It’s Never Been a Matter of Willpower

If you’ve ever failed at a diet, you’re not alone. Studies show that most people who try to diet fail. According to many experts, the reason why is that we’re actually addicted to processed foods. While it’s true that some people are more susceptible to addiction than others, the fact is, we’re all hardwired for it. The human brain is wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. When it comes to food, we’re programmed to crave the things that are bad for us – the sugary, fatty, salty foods that give us a momentary “high” followed by a crash.


Hijacked Reward Center in our Brains

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements and images of delicious-looking foods, and it can be hard to resist the temptation of unhealthy snacks. Why are we hardwired to crave these calorie-dense, processed foods? The answer lies in our evolutionary history. For most of human history, food was scarce and our ancestors had to eat whatever they could find. This meant that they craved high-calorie foods that would give them the energy they needed to survive. Nowadays, we no longer have to worry about starving to death, but our bodies still crave those calorie-dense foods. Unfortunately, these foods are often the most unhealthy for us and the neuro marketers who work for processed food companies don’t hesitate to exploit this
function of our brains for profit.

The food industry is one of the most powerful industries in the world. They have the ability to influence the way we think, feel, and behave. The processed food industry is very good at making its products irresistible. They use a variety of techniques to make their foods more appealing, including:

– Added sugar: Sugar makes food taste sweet and is often used to make processed foods more addicting. It lights up the reward pathway in the brain in the same way cocaine does.

– Salt: Salt makes food taste salty and can be used to mask the taste of other unhealthy ingredients. You’ve heard the ad “No one can eat just one!” they are telling you the truth in this ad! Salt causes you to go back to a food over and over again.

– Fat: Fat makes food taste rich and creamy and can be used to make processed foods more filling. Add sugar and salt to fat and you have the trifecta of addictive properties in your food.

– Artificial flavors and colors: These are added to processed foods to make them more appealing to the eye and the palate. Some artificial flavors and coloring are banned in other countries because they are thought to cause cancer!

-Availability and Affordability: We’ve all seen the cheap dollar menu items or coupons for buy one get one free. The more you consume these addictive foods the more you become addicted to them.

-Advertising: On a typical Saturday morning cartoon session a child is shown 560 or more commercials, many of which are for processed foods. It only takes 5 commercials to influence a toddler’s choice.

-Age: The younger the consumer the more likely they are to become hooked. There are no rules or regulations on how young the target can be for advertising this highly addictive food product. Think about fast food meals with a child’s favorite action hero on the box or inside and toys in cereal.

By using these techniques, the processed food industry is able to make its products more addictive and hard to resist. So next time you’re tempted by processed food, remember that it’s not really your fault – it’s the industry’s fault!

There is Hope! Knowledge is Power So, if you’ve been wondering why you can’t seem to stick to a diet, it may be because you’re fighting a losing battle against your own brain. But, there is hope.

Processed foods are designed to be addictive. They are loaded with ingredients that can trigger cravings and make it hard to resist overeating. But once you understand how processed food affects the brain, you can use that knowledge to your advantage. Here are three tips to help you fight back against processed food addiction:

1. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. This may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating. The less processed food you eat, the less triggered your brain’s reward pathway will become and the easier it will be to resist cravings and overeating.

2. Balance your meals. If you do eat processed foods, be sure to balance them out with healthy, whole foods. This will help minimize the impact of processed food on your body and help you resist cravings. The goal is to retrain your body and brain to crave whole, healthy foods.

3. Be prepared for cravings. If you decide to get off of processed foods completely, it may take a week or so for the cravings to significantly die down. Dealing with withdrawal from these foods can be intense but with a knowledgeable guide you can manage this experience and free yourself from the grip of processed foods.

If you find that you are struggling to get off or stay off of processed foods, you may be struggling with PFA – Processed Food Addiction. You may need to meet with someone to discuss a strategy on how to move forward. You are not alone. We can help. Please reach out if you need more information on how to recover from overeating these “irresistible” foods.