Paul J. Kenny, an associate professor, who studies mechanisms of drug addiction, mental illness, and obesity, recently published a very interesting study.
And it all comes down to this.
Certain foods literally play mind-tricks on us.
Let’s say you made a pact – I won’t eat dessert after every meal, and will not touch the cookies in the conference room.
And woops, you had a bite of a cookie during a particularly intense meeting. It’s now been three hours and you are still munching away.
Why do you continue eating when you know you want to stop?
Lack of self-control? Nope, that’s not it.
Kenny’s research shows that people often overeat not because they don’t have enough self-control, but because certain foods silence signals in the brain that help us make the right decision when it comes to what we put in our mouth.
What are these foods?
Processed Fat and Sugar.
Foods rich in processed fat and sugar can overpower the brain’s ability to tell you when to stop.
These foods prompt a part of your brain to make the “feel good chemicals” called endorphins (same chemicals your body releases when you exercise, by the way), which not only trigger binge eating, but also silence your gut’s signal to the brain that you are already full. So if you’re eating a particular rich dessert, for example, the more of it you eat, the more you want to keep going. That also applies to how often you eat these foods as well.
Now you know why the strong urge to polish off an entire platter of cookies is so hard to fight!
Bottom line – our brains are good at doing their job.
Our brain tries to keep our body weight healthy by signaling when to eat and when to stop, but, fatty, sugary foods are especially hard to fight since they overpower the signals that say “STOP”.
Load up on fat and sugar and the body basically is out to sabotage your good intentions. Staying away from the cookie jar to begin with, may just might be the best advice we ever got.