your tongue. And when they're combined like caffeine & sugar (flavored latte), or sugar & fat (ice cream) or msg & fat (fried chicken) the pleasure it delivers is even more amplified.

The dopamine, or the pleasure sensors are activated, which means that your brain feels good when you eat something sweet. Sugar is the substance that the brain remembers to reliably deliver pleasure, which is why your brain wants to repeat that good feeling. It basically wants more and that's why, it sends the signal to eat more. 

Which Substances Commonly Cause Over-Consumption

Drinking Sugar

When you drink sugar, your blood sugar spikes at a tsunami level. And what follows the rush is a crash, which happens about one to two hours later. Your body basically wants to rally and rebound. So now your brain will signal hunger, appetite, and cravings because it wants to recover. And the brain thinks that the body needs more energy, which is exactly why it wants more food and not just any kind of food: fast-acting carbohydrates and sugar! Basically, the brain is craving junk food.

Re-feed hunger is the kind of hunger you feel when your body thinks it needs to repeat feeding. And that's what we're talking about here. The re-feed hunger is the body's response to drinking sugar and it can also happen after eating a lot of sugar or starchy- carbs too.

Fast-Acting Starchy-Carbs

Starchy-carbs are just longer chains of sugar molecules strung together. So, if you're eating something like french fries, let's say, those are fast-acting, starchy-carbs that will reliably spike your blood sugar. And if you pair that with a burger, the hamburger bun is also a fast-acting starchy-carb. So your blood sugar will absolutely spike, surge and will likely result in re-feed hunger too.

Monosodium Glutamate

MSG was first made popular as an additive to Chinese food because it was known to help enhance flavor. Then, more recently, it became widely popular for its ability to stimulate appetite; which is why food manufacturers and fast-foods started to include monosodium glutamate as an additive. It keep us eating.

So now you're going to find MSG included in everything from potato chips, crackers, soups, canned foods, snack foods, and fast foods. I think you'll be surprised to see just how often it's included. 

How to Enjoy Yourself & NOT Destroy Yourself

1. Don't Drink Sugar

Every flavored creamer that I've ever seen includes some form of sugar, which is why I'd say, if you can make the switch and eliminate the flavored creamer, that's great. Because it's going to go a long way towards taming, your appetite and hunger throughout the rest of the day. Instead of a flavored creamer, try using plain, whole milk or my favorite: full fat, heavy, natural whipping cream.

Look at the list of ingredients because you want to make sure there are no added gums or sugars. If you want to add some sugar or some sweetener, just do that separately. Slowly progress to the next level of healthy & start to dial-back the amount of added sugar or sweetener that you're adding to your coffee or your tea.

Now, alternatively, if you do decide that you want to take the leap and completely eliminate sugar from your drinks, the best way is to eliminate all sweet taste entirely for two weeks. It takes 10 to 14 days for your taste buds to regenerate on your tongue. We all generate new taste buds, which is great because once you get those new taste buds, your sweet receptor proteins will be more sensitive.

2. Limit Sugar to Dessert

Sugar is something that we all want to enjoy. The key is you want to enjoy it in moderation. I like to think of it like alcohol: too much is bad for the body can make you really sick. Well, the same thing goes with sugar. The body gets sick. Only we don't necessarily feel sick or see all those detrimental health effects, which is why, added sugar is something we all really need to limit.

The reason why these sugar limits matter is because the human body wasn't made to constantly digest and metabolize sugar. Natural whole fruit, yes. But the other forms of modernized sugar, no. And once you hit that daily added sugar limit and you start to go over it, not only are you increasing your body's likelihood for storing all the excess overload as excess energy or fat, you're also increasing your tolerance, which means your body will continue to want more and signal for more.

Read the nutrition facts on the back of every label and look for added sugar because it's literally smuggled into almost everything. And I don't mean to switch to "Artificial Sweeteners"; they may not all spike your blood sugar but they will cause the same dopamine and taste bud stimulation as natural sugar.

3. Add Your Own Flavor

When it comes to things like yogurt, potato chips, or water: don't buy pre-flavored versions. Buy the plain, unflavored versions and add your own flavor. Take yogurt for example, those small single serving size flavored yogurts, contain as much as 17 grams of added sugar, which is more like a dessert! That's why, I'll add my own fresh fruit instead. 

4. Know Before You Go

Look up the menu online to get the nutrition facts & list of ingredients. Every large chain, fast-food restaurant provides a menu online that you can pull-up & preview before you go. Then you can avoid the products with MSG or monosodium glutamate & added sugar. I look online, before I go & get my burger and fries or fast food where I know they're using fewer ingredients. That way, I'm in control. 


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