A bit fatter than you like?
You may be a victim of 1 or all of these 3 foods.
I know I’ve been.
It usually happens when I watch MMA with my buddies.
You see, it’s Saturday night. I’m in a good mood hanging out with my pals, shootin’ the shit. It’s my night to let loose, so I’m drinkin’ some beers and catchin’ jokes. I’m watching MMA – a sport I love – and I’m generally just having a great fuckin’ time.
And there are always snacks around: chips, cookies, random little sweet colourful things.
And I go off.
I devour entire bags to myself.
Now, these binges haven’t brought to the point of fatness.
But they do temporarily turn me into a MONSTER.
Just like CRACK turns people into monsters.
Even people as wholesome and virtuous as Danny from Full House:
Addiction to crack and other illicit drugs has been studied in-depth.
Not just to help those addicted, but more likely, to make some BANK for the pharmaceutical companies to turn the most powerful illegal drugs into some super drug that cures everything from back pain to snoring to gonorrhea.
Regardless of who or why, great insights have been revealed about the addiction processes.
And it all starts in your BRAIN.
Just a note - I’m going to simplify it all for you here for the sake of seeing the BIG PICTURE as opposed to the details. If you want to know the details, go ask my friend Google – he’s like the modern day Cliff Clavin.
In your brain you have these things called neurotransmitters.
Basically, neurotransmitters carry (transmit) signals throughout your brain (neuro).
You also have an area called your Reward Centre (RC), which responds to things you find pleasurable.
Anything you find in life really pleasurable, the RC responds to.
When you perform (or in anticipation) of this event, a neurotransmitter called Dopamine (cool name, I would’ve said “dope name” but puns and I don’t get along) gets released and stimulates your reward centre.
The more dopamine, the more pleasure.
Drugs are great at firing up the RC. So is gambling.
Also good things like listening to your favourite tune. Sex. And exercise.
But it’s drugs like CRACK that cause your RC to fire up like crazy, which is why you get HIGH.
But like all things in life, super stimulation results in de-sensitization.
The dopamine receptors become de-sensitized and you need more of whatever substance to get the same effect, whether that be crack or the natural neurotransmitter dopamine.
Drugs are the most powerful at this.
Thing is, there are a lot of foods, especially manufactured foods, that also hyper-stimulate your brain’s RC.
Especially these 3 foods, which, in my opinion and for the wrong person, can be just as powerful as CRACK:
CrACk Head Food #1 – Potato Chips
While I’m watching two guys pound each other out, my hand might go in and out of a chip bag a hundred times.
I don’t want it to happen. It just happens. I’m not aware of it consciously.
To me, chips are the most intensely crack-y food in the world.
The crunch. The saltiness. The grease.
I’m more of a plain chip kinda guy, but sometimes I’ll get into sour cream and onion or when I’m really jonesing, Doritos.
Food science is an industry that basically manufactures bags of drugs you can buy in any store for a buck.
This to me is insane, because chips act on the reward centre just like crack does. It’s been proven through studies on the brain.
Maybe not to the same level as crack, but to some of the softer drugs out there.
But there are things you can do.
Just like the nicotine patch, which, apparently, doesn’t really work all that well, instead of chips, you could substitute a natural, home made version that eliminates one of the ingredients that unnaturally fire up your RC: Kale Chips.
My friend Flavia Del Monte (my boy Vince’s lovely wife) has a great recipe on her blog here. Check it out, but don’t gawk too long at her revealing pics – or Vince will come to your house and pose you to death.
NOTE: my wife has also made Kale Chips for us with olive oil. It works great too, in case you don’t have grapeseed.
Here’s another crack-like food to be aware of:
CrACk Head Food #2 – Candy Bars
Oh Mr. Big.
Yes, you’ve gotten smaller over the years.
But don’t fret – you’re still a big boy.
You’re still too big for me to handle all at once.
So why do you force your entire self into me?
Why won’t you listen when I say, “STOP”?!?
Well, because you and I both know that I secretly want it.
That sounded really gay.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Mr. Big has been created with the same devious intent as chips – but this time, substituting chewiness and sweet for crunchiness and salt. They even throw some caramel in there to really fire up your reward centre and then have the balls to cover it all in milk chocolate.
It’s these different combinations of chemicals, textures, fats, flavours and even sounds that make our RC light up like fireworks on the 4th of July.
And that’s why, just like a junkie, you crash.
And when you crash, you need more.
And it’s this cycle of addiction that sucks you in.
And there’s one more food that can really get you.
It combines some of the most powerful elements of both chips and candy bars.
CrACk Head Food #3 – Cookies
Cookies provide the sweet, the crunch and sometimes, as in the case of peanut butter cookies, a subtle saltiness that can have you devour row after row before coming up for air.
Mr. Christie, you make good crack.
I’ve been known to be a cookie monster once in a while.
Sometimes it starts out innocently playing cards with my parents.
A game called KALOOKI (sp?). I think it’s a Jamaican Chinese game or something.
We’ll be drinking some tea and my Dad will bust out a pile of cookies.
I’ll dip. And dip. And dip.
Until my tea is a sludge of flour, sugar and margarine.
But I can’t seem to stop?
Even when I know better.
If this has happened to you, or if it happens to you regularly, stop trying to use willpower.
I’ll be revealing more research about this next Monday (remember – Monday’s are Nutrition/Motivation in 2013 on my newsletter so signup today – it’s free), but just know that willpower WILL NOT WORK LONG-TERM.
Especially if you’re a food addict.
So start with some obvious and simple things.
An alcoholic wouldn’t keep booze in the house if he were trying to quit. So get rid of the foods you have no control with.
An alcoholic recognizes certain ‘triggers’ – it could be watching football on Sundays. So make sure you set yourself up for success by having some type of substitute. Cut up veggies. Real food like chicken wings or chili. Anything to avoid the manufactured, processed drugs keeping you addicted. [If you’re a cookie fiend, you need this. Seriously. It will change your life.]
And most hardcore alcoholics have nothing to live for (or so they think).
So think hard about how your
choices addiction is impacting the important THINGS and PEOPLE in your life.
And keep them in mind everytime you get the urge.