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Healthy Food and Unhealthy Food

The key to avoid overeating or even eating when you are not even hungry

is to observe yourself.

The food industry today is not driven by health; it is driven by wealth. Fast food sells well, sugar and fat-laden snacks and treats fly off the shelves, and don’t get me started on sugar-filled drinks. One reason is because we purchase out of habit, and we often purchase without thinking about which foods are better for us.

“Big Food” manufacturing and processing companies spend billions of dollars on research and advertising so that the masses will buy their products. Some of the research they do is quite in-depth and extraordinary. They study taste, of course, but did you know that they also research crunch factor, mouthfeel, maximum bite force, and the concept of sensory specific satiety (which is the rate a food loses its appeal as it is being eaten)? Food is carefully engineered to keep you eating until the container is empty. Sugar is added and added until the food reaches the “bliss point” where the sweetness is at the optimum level to induce consumption. Chemists, physicists, and neuroscientists all work together to take your money — and perhaps your health — out of your hands. They use the best science available to make you want more. They have scientifically studied and figured out human nature so well that they keep people eating long after they have ceased to be hungry. The hand keeps going mindlessly from the package to the mouth, from the package to the mouth, until it’s all gone. We need to be smarter than Big Food’s scientists when deciding what to put into our bodies.

There are huge amounts of money being spent and aimed at making you and I overeat. And the money spent is effectively accomplishing its purpose.

Mindless Eating and Mindful Eating:

The key to avoid overeating or even eating when you are not even hungry is to observe yourself. Do you turn to food to make yourself feel momentarily better? It’s very human to turn to food for comfort. The good feeling is so fleeting, however, that we need to very quickly put more food in to keep that tiny good feeling going. Eating for comfort results in a tiny and short-lived good feeling.

The feeling of saying “No” to mindless eating can be an immensely powerful feeling. Because it is part of something long-term and wonderfully precious — the new you, at your goal weight — it can be a long-term, mindful, satisfying feeling.

We eat for any of the following twenty-three reasons:

  • Physical Hunger,

  • Fuel/Energy,

  • Comfort,

  • The Clock Says To,

  • Boredom,

  • Emotions,

  • Because The Food Is Free,

  • Because It’s There,

  • You Have To Clean Off Your Plate,

  • Others Are Eating,

  • Because You Can’t Say No,

  • To Please The Cook,

  • Special Occasions,

  • Because You’re Tired,

  • Driving,

  • Watching Tv,

  • Out At The Movies,

  • On Principle,

  • To Reward Ourselves,

  • Due To Laziness/Busyness — We’re Too Lazy/Busy To Prepare Something Good, So We Snack On Junk — Convenience,

  • Habit, And

  • Because You Are Determined To Get Your Money’s Worth.

Only the first two on the list above are good, valid, and mindful reasons for eating.

What triggers you to eat mindlessly? Anticipate those moments and strategize around them.

Text extracted from the book The Two Keys to Permanent Weight Loss, by Ken Flett

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