David Kessler "The End of the Gluttony"
David Kessler is a doctor and government official who for many years headed the US Federal Food and Drug Administration. And also - a former fat man, who won in many years of struggle with own excess weight.
Kessler spent years of research to find answers to his questions. For example, why chocolate cookies have such power over him and millions of his countrymen? Why the more you eat, the more you want? And where does the instinct of self-preservation, which must keep from overeating, evaporate?
For answers, Kessler went to physiologists, neurobiologists, anthropologists, and US psychologists. From them, an investigation led him straight into the heart of the food industry — to kitchens in restaurants and in the laboratories of international food corporations. What he learned and stated in his book, frankly, scares.
How food absorbs our brains
Our brain is programmed to focus only on the strongest stimuli. Such as delicious food. Special love for some dishes is on three pillars: fat, sugar and salt. They activate the network of opioid nerve cells in the brain, which give pleasure and simultaneously stimulate the appetite, making you want more and more. In addition to pleasure, opioids relieve pain, relieve stress and soothe - which is why we are most attracted to fatty meat cuts and profiteroles in moments of sadness and irritation.
The fatter, sweeter and more salty foods, the greater the excitation of opioid neurons, the stronger the pleasure and the higher the consumption. The world food industry (primarily in America and Europe) has been making billions of dollars over the past decade using this uncomplicated fat-sugar-salt formula, turning just delicious food into a super-tasty one that you sit like a drug.
Products are created so that they practically do not have to chew, they melt in your mouth. Moreover, the food stimulates not only the taste, but also other sensory organs, enhancing the pleasure: the contrast of soft cream ice cream and chocolate chips, light tingling and sweetness of cola, supple elasticity of crispy fried meat. Food variety, bright colors, music, holiday atmosphere and accessibility stimulate overeating even more.
In response to continuous temptations, the body adapts in its own way: many produce overeating reflex, that is, what is called gluttony in everyday life. The brain is reprogrammed to search for constant nutritional stimulation and already automatically requires affordable food. We cease to understand how much we need to eat, and literally dwell on food. Hence, according to Kessler, and the current epidemic of obesity. “Soon we will be surprised that someone else is able to eat normally,” the author predicts.
How to get rid of the habit of overeating
Waiting for favors from food industry is not necessary, they have a vested interest in us eating, eating and eating. In response to their efforts, Kessler proposes to build his "parallel food universe." That is, with one's own hands, erase the conditioned overeating reflex in your brain. For this, the author offers techniques of modern addiction medicine:
1. Develop aversion to sweet and fatty foods, like former smokers - to cigarettes. “Once I thought: a big plate of food is what I need to feel better. Now I see on this plate layers of fat, sugar, salt, again layers of fat, which will never bring lasting pleasure and only make me want more fat and sugar. "
2. Make a detailed list of foods and situations that provoke gluttony. Avoid them in all possible ways until control becomes a habit: do not keep them at home, change the route so as not to walk past a supermarket or a pastry shop where you usually buy them. “Someone can afford cracker snacks,” says Kessler. “But the one who does not stop until he has emptied the whole box cannot even begin.”
3. At the same time, make a list of healthy delicacies that you can eat calmly without overeating: fruit dessert, and so on.
4. Imagine in advance how you will act in case of temptation. For example, you come in the usual way to the supermarket and DO NOT buy chocolate. This will help to cope with a similar real situation.
5. Do not hurry, listen to your instincts. Ask yourself questions: here is something edible in front of me, but do I want to eat now? And if so, is this a good meal? Will there be any benefit from it?
6. Be always on guard. “Learn how to see a threat to yourself in advertising tricks, in huge restaurant rations, in multi-layer high-calorie dishes,” advises Kessler.
The last warning seems to me somewhat frighteningly prophetic. The profession of a personal nutritionist who teaches how to eat is becoming more and more popular (one day from the life of such a New York expert Kessler describes). I think that the day is not far off when they will write big on snickers and kols "Junk food kills "just as they write now . We will discuss passive obesity and its victims - children whose parents do not think they are eating. Food from the personal file of everyone gradually becomes public, as it was with smoking.