What Your Food Cravings Are Telling You, Why Your Brain is Reinforcing Food Obsession, And How to Change It.
You’ve been struggling with food obsession — thinking about food all the time, meticulously planning and analyzing every calorie and ingredient to make sure nothing you eat is making you fat.
You really hate this obsession because it prevents you from living like a normal person and just creates mental clutter. In hopes of ending it, you exhaustively searched the web for dietary tips, and the internet gave you a ton of articles that teach you how to ‘fight your triggers.’
You do exactly what is recommended:
- You cleaned your pantry to make sure the chocolate wasn’t there.
- You developed a ‘taboo’ list and made sure you didn’t eat the food listed.
- You created very strict meal plans, and did everything you could to create distance from the food that you now call a ‘trigger.’
Here’s what you found after a few months:
- You actually spend more time thinking about food and fighting unruly cravings now.
- The more you resist and fight the triggers, the more you think about food, and the more obsessed you become with it.
- Every binge just becomes bigger, and your weight has become even more out of control.
This journey is paralyzing because now you’re too obsessed to think of anything other than food and weight loss. And as you’ve become even more addicted to the desire of losing weight, you’ve developed this strong feeling that something is seriously wrong with you, and you can’t go back to normal again.
What Your Food Cravings Are Telling You: The Brain Factor
Nothing is wrong with you. And you are absolutely normal in this situation because anyone, having taken the steps you have, will have the exact same food obsessions, weight problems, and anxiety. This is because our brain is programmed to perform this way.
Want to know why trying to avoid and fight “triggers” is the worst way to eliminate food obsession? Because your brain isn’t meant to function that way. Neither “fighting” the triggers of food obsession, nor denying their existence, will get you anywhere.
Plenty of studies — and I’m talking about those in science publications with the highest global authority such as Lancet — have unanimously discerned one important thing about food obsession:
The BIGGEST source of food obsession has little to do with food ingredients as many falsely believe. It’s actually caused by brain receptors for dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter in your brain which is responsible for giving you feelings of satisfaction and joy.
And what this essentially means is that food obsession comes from having less satisfaction than you need — especially with your diet.
This situation may have developed in a few ways. For instance, some people may be genetically predisposed to have fewer brain receptors for dopamine. Meanwhile, there have also been studies showing a positive association between obesity and the level of dopamine released in the brain.
Whichever the reason is, one thing is certain:
By depriving yourself of the food you want, you are suppressing dopamine even further. And from a scientific perspective, THIS is the precise reason why your brain will develop more food obsessions.
So self-deprivation, in essence, is the command for your brain to form the addiction that you are trying so hard to remove. And since the brain controls almost everything in us — our hormones, our metabolism, our emotions, our digestion, etc., you won’t be able to remove the food obsession or lose weight by working against its laws.
That’s why the more you’ve tried to ‘fix’ the problem, the more you’ve become stuck in it.
So what is the solution that works?
Eat the ice cream you want. Savor it. Enjoy it. Give your brain all the dopamine it needs — for the sake of setting you free from addiction — to become satisfied and happy.
It’s only through satisfaction that independence and spontaneous self-control can happen. Think about it: you can never ask someone who has starved for 3 days to not touch food in front of them. Their brain will make them do it for survival purposes. But when they’re full and satisfied, they will stop craving it on their own — peacefully.
The best way to find balance and self-control is to prime your brain’s ‘algorithm’ for achieving it….so that you experience cravings naturally vs. having to mechanically watch for, ban, and resist them.
To do it, you need to at least NOT make an effort that confronts its bioprogramming. It’s actually the same for weight loss, and that’s why diets — by sabotaging your body on various fronts — only lead to more weight gain in the end.
If you’ve been dieting for years but have only become larger, have you ever given this approach a thought?
Give yourself the satisfaction you need. That’s how you enable your brain to give you balance and freedom.
After all, that is an absolute must if you want REAL weight loss results vs the fake, short-lived ones on the surface, enforced by diets.
When you’ve learned how to intuitively eat well and remove the toxic relationship with food, weight loss will occur as an easy byproduct.
You may wonder: “What do you mean by ‘an easy byproduct’?”
Let me explain in the following paragraphs.
The Fear: Will I Gain Weight If I Eat Whatever I Want?
This question deserves a dedicated section here because I know it’s the #1 reason you might get nervous when thinking about eating whatever you want. And perhaps for years, you’ve been living with the belief that the only way to control your weight is to go on a diet.
For 8 years I’ve coached hundreds of clients to lose weight sustainably while removing their food obsession. I’ve seen it happen with every woman I’ve coached who used to be just like you. I want to stress that no matter how hopeless or pessimistic you feel about changing your eating habits, there is hope. This is something I know well.
If you are overweight, embracing freedom in eating and enjoying food you like, when done properly, will NOT cause weight gain. Here’s why:
When you aren’t operating from a scarcity mindset and just eating the food you like, you become very satisfied. Your brain will not release the hormones that lead to excessive cravings, especially for high-calorie junk food, which means physically you’ll experience less sudden cravings. Mentally you’ll feel much more content.
What that leads to is significantly less calorie intake (even if you aren’t counting at all) and far less cravings for highly processed, unhealthy foods.
So your eating becomes a lot healthier on its own, and it doesn’t stop there.
When you eat healthily, you not only develop a much better routine, but you also train your body to function much more effectively on every level without realizing it.
For instance, the two biggest barriers for weight loss are inefficient metabolism and chronic inflammation. The former mainly keeps your body from burning more calories; and the latter mainly makes your body attract more fat by creating hormonal and stress patterns that induce fat gain.
When you eat much less junk food and overeat less, these two barriers are dissolved organically.
By implementing this:
- You intuitively eat very well.
- Your body no longer works against you and retains calories and fat. Instead, it starts burning them at a much higher rate, even when you sleep.
- You feel a lot more energetic.
- And you no longer experience excessive cravings, which means you naturally have much less calorie intake without needing to be aware of the calories.
All of these will lead you to weight loss results that not only happen fast, but also last. The best part? Since you didn’t lose weight through dieting or crazy methods, you don’t need to maintain it with effort.
Not only has your eating pattern changed, but also, your psychology toward food
has shifted. By losing weight while satisfying yourself, you will no longer be anxious about food or think it’s your enemy.
Can Food Addiction Be Cured? Will Food Addiction Go Away?
Many of you may think in order to remove food obsession, you need to fight the cravings and deprive yourself of the comfort foods you enjoy. However, the truth is actually the opposite:
In order to remove food obsession, you need to satisfy yourself. Just like in order to experience REAL weight loss — the kind which happens without you struggling, and the kind which sustains itself — you need to fully embrace satisfaction.
To eliminate food obsession while losing weight organically requires a holistic, working strategy that reorients your psychology and routines around food. From there, your body turns away from working against weight loss and into working toward it.
To learn a winning strategy from an expert and to effortlessly get that result, book a 1:1 call with me here.