Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The habit of food...

So I was mentioning before about trying to figure out why we gain weight back after we've lost it. I've been reading a lot about it and have found that one of the biggest factors for weight gain, after loss, is for the weight loss to be rapid.

The article about the Biggest Loser winners who have all gained most if not all of their weight back, quoted a study done by the Obesity journal stating the reason why the contestants gained their weight back was because their metabolism was wrecked (basically). Here's a link to the actual study. It's pretty interesting.

But I did NOT lose my weight rapidly. In fact, it took me almost FIVE years to lose 100 pounds. That averages out to be about a third of a pound a week. Granted, my weight loss was absolutely never steady or regular. But it was by no means rapid.

I think there's something to the study on the Losers and the correlation to them gaining it back after rapidly losing it. But what about the rest of us who are sensible?

I think I'm going to have to keep researching it. But if I had to take a stab at it right now, here's what I'd guess at.....

Our minds are prone to forming routines. Read Charles Duhigg's new book The Power of Habit (I've just started reading this book) and you'll see our brains are hardwired to create paths between neurons as a way of learning and adaptation. Take a look at this video from his website.

Now, I'm not sure it's quite a simple as that! But he's on to something (and maybe I'll find out more about this once I get further into the book). For me, my body craves sweet and creamy. Why? Sure, there's the physiological response of our bodies to the primary reaction of sugar (glucose and insulin) into our bloodstream and the conversion into our pleasure sensors (and fat deposits, etc.) and energy. (Boy that was a laimo explanation of that whole intricate process of mitochondria and metabolization!)

For me, my body craves these delicious things because I've trained it to. It was a learned habit I created when I was a child that I've been practicing at my entire life. I have build a habit within myself, of my own volition but entirely unintentional, to make myself crave the foods that are bad for me.


So I'm doing this to myself?

Well, of course it's NOT as simple as that. But I think I might be headed in the right direction. What do you think? Why is it we are predisposed to eat bad food, gain weight, lose weight, but still go back to eating the foods we love (and packing on the pounds)?

1 comment:

MaryFran said...

I think you nailed it on the head with the training. We are trained to crave and want those things. A few years back when I was married still I was cooking all natural all organic and all preservative free...it took our taste buds time to readjust to the non processed taste of the food. It was a learning period. as for why do we go back? Weirdly enough I wrote a post that I sent live about 10 minutes ago that goes hand in hand with this....I think the first time around I was so focused on food and while I did it more slowly...I didn't allow the 'bad stuff' into my life! So when I arrived at utopia (goal weight) I was able to indulge a little bit.. I hadn't visited my 'old friends' for such a long time (old friends being those oh so unhealthy foods that were our friends through the fat years). I revisited and it was ugly because I retrained myself in the old unhealthy habits (muscle memory maybe!). This time I'm trying to incorporate exercise into my life as a new lifestyle....and in doing it allowing myself to ease up on being a food nazi....so I can still have a few indulgences...hopefully when I get back to goal I won't dive headfirst into the 'old friends' because I haven't ignored them for years!!!