Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 37 of Phase 5: Japanese Dinner Out, Election Day, Vote For Your Health Today! And Why I Believe That Food Addiction is Possible, though I'm Not Fanatical About It! :)

We had Japanese food last night. I am still amazed that I don't inhale everything in front of me anymore in restaurants and we end up with so much to doggy bag home. The soy sauce/sodium always makes me bloat. But man, that tofu yakitori was so good. I have to be very careful about tofu, but this was worth any endocrine disruptions. Grilled with a light sauce on top. Nice. We got a bunch of grilled sticks of yakitori--pork tenderloin, tofu, zucchini, mushroom, green pepper. Hubby got the roasted corn.

I drank lots of water and green tea and just accept a bit of bloat come next morning. Behold: Half a pound up.

Tanita-san: 217.4

I felt a little weird in a Japanese place, cause part of me wanted to offer sympathies and part of me thought that was crazy dorky cause, well, yeah....you can see, I was a bit conscious of the events in Japan post disaster. Still really sad. Going out to eat was part of just getting away from CNN. I've been glued to it, having crying jags on and off depending on what horror story of loss is shown. I can't handle it too well when a mom talks about her daughter being swept away in the tsunami, a man losing his wife, another not finding his parents and wondering if they are buried in the rubble. I feel a bit like I did on 9-11...unable to turn off the tv and wishing time could turn back and we could warn everyone...

Today is election day. I'm going to vote after posting this. I'm gonna put on my walking sneaks and clothes, walk to the poll, vote, then do my regular walk.

I voted for my health with breakfast. Egg white omelette with spinach, mushrooms, onions, lower sodium and lower fat Swiss cheese,  and assorted Mrs. Dash seasonings thrown in. More sodium I don't need today. I had papaya with lime as my fruit (lots of potassium to debloat). It's my fave type of breakfast (veggie-cheese omelette and fruit) cause it keeps me full and I get a lot of protein and phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. It keeps me full for hours, too. It's a habit now. My first choice.

What did you do today to vote FOR your health?

I visited a blog today I got off a link from another blog I visited (um, maybe Sunshine's Heart?) and left a comment.

I don't hold the same position as the blogger who owns the blog, but I respect her position. This is an iffy area for me. I never used to believe in food addiction. Now, I'm not so sure we can dismiss it so easily. One thing I've learned as a gal who has had chronic health issues since infancy--I'm created from an old egg of mama's, my sis says, half-teasingly on occasion--is that when I've made observations of X or Y or Z phenomenon or effects over the years to docs about this or that condition, I was often dismissed as "anecdotal". Then, years later, the science caught up to those anecdotes of mine and I was vindicated. :) So....

I hold the same sort of thing here. I think we're going to find that certain created foods in our world act as "drugs" the way heroin, cocaine, and meth can act as addictive drugs. God's nature doesn't have ice cream, pizza, cakes, pies, cookies, awsome blossoms, baby back ribs drenched in BBQ sauce with a side of fries. These are created items, and if you read Kessler's THE END OF OVEREATING (the book that changed my dieting life), you will see as studies and insights rack up, one after another, that we have created what seems to be addictive foods to a certain segment of the population. And we keep doing that, making them more HYPERPALATABLE and "addictive".

Kessler doesn't call it food addiction. But after reading the book, and in light of my own history of feeling utterly in thrall and out of control around certain foods/restaurants, I will call it that. For now. We'll see how the science continues to pan out on this. I remember my own history with asthma and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and my own self-discoveries, later vindicated. Now, let's see how the obesity studies evolve....

But I leave you with this extended comment from an article on WEB MD:

Kessler stops short of calling Americans' love for sugary, fatty foods a "food addiction." But he believes there are similarities between why some people abuse drugs and why some of us can't resist every last deep-fried chip on a heaped plate of cheese-smothered nachos.

Knowing what's driving our overeating behavior is the first step to changing it, he says.

