HomeConscious Consumerism, Cook It Yourself, Fast Food, What Are You Eating?Overeating: Why You Can’t Stop At One Nacho

I’ve been saying this for a while now… but when it becomes innocent you against people who stand to make lots of money off of you, you don’t stand a chance.

Taken from Women’s Health magazine:

Here’s how this deviousness works: Human beings have what food-industry insiders call a “bliss point,” a nirvana of the taste buds triggered by particular amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. Menu scientists (yes, that’s a job!) at popular restaurant chains and packaged-food corporations use their knowledge of the bliss point to manipulate your appetite, adding salt, sugar, and fat to their products in combinations that are designed to create hedonism on a plate—a taste experience so intense that it kicks the brain’s pleasure system into overdrive. It’s like a drug. And like any drug, it leads you to obsess about that moment of pleasure so much that you’ll do almost anything to prolong or relive it. The result: a bigger bottom line for them—and a bigger waistline for you.

It’s just the way it is.

So, now you have one more piece of information telling you the chips – literally – are stacked against you. What do you do? Do you give in knowing that it will result in a bigger booty (and no, not in a good way) or do you start limiting and minimizing your fast food/restaurant food intake? These are things to think about!

About the Author:

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and crtified in sports nutrition by Precision Nutrition. She now lives in New York with her husband and children, and is working on her 6th and 7th certifications because lol why not.

17 Comments

  1. Natasha Aiken March 10, 2010 at 6:27 AM - Reply

    I’m trying to lose about 50 pounds. I have a Wii Fit and Phentermine.I am married with four kids. The youngest is two. I’m in school and trying to find time to get this weight off. Any suggestions?

    • Erika March 10, 2010 at 7:12 PM - Reply

      For starters, Natasha, I wouldn’t take the phentermine! You can do this without the help of medications, trust me.

      Give yourself a slow start. Start with shrinking your portion sizes and taking evening walks with your youngest little ones. They’ll appreciate the fresh air and you’ll get the physical benefits of the walk.

      From there, give yourself time to grow and change. Keep reading through the site, because I’ve discussed my own struggles and how I’ve gotten past them. If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. 🙂

    • Allyson June 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM - Reply

      Hi Natasha, to add to Erika’s comment- being busy is a good thing. that means you are too busy to eat out of boredom, frustration, stress and all of the other triggers. Be pro-ACTIVE in your approach. Carry your water with you like an American Express Card- don’t leave home without it. Keep healthy snacks in your purse so that you are constantly eating and will never get ravenous by the time you sit down to eat. Read this blog everyday. Erika has some amazing tips and her words are in my head…good luck.

    • Natasha McLaurin February 2, 2013 at 12:08 AM - Reply

      Hey, I have been there. I have lost a lost total of about 70 pounds. My journey has been a 4 year one; I have been in maintain mode probably for the last two. Trust me when I say do it the right way… the weight will stay off. Find what works for you. For me it was weights. I do cardio.. but not my favorite. It is 85 percent diet. Cutting portions.. trading out certain foods for better ones is where I started. I still enjoy the occasional glass of wine, a chicken wing, and ice cream everyone in a while… but just that once in a while. Its a very much sometime thing. Get the entire family into it. A house divided between clean and junk food will not last.

  2. Angelina April 19, 2010 at 9:26 PM - Reply

    What does eating mostly fruits and veggies in a day look like? I can’t put my mind around it.

    • Erika April 19, 2010 at 11:48 PM - Reply

      For breakfast: A grapefruit
      For lunch: A wheat wrap with spinach, mushroom, alfalfa sprouts and mustard
      for snacks: strawberries, bananas, grapes, etc
      For dinner: Vegetable stir-fry.

      Ta da!

      • Danni January 8, 2013 at 6:21 PM - Reply

        I would say it is important to add in several sources of protein throughout the day otherwise 1. you will be hungry and prone to overeating and 2. your metabolism will slow/remain slow otherwise.

        Ensuring that you aim for 15-20 grams of protein at each snack/meal will really rev up your metabolism and help you shed excess fat.

        My day usually looks like:
        breakfast: 1 egg, 2 egg whites, scrambled with 1/2 whole wheat english muffin

        snack: 1 pc string cheese mozz and 20 almonds

        lunch: lean protein (tuna, chicken, black beans, etc.) and some high fiber veggies (salad, broccolli, etc) along with a complex carb like brown rice

        afternoon snack: 2% fat greek yogurt with blueberries and chia seeds

        dinner: a salmon burger, and a BIG salad

        evening snack: chocolate protein powder with almond milk.

        That all falls between 1200-1500 calories and that combination of foods allowed me to lose 2 pants sizes and 20 lbs in a month and a half along with exercise.

        I cannot stress the importance of getting sufficient protein.

