I was browsing through Pinterest Fitness boards today, and came across this nugget of knowledge:
I decided to do a little research on it, because trigger foods and drunk/binge eating has been a challenge for me this past month or so. This article was very informative:
“Merely looking at or thinking about a food you know you love activates the reward portion of your brain” — um YES
“This triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical that enhances your awareness of that food (so forget ignoring it!)” — can I get an Amen?
“And once you’ve taken that first bite, watch out. Tasting food engages all of your senses. Your nervous system responds by secreting insulin and relaxing your stomach muscles, which makes you feel like you need to eat more to be satisfied.” — HOLY CRAP
I feel way less crazy now. The bottomless pit feeling is a physical, hormonal response.
This Women’s Health article is eye opening. It goes on to say that the saturated fats in these junk foods actually impair your brain’s ability to regulate appetite versus cravings. And the effect can last up to three days! It goes on to say what happens when sugar is added to the equation, and how the reward system in your brain intensifies cravings.
It looks like my realization that one bite was enough to trigger an entire binge is actually supported by science. I’ve been keeping some unhealthy foods in the house to avoid feeling deprived (ahem: cocoa pebbles), and as long as I completely avoid them after a night out on the town (Not-even-one-bite-Rule), I’m fine. In my right mind, I can enjoy one bowl of cereal and leave it at that.
Drunk/binge eating is still a challenge for me, but I’m relieved to see that there are chemical responses in our bodies that enhance these cravings. It explains the out-of-control feeling I sometimes get. I have been improving though, and the “willpower is a muscle” quote definitely rings true for me. The brain is a powerful tool that you can train to think differently. Slowly but surely!
Work it Out
After work yesterday, I went to the gym and completed this 30 min treadmill incline workout, from pbfingers. I modified it a little bit (whenever the incline was greater than 10, I walked at a 3.5 mph pace), and it was still a definite challenge. If you’re not totally and completely out of breath after running 5 mph at a 15% incline, be my friend and teach me your fitness secrets. Please?
I topped off my cardio with 10 minutes on the elliptical, then drove home to do Week 3 of Ripped in 30. Not sure how I forgot about the duck walking and squat jumps, but I was quickly reminded that they are my nemesis.
After my workout I showered and whipped up a quick and delicious sandwich for dinner!
Avocado, Goat Cheese, and Spinach Sandwich
Recipe from ExPress-O. Serves 1.
1/2 an avocado, sliced
1 oz goat cheese
small handful of spinach
2 slices of bread (I used Udi’s Millet-Chia Gluten Free Bread)
Smear some goat cheese, avocado, and spinach on toasted bread and dig in!