"For some, it's alcohol," Kessler tells WebMD. "For some, it's drugs. For some, it's gambling. For many of us, it's food."

Kessler, a Harvard-trained pediatrician and medical school professor at the University of California, San Francisco, started researching what would become The End of Overeating after watching an overweight woman talk about obsessive eating habits on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It sounded familiar. Kessler's own weight has zoomed up and down over the years, leaving him with suits of every size.

"For much of my life, sugar, fat, and salt held remarkable sway over my behavior," he writes.

And so the man who tackled tobacco companies while leading the FDA started researching why he couldn't turn down a chocolate chip cookie. He pored over studies on taste preferences, eating habits, and brain activity, conducted studies, and talked to food industry insiders, scientists, and people who struggled with overeating.

His theory: "Hyperpalatable" foods -- those loaded with fat, sugar, and salt -- stimulate the senses and provide a reward that leads many people to eat more to repeat the experience.

"I think the evidence is emerging, and the body of evidence is pretty significant," Kessler says.

He calls it conditioned hypereating, and here's how he says it works. When someone consumes a sugary, fatty food they enjoy, it stimulates endorphins, chemicals in the brain that signal a pleasurable experience. Those chemicals stimulate us to eat more of that type of food -- and also calm us down and make us feel good.

The brain also releases dopamine, which motivates us to pursue more of that food. And cues steer us back to it, too: the sight of the food, a road lined with familiar restaurants, perhaps a vending machine that sells a favorite candy bar. The food becomes a habit. We don't realize why we're eating it and why we can't control our appetite for it.

Once the food becomes a habit, it may not offer the same satisfaction. We look for foods higher in fat and sugar to bring back the thrill.

Kessler points to these factors as the cause of a dramatic spike in the number of overweight Americans in the past three decades.

That's from "Compulsive Overeating And How To Stop It" by Elizabeth Lee, and if you are an overeater (and a compulsive one for sure), then do go over and read the whole thing.

If science proves me wrong in my position, fine. If it proves me right, fine.

I still think that it's about learning what helps and taking responsibility. I will never use my conditioning to overeat--or "food addiction" to hyperpalatable foods--as an excuse. It may be a REASON I was prone to eat to the point of pain and illness. But it's not an excuse. It's information. No one should throw around food addiction as an excuse. That's not adult behavior. You find tools, get help, implement changes as needed--not make excuses.

So, anyway....

Off to vote.

Be well today! Don't overeat! Move on toward your health goals with persistence...


Candy kankles said...

I need to get that book.It sounds like a good one.Hi :)I used to read you old blog as well you are doing so well congrats!

Princess Dieter said...

Thanks for reading the old and this new blog, Candy Kankles! Yes, do get the book. It's amazing. It's not fast reading (lots of case studies/science stuff), but once you're into it, it's astounding and eye-opening. I recommend it to every overeater/obese person.

Suzan said...

I used to think I was a food addict/compulsive eater. That is, until I gave up grains and sugar.

I don't think that people are addicted to all foods. I've never met a person who was addicted to plain steak or steamed broccoli, or even pure fats - in the absence of sugar/wheat. Try binging on butter all by itself. It rarely happens. I don't know anyone who compulsively overeats chicken breasts or olive oil.

I think that people can easily get addicted to gluten grains, sugar, and dairy. I've read some science articles on how the peptides in gluten and casein react with opiate receptors in the brain.

Since I've given up grains and sugar, I no longer binge or eat compulsively. Sometimes I'd like to eat a larger portion of fruit each day but I am able to keep the amount to one daily serving without any compulsions. This is so different from when I was a vegetarian, or when I was a high carb/low fat eater. For years, I couldn't control my eating at all. I binged at least a few times a week, eating whole cakes and boxes of cookies, or bags of popcorn, or a huge bowl of fruit. Sugars, grains, and dairy are addicting. REAL food like veggies, proteins and fats, are not. JMO.