Here are a range of insights and tools to help you stop food addictions to processed foods – you can live longer and healthier.
As you might know, I’m a late in life mom – and on a mission to live to 100.
I wrote a longevity book called LIFE IS LONG – which shares cutting edge research to live longer and younger. In the book I share about the dangers of processed foods.
Below is an interview with Danielle Pashko, my personal go-to nutritionist – who is always updating me on health info.
Food manufacturers sneak in lots of ingredients to keep you hooked. Most carby, processed foods literally are chemically rigged to make you feel good – by raising serotonin (the famous “feel good” hormone).
You might have heard of “serotonin” – because SSRI’s (anti-depressants) also work on improving our serotonin levels.
Unfortunately, eating a commercial brand of chips, pretzels or cookies will most likely be more addictive than a health food version – because of the sneaky added chemicals.
Plus there’s more bad news about why they’re addictive: Processed foods are essentially refined sugars.
They alter your glucose levels by giving you an initial spike – followed by a crash.
The only way to feel better (maintain the high) is to keep shoveling in more.
Similarly to sugar, if you can completely stop eating processed foods for 7 to 14 days in a row – not a single chip – you can get control back over your cravings.
Another very helpful tool: I recommend committing to eating some protein with your snacks. Many times cravings are due to imbalanced blood sugar levels.
The remedy for that is protein.
Often people will keep snacking and snacking on snap peas or carrots and their craving isn’t gone even after an entire bag. As a result, they eventually wind up eating the original desired processed food snack anyway.
The solution? Try having a little protein like a hardboiled egg, organic string cheese, a few almonds, 2 oz of turkey etc. You will soon discover the hunger and craving will diminish.
This “protein strategy” also applies to cutting back on sugary foods.
If you really want that piece of dark chocolate – don’t deprive yourself. Just have a hard boiled egg first – so you have the self control to eat one chocolate square – and not an entire candy bar.
Sometimes foods lure us in not simply because they taste good, but because they trigger memories from the past.
Some foods can remind us of things like walking on the boardwalk with your parents while eating pizza or snuggling up to your boyfriend while sharing ice cream.
We can have nostalgia from the good times in our life.
Even smelling and sensing things from our past can trigger memories that we want to recreate. Still to this day if I walk into an IHOP I want a happy face pancake.
Check out my bestselling video course, Stop Emotional Eating!