I just wanted to shed some light on a topic that can seem really trivial. I want to talk about overeating, a sensitive topic for a lot of people. I seem to see to sides of the spectrum to this issue, some people who constantly overeat know its an issue and just never really do anything to help it. A lot of times it can be specific times of the day, like if you were really strict throughout the bulk of your day but end up overeating/binging out late at night. This could be any kind of food, its more so the habit of always doing this that is a problem.
Then there are people who overeat specific foods, like potato chips or ice cream. They tend to have zero control once they start and they may not stop until that bag or that pint in front of them is empty.
I’m here to tell you that your not crazy and almost everyone has been in this situation before! Especially with hyperpalatable foods like chips, candy, ice cream etc. The thing about these ‘junk foods’ are that they are DESIGNED to be ADDICTIVE! Scientists have spent years figuring out the perfect amount of sodium and/or sugar to put in their foods to make them irresistible.
It is completely normal for you to get carried away with those types of snacks. They are designed to make it feel almost like it’s unnatural to STOP eating these foods! Obviously these are processed foods I am referring to, not many people have uncontrollable urges to eat broccoli or brown rice. After being processed with extra flavor enhancers, coloring agents and emulsifiers (chemicals to change texture), these snacks are basically too delicious to put down.
Make sure to be cautious around “fake” healthy processed foods. These are foods that are still heavily processed but contain labels like gluten free, organic, vegan, or ‘made with that oil’ or ‘made with flax seeds’ yada yada yada. Bottom line is that these foods are still stripped of a lot of their natural nutrients and they may be better options in the processed foods world, but I would not consider them to be healthy food choices.
Be sure to watch out for foods/snacks that gives a variety to choose from (like a frozen yogurt bar, or a buffet). The more variety/options we have, the hungrier we will become. Same goes for foods that have multiple flavors and textures (sweetness of sugar, savory salty and mouth watering fat)
Processed Foods are mainly comprised of 5 main factors before they head to the shelves:
- Easy to eat (barely any chewing needed)
- Calorie dense (high in sugar and/or fat)
- HUGE flavor (food delivers really strong flavor – mostly artificial)
- Delicious the second it touches your tongue (no deeper flavor to discover)
- Almost melts in your mouth (quick and easy to over consume on)
So this is a pretty generalized breakdown of processed foods, how they are designed to make us go crazy around them. This is why a lot of people have “trigger” foods, and can’t help themselves once they start eating them.