Talking? What harm can talking do? The answer is plenty! Can you discuss or read about fattening foods without thinking about them?
Ok, CAKE! What image popped into your mind? For me it was a round 8 inch diameter angel food cake with white icing, sliced strawberries on top and lots of strawberries, not just a few sprinkles, they cover the entire top of the cake, inch thick. Then I see a slice being cut, lifted and gently place on a silver coloured plate with a thin black ring on the plates outer edge. Whipped cream is being added to top it off and a little drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Now be honest. Did you have to swallow your saliva? Is your mouth watering even a little? That’s just the response you can see and feel. Your body is responding on a level you are not conscious of. Insulin is being released; and yes, you can be getting the tiniest amount fatter. The response is nothing compared to eating the actual cake, but the insulin release does something more. It makes you hungrier! If the cake was place in front of you right now, it would be harder to resist. It gets worse. The more insulin, the hungrier, AND the better food tastes. Now the worst part. Because of how quickly cake is digested if we eat it, we will be hungry again very shortly. The foods that make us fat are also addictive. The more you eat the more you want them, the more you want them the more you eat. It is a downward spiral.
What can we do?- STOP EATING CAKE!- Simple right? Maybe not. Remember how I described the cake a few lines up. I could have gone into much more detail. Right now, this minute I have a terrible craving for cake. I do not have cake in the house. I live in a rural area, the closest bake shop is a 1 hour round trip. That is the ONLY reason I am not eating it. Thinking about a favorite food, just thinking about it causes the insulin release that causes the craving that makes not eating it Ohh so hard.
We need to stop eating these high calorie, high sugar, high carbohydrate foods, not just because of the calories actually in them. But because of the insulin response. Because cake makes you hungry. Because if you eat it, it is not just that slice of cake that is adding to your girth, it is what the cake makes you eat next because of the hunger it caused though the insulin response.
Do we need to starve ourselves? No! and even if we tried, long term it doesn’t work. Hunger always wins.
Yes, you can get fat just talking about food. A tiny, tiny amount directly from the insulin response, and indirectly because talking about it makes it harder to resist the high sugar foods the next time it is available. And thinking or talking about a food will make you crave it.
So what is the solution.
Here are 3 tips:
1. Trying to not think about anything is impossible. The best you can do is replace the thought. If possible, distract yourself with something totally different, not food related at all. If you are talking to someone, and food comes up, if possible, respond to them then quickly change the subject, away from food. If it is your own thoughts, try to think of a healthy alternative, your first thought maybe cake and strawberries, but turn to just strawberries or strawberries in yogurt both of which are good for you food, or fields of strawberries, or strawberries in blossom. Let your thoughts wander, just lead them away from cake.
2. If this is difficult you may be hungry or thirsty. Our body has a way of making us feel hungry when water is what it needs; so have a glass of water or tea. If you are still thinking of food you may actually be hungry so, have a healthy snack. This works in 2 ways. You are eating so it takes away much of the hunger obviously; but less obvious is sometimes you feel hunger even when your stomach is full because your body needs particular nutrients. If you make a habit of eating snacks and meals that nutrient dense you will eventually have less cravings.
3.If after the water and snack you still want that high sugar delectable, have some. Our bodies are very complex. If you completely deprive yourself of foods you really desire, your subconscious tells your body that there is a food shortage, so the body starts conserving energy and this makes losing weight much harder. Have one serving of a high quality version of whatever your desire is. One reasonably sized serving, too much and you are over eating, we want to train ourselves not to do that, too little and it is not satisfying, you will want more–DO NOT eat a 2nd best, poor quality item. It is not satisfying and so will not quell the craving. Eat slowly, enjoy every bite. Don’t rush it because you feel guilty about eating it, because that too will make it unsatisfying and because it is unsatisfying will not stop the craving. If you are going to indulge, do it well.
Use all three tactic and you will find that the next craving will not be as soon, or as strong. Bit by bit you will lose the cravings all together. And more importantly, by no longer daydreaming about problem foods, you will also limit the insulin response that results when you see these foods. Like anything else your response to seeing a food, or hearing about it is a conditioned response. You can change your conditioning.
Stop daydreaming about food and start daydreaming about your new, thinner body.