Recommended Books

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite

I have been recommending this book to everyone I know who is trying to lose weight. It’s such a fascinating read on why we crave the foods we do.  People these days are totally obsessed with food (obviously I am one of them).  The role food plays has become so different than in the past. In the past, food previously was for sustainment of life. That’s it, you ate because you needed nourishment and to survive. These days although we still eat to survive, it’s more about rewarding ourselves and how it makes us feel emotionally- which is why we tend to overeat. The book talks about the 3 things people crave-salt, sugar and fat and how the food companies “design” their products in the right combinations to hit all of those targets.

I found these statistics interesting:

In 1960

-women ages 20-29 averaged 128 pounds,

-women ages 40-49 averaged 142

In 2000

-women ages 20-29 -the average jumped to 157 pounds

-women ages 40-49 – the average jumped to 169

Why the sudden change?

-One reason, food had become more readily available, larger portion sizes, more chain restaurants, a culture that promotes more eating out.

– The food industry has caught on to this and have designed their foods to be highly palatable. The food industry creates dishes to hit the 3 points of the compass-sugar, fat and salt. Sugar, fat and salt are either loaded onto a core ingredient (such as meat, vegetable, potato or bread) layered on top of it, or both. Deep-fried tortilla chips are an example of loading – the fat is contained in the chip. Smothering a potato with cheese, sour cream and sauce, that’s layering.

No wonder we all became overweight.

Why We Don’t Just Say No?– Chronic exposure to highly palatable foods changes our brains, conditioning us to seek continued stimulation.  Over time, a powerful drive for the combination of sugar, fat and salt competes with our conscious capacity to say no.

Although I still have cravings, at least after reading this book, I know why I want what I want and hopefully that helps me rationalize why I shouldn’t eat it. If this sounds interesting to you, check it out.