The Fast Food Diet: Lose Weight and Feel Great Even If Youre Too Busy to Eat Right
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I know this pain all too well Not only from my 27 years of experience as a psychologist, author of a popular weight loss book, and a consultant to the food industry—but from personal history as well. This went on for almost thirty years while I tried to fix my problem from the vantage point of a psychologist. But this was NOT the case, and this paradigm really slowed down my efforts to fix the problem.
But approximately 10 years ago I stumbled on a solution and kept a journal to work it all out for myself which I later turned into a book. I couldn't imagine I'd ever have , readers and tens of thousands of followers. Certainly not to a successful conclusion. So I hope you'll at least consider this three step solution, no matter how odd it may seem. After all, what if it works? There's an abundance of misinformation and misunderstanding which prevents the majority of our population from losing weight for good. You need to confront this head on if you don't want to be one of them.
It's common to assume people overeat primarily for emotional reasons. Instead, when it evaluates something new in the environment it thinks "Do I eat it? Do I mate with it?
Why is it Important to Eat Dinner - - Food Sense
Or do I kill it? This is why people feel like all their best laid plans go out the window at the moment of temptation. Those plans are in their higher brain, but the reptilian brain is taking over. The food industry spends billions of dollars engineering food-like substances to target our lizard-brain with hyper-palatable concentrations of sugar, starch, fat, oil, salt, and excitotoxins which hit our bliss point without giving us the nutrition to feel satisfied. Then the advertising industry spends billions convincing us we need these things to survive both physically and mentally.
And many of these are targeted at us from the time we are small children! There's some very interesting research which may shed light on the impact. Mammalian studies which bypass the normal pleasure apparatus show an abandonment of survival needs to self-stimulate via artificial means In experiment after experiment rats pressed the lever thousands of times per day.
Starving rats ignored their food. Nursing mother rats abandoned their pups.
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Rats would crawl over painful electrical grids to press the lever. One could argue their survival drive was hijacked by the chance to obtain this artificial pleasure. Now, I'm not saying anyone is putting electrodes in our brains. At least not physical ones - chemical electrodes are another story. It's no wonder so many people insist they no longer like fruits and vegetables.
Their survival drives have been hijacked by the artificial pleasure buttons the food industry has to offer. In my own experience, as well as thousands of readers and clients I've helped, the best way to deal with this is more a game of unflinching domination than one of loving yourself.
When an alpha wolf is challenged for leadership by another member of the pack it doesn't look at that member and say "Gee, I think someone needs a hug! Get back in line or I'll hurt you! It's like that. Now, don't get me wrong. It seems the engineered intensity of pleasure available for minimum effort can bypass all these feelings. As discussed in my previous post, guidelines wear down your willpower by forcing constant decision making. Decision making has been consistently shown to deplete willpower in studies.
Sometimes overeaters are told to avoid fast food restaurants, birthday parties, etc. Sometimes they even ask their spouses and children to keep tempting treats in a locked drawer. The underlying belief behind this idea is that external temptation is the problem. I have good reasons to hang out in Starbucks. Yes, there are many tempting treats on the counter Sometimes I like to just sit there and read or do a little work.
So I define clear rules for myself regarding those treats and confidently follow them while I enjoy the rest of what the environment has to offer. You can't avoid temptation without seriously shrinking your life. What's your single most troublesome trigger food or eating behavior? For example, if you tend to overeat in front of the television you might make the rule "Except for Saturdays I'll never eat while watching television again. In this case you can say "I'll always put my fork down between bites.
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Also, you can change your rule s whenever you want, provided you take at least a half hour for written reflection and are clear why you want to make the change, and allow at least 24 hours before the change takes effect. Last, it's very important to note that despite the fact we can change the rules, we write them as if they were set in stone.
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It's kind of like telling a two year old they can never ever cross the street without holding your hand, even though you know you're going to teach them to look both ways when they're older. Turns out our reptilian brains act like two year olds around tempting foods! The last and most powerful part of this strange method involves deciding that all your destructive, impulsive food thoughts no longer belong to you. Instead, they belong to a kind of inner enemy associated with your reptilian brain.
Then, come up with a name for your Food Demon's voice. For example, my Food Demon doesn't talk, it Squeals. Any thought, feeling, or impulse which suggests you will ever break your rule again is that voice, which you will learn to recognize and ignore. Finally, come up with a crude name for everything your inner enemy craves. For example, my Demon Squeals for Demon Slop. The idea is to help you more easily recognize and ignore the inner voice which has to this point been responsible for all your bad choices around food. Let's illustrate in a little more detail so you can see how this works.
The Fast Food Diet
Suppose I have a rule which says I never eat chocolate on anything other than the last Saturday and Sunday of the month. It's Squealing for Demon Slop. I never eat Demon Slop! As crazy as it sounds, this very crude, very primitive technique can give you the extra microseconds you need at the moment of impulse to wake and remember who you are and why you made the rules in the first place. What have you got to lose? Now, there are some very specific applications of this process which answer some very frequently asked questions about binge eating.
I'd like to cover them briefly here. Night time overeating is a very common problem, and it's often the last one people solve as they are recovering from binge eating, but it doesn't have to be as difficult as it feels. The most important thing to do first is identify the cause.
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Which of the following might apply to you?