You scratch your head. You cannot figure out why you eat foods you know are bad for you.
The challenge is when you eat these blissful foods, your mouth says yum and your brain says, “more please”.
In 1949 Post became the first national food manufacturer to sell a sugar-coated cereal.
It was a huge success.
Practically overnight cereal went from being sold as a healthy alternative to high-fat breakfast foods of the day (i.e. spam, bacon, and sausage), to being a sugary dessert that was socially acceptable to eat for breakfast.
As Tony the Tiger would say, They were GR-R-R-EAT!
Your mouth (and brain) love sugar
Some understanding of why you eat foods that are bad for you comes from our new understanding of how foods affect the body.
We used to think that only the tip of the tongue could detect sugar. (Do you remember that map of the tongue you learned about in elementary school?)
Today we know that your entire mouth does back-flips for the sweet, white stuff. There are sweetness receptors in all of your taste buds. There are even special receptors for sweetness on the roof of your mouth.
These receptors have a direct line to areas of your brain known as the pleasure zones.
So when you eat sugar, your mouth says yum and your brain says, “more please”.
The Bliss Point
However, there is a “sweet spot”, so to speak, when it comes to how much sweetness we can take.
Too little and the food is not as inviting, too much and it’s too sweet to be enjoyable.
Food manufacturers understand humans prefer foods with an optimal level of sweetness. In fact, they use a special term to describe foods that hit this sweet spot dead on…The Bliss Point
When you eat these blissful foods, you have few defenses. Your brain turns on your cravings and practically forces you to eat more.
Worse yet, if you eat sugar on a regular basis, you build up a tolerance to it. That means the more sugar you eat, the more you need to feel the same level of happiness.
Knowing that foods like Pop-tarts, Snicker’s, Little Debbie Snack Cakes and Ho-Ho’s are manipulated to make them irresistible leaves you with two options.
1. You can blame the food manufacturers for your weight problem.
2. You can take control.
The choice is yours.
Making the choice to break your sugar habit
It is possible to break free from the hold sugary foods have on you if you have the strategy in place.
With the right strategy in your corner, you understand why you eat foods that are bad for you. You’ll learn to enjoy healthy eating, establish boundaries around sugar, and develop safeguards to keep you on track.
In a short time, sugar losses its stronghold on your life and you gain the freedom to shed all of the weight you want.
But even the perfect strategy is worthless unless you are willing to take the first step.
What’s the first step in ending your sugar habit?
Making the choice
Deciding to eat less sugar to “see how it goes” is not making a choice.
If you want to lose weight, and you know that sugar is a problem for you, then you have to commit to getting it out of your daily diet.
The thought of giving up sugar, especially if you just love the stuff, is really scary.
You might even be convinced that you don’t have a choice in the matter, after all, food companies make it blissfully tempting!
However, you are not powerless over sugar.
Start with one day. Is tomorrow good for you?
I want you to set some boundaries for that one day, I call them No Exception Rules because you commit to doing them without exception.
Ready to take control?
For tomorrow I want you to commit to eating no sugar, 1 large salad and 2 cups of cooked non-starchy vegetables.
In other words, you are going to replace high-calorie sugar with low-calorie vegetables, tipping the weight loss scale in your favor.
Make tomorrow your first step toward healthy weight loss.
When you make it through tomorrow, you are ready to set more short term goals and you are on your way.
As the Chinese philosopher, Laozi put it, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
(By the way, I teach a FREE 3-part course that goes into even more depth about this process and clears up why you eat foods that you know are bad for you, go here for the free video series.)
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.