"Bad eating habits" and your environment



If you find that you over-indulge in all the wrong foods, is it just a habit?

If you’re struggling with your weight right now, I challenge you to ask yourself that question. Having worked with many clients who have referred to their eating behaviour as simply “bad habits”, many have found that adopting a very different mind-set with regards to this can be beneficial.

Adopting the mind-set that your current eating behaviour is an addiction, as opposed to “bad eating habits” may seem like an exaggeration or overstatement. However, refined sugary snacks and other junk foods hijack the brains pleasure pathways, functioning similarly to that of cocaine or nicotine (Avena et al, 2008). What makes cutting down on junk food such a challenge? Exactly that, cutting down. If you cut down on junk food, and are still having it occasionally, you will still crave more (Avena et al, 2008).

Refined sugar and junk food have a powerful influence over your behaviour as they change your neuro-chemistry. We have become neuro-adapted to high calorie artificial foods. We have a hunger drive that prefers the most calorie dense foods possible. In the past when food was scarce, this system served a purpose as life insurance. This is no longer the case, we have calories in excess, and no longer require being physically active to make a living. Combine this with aggressive advertising and therein lies the problem.  

Our human design + the environment we live in = Increased calorie consumption and weight gain. 

Is this article to recommend you cut out sugar and junk food entirely? Not at all.

The bottom line? Imagine a nicotine addict trying to cut down on smoking whilst having cigarettes scattered around the house. Some people may be able to resist it, but why even tempt fate? We become our environment. If you have junk food in the house, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Tips –

·         Recognise that refined sugars and junk food have a powerful influence over you, and not keeping it around the house can make a huge difference to having a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.

·         Try to re-sensitize your taste buds with as many natural, healthy foods as possible in your diet.  

Occasionally eating junk food is fine, as long as you understand that it is not just a habit. If you want junk food bad enough, having to go out and get it will give you more leverage to stay on track.

Andrew Latimer