General chatter - Eating and pleasure




View Full Version : Eating and pleasure


JohnP
07-09-2013, 12:09 AM
An article I enjoyed. You may also enjoy it. It's fits perfectly into my signature.

What's so bad about pleasure? (http://www.realfooduniversity.com/whats-so-bad-about-pleasure/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ModernForager+%28Modern+Forag er%29)


IanG
07-09-2013, 12:16 AM
Well, I'm doing pretty darn well on the hoppy IPAs thank you so we can put that one to bed. I have sunk two Green Flash Palate Wreckers alone this evening. And drunk beer I think every night since I started my weight loss.

But what has surprised me most about my weight loss journey is how many of my old favorite foods are actually pretty darn good for me so I can eat more of them. Cockles, sardines, octopus, tuna, scallops...I used to die for these. And now I find they are a good source of low calorie protein.

So ditching a burger and fries for a hoppy IPA (or two) and 6 ounces of pan-seared scallops with a salad side is not a chore!

Seafood is fast becoming my super-food! And beer, well it just does not count.

Arctic Mama
07-09-2013, 05:03 AM
I think the article was a bit insulting - for some of us, the battle for health and weight control is lost with what he cavalierly tells us we're 'phobic' regarding. I have no issue with pleasure - it's dying young from complications of diabetes and not being able to wipe my own butt that I'm rebelling against. Sugar gives me cravings and the shakes, starch makes me want more starch, and I haven't successfully maintained through this many life events by giving too much pleasure to flavors and forgetting that life is more than eating and drinking.

There's nothing wrong with enjoying food - I love what I eat every day! But it's coming from the privilege of a more obesity-resistant system to say that someone else is being a fool for not tolerating added sugar to a sauce or jam. Maybe it is more foolish to assume that one cannot make delicious, real food without saccharides.

Even though I don't disagree with some of the content, and we must be careful in dogma without basis, as someone who has experimented extensively with myself on how to best weight reduce and STAY there, I say he's barking up the wrong diet tree. Few people have more fun with their food than low carb gourmets!


PatLib
07-09-2013, 07:49 AM
Regular old sugar is fine but the amount of sugar in processed food isn't. People aren't sitting around eating spoonfuls of sugar. They are eating Pop Tarts, cereals, white bread, Starbucks coffee drinks and none have any nutritional value.

Only 23% of people who try heroin become addicted, 17% with cocaine. 35.7% of people are obese and that stat doesn't include people who are overweight and nor does it include thin people who still eat all those bad foods. I am willing to guess that the number of people who eat badly and can't control their eating habits probably skyrockets. (And there are overweight people who eat healthy but still if we were to take a long hard look at people's eating habits no matter what their size I am willing to guess it wouldn't be pretty)

This article simplifies the idea of sugar. There is no problem with cooking or using it the problem is where it hides and people should be scared of that.

carter
07-09-2013, 07:54 AM
Recreational eating has always been one of my favorite activities. To lose weight I had to find a way to continue eating for pleasure yet still keep calories in a deficit.

For me, that meant learning about Indian spices and cooking techniques that boost flavor without adding a whole lot of calories.

It also meant cutting way, way back on things like bread, cheese, pasta, and - sob - booze. I never cut these things out of my diet in a dogmatic way, but when I look at the caloric density they are just rarely worth it. I get more pleasure out of a great big dinner plate piled full of some deli is vegetable masala than I do from a demure little half a cup of rice for the same calories.

As for sweets, I just have to be very careful. I don't really want sweets in small portions. The pleasure for me is in eating an entire bag of candy or mowing through a box of cookies. That is a fact I have learned about myself. I don't get pleasure out of eating one cookie and then white-knuckling through the desire to eat more. So for me it helps to be very aware of those physiological effects that the article pooh-poohs a bit.

My caution with sugar and refined carbs doesn't come out of any puritanical aversion to pleasure - believe me, I am as hedonistic as anyone here. It just comes from 4 years of careful thought and observation about what made it easier for me to lose weight and stay on plan, against what made it harder.

TheGreatDepression
07-09-2013, 09:07 AM
Well, I'm doing pretty darn well on the hoppy IPAs thank you so we can put that one to bed. I have sunk two Green Flash Palate Wreckers alone this evening. And drunk beer I think every night since I started my weight loss.

