Tag Archives: junk food

Back Up On The Horse

13 Jun

So I started this blog because I felt that I was not been completely honest in the last one. Well, at the very least, I wouldn’t confess all my sins. So I started this blog because I wanted to be completely transparent, and always admit when I stuff up so that I am held accountable. Not by you, but by me. It is not a nice feeling to admit when you have stuffed up. So here I am writing to you about to confess.

Yesterday, I was invited to go watch a game of soccer. England vs USA. I thought I had been so good lately that I deserved to go. That it was time to take the next step and put on the training wheels. I honestly believed I could go and not eat junk food. I was confident that I now had the ability to resist. While I was there all went well and I didn’t eat or drink anything except for diet cokes. I had to have something and thought this was the lesser of all evils. At this stage I was on a high. I felt that nothing was going to stand in my way, and how easy it was for me to not drink or eat anything I shouldn’t. Yes I was feeling confident and optimistic. Proud of myself even.

And here comes the big BUT. But, then someone invited me out for a drink. I knew this wasn’t a good idea. I knew where it would lead. But I guess a part of me didn’t care. I didn’t want to go home and be alone. I was enjoying the company. I also managed to fool myself that my new resolve would be strong enough to have only a few beers and then go home. So I did. I went and I drank a few beers. Then I drank some more. And then I drank some more. Next thing I know I am walking in the door in the early hours of the morning having consumed many beers and pizza.

Not impressed. The binge fest didn’t end there either. This morning I went and had some more pizza and a slushy. So there you have it. I have managed to reign it in now. Im back up on the horse. Overall Im not convinced it is going to have a large impact on my weight loss. But I can’t let this become a habit. I am making sure I don’t do that by admitting my mistakes. The lesson learned is I cannot go out into situations where there is drink or junk food…….yet. I must be on the ball at all times, and not get cocky. I must not ever believe I have things under control. Because thats when I stuff up.

For the record no I don’t have a drinking problem. But I am also a big escapist. I like to escape reality. Hell thats a part of the addictive nature of things. To escape life! Its especially hard now because I don’t know anyone and I sit at home in this apartment. It can get lonely. So when I do have fun I never want it to end.  So when I start drinking I don’t let it end. Not until very late. Also beer = calories. Non-paleo calories, and I consider this as junk food. So at the moment I feel very let down as I have been doing so well. But I know I have to stay motivated and surge on with the fight. I can’t get too down or I will cave. Thats not an option. .

Bugger.

The Goldilocks Principle – Stages of Food Addiction

9 Jun

Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that is thought to mediate reward responses to foods, and drives a person to consume more foods. When neuroscientists scanned the brains of obese individuals, viewing images of desirable food, they found greater activity in brain regions rich in dopamine receptors. These same regions are also activated by drugs. However, another group of researchers believe that there is decreased reward activity in the brains of obese individuals. In these individuals overeating acts as a compensatory strategy to normalise the reward deficit. In other words, they eat more to feel normal.

A recent study supports both these theories showing that they are not mutually exclusive, and used brain imaging and genetics data to prove it. Using fMRI the researchers scanned the brains of adolescent girls with differing BMIs while they viewed pictures of appetizing foods and imagined eating junk food. They also genotyped these girls to determine whether they possessed variants of two genes that have been linked with lower dopamine activity. They followed the girls for one year and then checked their BMI. Overall, they found that adolescent girls with greater BMI showed increased reward activation in response to food images. They found that girls with greater reward activation gained more weight. However, the genetic data also showed that girls whose brains had a lower reward response to foods also gained more weight. It would seem that there may be two types of obesity – those who are overly sensitive to food and those who are under sensitive. They propose the Goldilocks priniciple – too much or too little reward system activation may lead to weight gain.

I think I would like to add my opinion on this. Research has also shown that if you are a healthy weight, and are more sensitive to rewards, the heavier you tend to be. I believe that initially, whether your rat or human, the more sensitive you are to food rewards the more likely you are to consume these foods again and again. So at the start you get a huge hit from eating this junk food and want more! This is why oversensitivity to food rewards is found in heavier normal weight people as it is at the initial stages of the addiction process. As you continue to become more addicted, and eat more junk food, your dopamine system begins to shut down reducing the number of dopamine receptors and thus decreasing your sensitivity to a food reward. Thus, you need to eat more and more junk food to compensate (this mechanism has been shown in rats). By this stage you have entered into stage II of the addiction process, and are likely to be obese. This would explain the above pattern. Unfortunately, if this is true, and this pattern is not broken, an addicted individual is destined to become more obese and to enjoy food less and less as time goes by.