Why do we overeat? Let’s dig deeper to understand why and hopefully change this trajectory because it results in 75% of adults and 35% of children being overweight or obese in the U.S according to the CDC. And as for the world population, our waistline isn’t shrinking either.
During a 2019 study, researchers found that when participants were consuming 2 weeks of unprocessed diet versus 2 weeks of ultra-processed diet, people averaged more than 500 calories more on the ultra-processed diet. In other words, they gained 2 pounds in 2 weeks while consuming equal amounts of protein, fiber, carbs, sugar, fat, etc. This explains why we overeat.
Giant food to blame for why we overeat
Understand that companies just want loyal customers who willingly overeat their products, and keep coming back for more. It’s all about the bottom line. Don’t be surprised that these tactics are very calculated. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Fat, sugar, salt are responsible for why we overeat
Adequate amounts of fat, sugar, and salt is the difference between life and death in the wild. Believe it or not, companies have names for making foods addictive with the perfect balance of these three ingredients. For example, “bliss point” describes the perfect amount of sugar – not too much and not too little but will send you over the moon. Fats in chips are another example because the 50% fat content feels like it melts in your mouth. So easy to eat! And there’s the salt the touches your tongue first as to have a “flavor burst.” Hence, the fats and refined carbs of chocolate, ice cream, pizza, cookies, chips, and fries make it all extremely irresistible.
Other company tactics for why we overeat
Food companies use flavor enhancers and texturizers to make their foods more irresistible. Furthermore, the human desire for variety is another survival mechanism for getting all our nutrients. So there are 10 plus different flavors of chips as well as in other snack foods. Studies show that we eat 15% more given different pasta shapes and 1/3 more given 4 different fillings of sandwiches. We eat more given more variety.
Ultra-processed foods are also faster to eat so therefore, we eat more. Such a win for food companies! And of course, all the advertising campaigns make us eat when we’re not hungry and reach us when our emotions run high.
When we overeat
As a nation, we snack so much that it’s basically a fourth meal. Not only are we eating while not hungry due to advertising, but watching TV while eating makes us consume 35% more pizza and 70% more mac n’cheese just to name a couple of examples. Also, the snack foods are very cheap. Flavors are not derived from real food so it makes us sick and they make so much more money. Now, aren’t you upset??!!
Solutions for not overeating
· No more dieting!!
· Check your emotions
· Question habits that don’t work for you
· Eat with your eyes too
· Eat mindfully
· Cook lots more
· Don’t forget Mother Nature’s fresh food
Support is the key to success.
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For more articles, read https://happyfoodhealth.com/blog
~ Samantha Hua, Online Nutrition Coach & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA