Obesity is killing more Americans than AIDS, all cancers and all accidents combined! Food is todays poison. With over one third of American adults overweight or obese we do need to question whether we are actually eating ourselves to death. Ironically 700,000 NHS employees are obese. Using a research method, it is believed that being obese has risen from the 10th most important risk factor for death in 1990, to the sixth. More than three million in the UK now die from having a ‘high body mass index’.
Food can be as addictive as cocaine with some people experiencing cravings, binging and withdrawals, says Dr Pamela Peeke author of “The hunger fix”. Some foods, particularly manufactured ones high in fat, salt and sugar are so palatable that we use these to supply our brain with ‘pleasure’ chemicals such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin.
Take this test to see if you may suffer from food addiction.
Peeke believes you can combat cravings with this 3 step approach:
1. Strengthen the mind by meditating over your food cravings (presumably by telling yourself you don’t need that particular food).
2. Trick the mouth by eating healthy delicious foods.
3. Move your muscles. Exercise reduces cravings (by stabilising blood sugar).
Another way to combat cravings is by using pleasure. Fulfill your desires…
Our brains need pleasure, we cannot function without it. Contrary to cultural belief pleasure is no bad thing. It seems we have been programmed to believe that taking pleasure in something is a mere indulgence; self gratification that only those blessed with extra time or money can really afford. Pleasure is not forbidden! The more we deny ourselves pleasurable experiences the more we will seek it out in food. So go ahead and bring some pleasure into your day – watch the sun rise, do some gentle stretching exercises, have a date with your partner, find a dance class.
Whatever your pleasure is you will feel more fulfilled for doing it and subsequently you will have less food cravings.