  3. Sonya December 7, 2010 at 9:36 AM - Reply

    Hello Erika,

    I so love this site, i’m on it everyday, there is just so much information here. I’ve been reading your blog for about a week now, and have learned so much, a lot that i already new but didn’t seem to really “get it” I was at a party this Saturday with some soul food out of this world…a big bowl of chips were sitting there and calling my name, well i’ve been eating clean and healthy since Nov 1st 2010 i mean making very good progress, in the gym about 4 days a week, and these dang chips were like “hey baby don’t you want some of me?” i kept what you said about trying to get that “fix” and it’s really by habit, i remembered and heard your voice (tripping right?) say “are you feeding your hunger? Or are you just trying to get a fix?” Gurrrl i never got a chip and i drank water and had a few drinks, my husband and myself were very strong and grew as a unit that night. Came home happy and proud of us. So with that said, i’ll be seeing ya around!!

  4. Gloria July 11, 2011 at 10:32 AM - Reply

    Since, no much more than a year ago, a friend of mine suggested me a slight change in my breakfast (i.e. a less caloric, though equally nutritive option) I started to check the matter of calorie counting (Which I had not done before) and the revelation I got was shockingly eye-wide-opening! Yes, my average calorie intake left little doubt as to why I had been gaining weight over teh years “without being able to avoid it” … Darn, it was clear that I could have avoided it pretty well, ahem!

    When you take notice that a bag of chips which is far more caloric that a nice salad with chicken breast (and realize that the salad leaves you satisfied, while the bag of chips does not) you start being more attentive at what you eat, indeed.

  5. Curlstar September 16, 2011 at 2:16 PM - Reply

    As my uncle would say: You took n told them! LOL

  6. Thelma November 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    I recently lost over 90 lbs on a mostly clean diet ( natural foods). Good nutrition is based on making the right choices for better health. I believe that starts with breaking junk food addictions.

  7. LaiLai April 15, 2012 at 3:09 PM - Reply

    What is your take on oatmeal? I’m a big breakfast eater, I’ve cut back a lot on eating a full breakfast but I’m trying to wean myself off of eating a full plate do you think oatmeal is a good option to use to work towards my goal?

  8. Nikky March 22, 2013 at 4:07 PM - Reply

    Erika, what’s your email address? I would like to email you. I am struggling so bad with this weight loss and I recently got all the way off track because m brother was in a car accident and I spent almost 2 weeks at the hospital with him… I’m so tired I want to give up altogether…

  9. GlittaPankyRang April 7, 2014 at 5:26 PM - Reply

    Stop going to fast food restaurants. Erika, I use to eat McDonalds almost everyday. The time I didn’t eat McDonalds, I was at Kentucky Fried Chick, Dairy Queen, you name it. Then I’d eat a pack of double stuffed Oreos in one day, Nutella, Family sized chips, Soda, ect. I haven’t had junk food or fast food since January 28 2014. I rarely ate at home. I’d have fast food twice a day. My last soda was the first of February. I eat natural sugars, like fruit, yams, coconut water, almond milk in moderation. I am on a low carb diet, but I do allow myself to have these things. I will probably get off the low carb diet and switch to something with more leniancy once I lose a good amount of weight. However, I have made a pact with myself to swear off junk food good. I don’t need it. Sometimes I’ll cheat and have fruit with low fat whipped cream or fruit compote with liquor and syrup. This too is in moderation. Other times I eat healthy. The last time I weighed I was between 340 and 350 something pounds. I can’t remember because I weighed a long time ago. Now I am at 313. I’ve gone down from a size 28….( I was bursting out of that 28) to a size 24/26. Processed food is so bad for you. I’ve been eating clean and I’ve noticed a big difference in my appetite. I can control it a little better. Sometimes I crave cookies and candies. But I can control my cravings. Oh yes, and I’ve have eaten out in the past few months. But I watch what I eat. I will have a sandwich at subway, lean meat, no extra fats, drink, chips or cookies. Or there is a soul food restaurant in my neighborhood. I will order baked chicken, greens or cabbage, no drink, bread or dessert.

  10. Adrienne January 23, 2017 at 11:32 AM - Reply

    I’ve been following you for the better part of a year, and only within the last month have I begun to drink more water. In doing so, I noticed that my cravings for fast food, and eating as often has decreased. I’ve been doing fairly well – even purchasing bottled water for work (because the water and ice at work taste metallic), start my day with about 32 oz off the bat (it’s really, really dry in my house). I cut soda and I’ve dropped around ten pounds. All this being said, my hubby and I would eat out about four times a week. Since I’ve had water, and plan our meals a week or two in advance, I no longer have the desire to eat out.

    I can testify to the marketing ploy – my three year old and I make Wednesday night our treat night since his father works on this night. Last Wednesday, I stopped at DQ for him (they have cheap kid meals that day), and since I didn’t cook the meal I needed to the night before, I wound up stopping at BK. When I tell you it tasted like crap to me when I ate it, it did…at least half way through the whopper. Then it got a little better. However, a month without fast food had changed me, and I didn’t realize it had. My belly was so bloated later in the night and for the rest of the next day! Then I had cravings for sugary things – so much so I refused to go out and buy something, so I made a pound cake instead. I usually will make treats, but I binged on this pound cake. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong until I thought about my diet over days prior, and noticed it started with the whopper. I’m back on track now, and made sure all my meals are prepped for this week. While I’ll still do stuff for my son as a treat on Wednesdays, I am NOT doing this to myself. And I’m even questioning taking him to DQ for a meal – he’ll just get their plain cone from here on out.

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