If someone were to offer you a plain baked potato or a bag of potato chips, which would you choose? If you chose the plain baked potato, hooray for you! Most people however, would gobble down the entire bag of potato chips, lick their fingers, and look for more. The popular 1960's potato chip advertising slogan, "Betcha can't eat just one" was right; we can't eat just one. Many of us have probably tried, but failed. What compels us to gulp down the entire bag of chips, instead of the baked potato? Dr. Joel Fuhrman has the answer:
"The science on food addiction has now established that highly palatable foods (low-nutrient, high-calorie, intensely sweet, salty, and/or fatty foods - those that make up the majority of the Standard American Diet) produces the exact biochemical effects in the brain that are characteristic of substance abuse."
According to Dr. Fuhrman, "Junk food is ubiquitously available, legal, cheap, and socially accepted; therefore, it becomes the drug of choice for many of us."
What do holidays, birthdays, and family celebrations all have in common? If you answered food, you are correct! In today's culture, celebrating a special occasion without the typical American fare of gooey, weight-promoting desserts would almost be considered un-American.
Let's pretend it's lunch time. You're in a meeting and it won't end until 2:00, two hours past the time you're used to eating. How do you feel? Are you experiencing "stomach grumbling, headaches, light-headedness, irritability, fatigue, and inability to focus?"
At 1:00, are you now hoping no one will notice your nervousness, confusion, shaking, and anxiety? Most of us would assume that these uncomfortable symptoms are associated with hunger, since eating relieves the discomfort. Dr. Joel Fuhrman explains in his article that conventional wisdom would agree these are hunger symptoms, but Dr. Fuhrman disagrees. He says, "People are consistently led by these symptoms to consume more calories than they require and this widespread overeating behavior has led to an epidemic of obesity and a continual rise in preventable chronic diseases. Understanding the motivation behind overeating behaviors could be a key factor in reversing these trends."
Making the transition to a whole-food, plant-based diet, involves a process known as detoxification. It is not unusual for a person to experience feeling ill shortly after beginning their healhier lifestyle. Some of the most common symptoms are fatigue, headache, shakiness, and GI symptoms of gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
It has been noted that some symptoms can even mimic those of the flu including an elevated temperature. Generally speaking, the severity of the symptoms is directly proportional to how toxic a person is and the richness of their previous diet. Some choose to make positive changes in their diet quickly which may intensify the symptoms. Making changes more gradually may work better for those who need a slower adjustment period.
If you enjoyed my blog posts regarding food addictions and how dieting doesn't work, you'll also enjoy the below ten minute video clip featuring Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Dr. Fuhrman discusses in detail why eating less and exercising more doesn't work. Most people try dieting, only to fail after a few weeks. After several attempts and numerous weight loss strategies, many people feel hopeless and give up.