But what has surprised me most about my weight loss journey is how many of my old favorite foods are actually pretty darn good for me so I can eat more of them. Cockles, sardines, octopus, tuna, scallops...I used to die for these. And now I find they are a good source of low calorie protein.

So ditching a burger and fries for a hoppy IPA (or two) and 6 ounces of pan-seared scallops with a salad side is not a chore!

Seafood is fast becoming my super-food! And beer, well it just does not count.

I like seafood too but it is quite expensive.

luckymommy
07-09-2013, 09:36 AM
Just because sugar effects dopamine as do other activities, doesn't mean that it's preposterous to suggest that sugar is addicting. I think the article you posted is very narrow minded in its views. If alcohol also effects dopamine, does that mean it's not addictive either and alcoholics should just drink in moderation?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_addiction

JohnP, I'd like to add that you may have enjoyed the article you posted because it told you what you wanted to hear because perhaps it works for you but for someone like me, it doesn't work. I want to consume mass quantities of sugar. If you look at the definition of addiction http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/addiction, I fit that description perfectly when it comes to refined sugar. I honestly wish your article was right and that I didn't have this problem which I struggle with every day.

krampus
07-09-2013, 02:01 PM
The blog the article is on is REALFOOD UNIVERSITY. I would say it assumes a few things - that its readers do not have eating disorders, and the sugar in question is not talking about ding dongs and Jimmy Johns Breakfast Bowl so much as caramelized onions, homemade desserts, fruit and the like.

People don't get addicted to sugar or drugs because "just a little" satisfies them. They get addicted because "just a little" builds itself up to "I need this to feel normal" and "I feel bad when I can't have any." Many feel powerless against one or the other, so they abstain. Willpower is required in the use of both - whether it's worth it to the individual to fight the urge for more is really the issue.

JohnP
07-09-2013, 04:17 PM
While I'll admit I am biased I think some of you missed the point of the article because of your own bias.

Yes, to some people a spoon of sugar is like crack cocaine. To some people, a handful of peanuts will kill them. Others, a nice shell fish meal will be deadly. I get that for some of you sugar is horrible.

I don't think the point of the artcle is that you can eat all the sugar you want. The author is a chef. He cooks whole foods, not microwavable processed foods and sugar cereal advocate. That said, I get that moderation doesn't work for some people.

The point of the article. as far as I'm reading it, is that some of the dogmatic ideas out there that dominate the blogsphere are rediculous. That for most people, eating for pleasure and a little bit of sugar isn't going to kill you. (Unless it actually will)

memememe76
07-11-2013, 02:14 AM
I don't buy that the "sugar is like cocaine" message is particularly mainstream or widespread. I am more likely to hear that diet coke or its equivalent is evil.

PatLib
07-11-2013, 07:43 AM
I think most of us feel that he simplified what sugar is. Using sugar to bake in a cake or putting some in coffee, etc. is great and perfectly healthy in moderation.

However, considering not everyone is lucky enough to eat a clean diet or go farmer's markets his article comes off as pretentious even though it is technically correct. I have known quite a few people forced to shop at the dollar store for food and I don't think there are many whole foods there.

So, yes if you are lucky enough that you can cook a clean whole foods diet sugar is great and it's even better if you can control yourself. :)

kaplods
07-11-2013, 09:48 AM
I didn't miss the point of the article. I even agree with the core of it, but I think the author makes the same mistake that he is railing against: taking an argument with some truth and validity, and twisting it until the original point is lost.

Exaggeration and hyperbole have become the norm in modern communication. It's almost as if objectivity has become obsolete (I added in the "almost" as I saw that I was falling into the same trap).

I do agree with the basic premise that traditional weight loss practices tend to be based on a masochistic deprivation model, and it's no wonder that the weight loss success rates are so low. Self-punishment is generally self-limiting. Eventually, we get sick of the discomfort and break free of our self-imposed chains.

And yet, some of the arguments he scoffs at, aren't quite as ridiculous as he claims.

I don't avoid all pleasurable foods, but I do have to constantly beware of foods that are too intensely pleasurable. "Orgasmically delicious" foods are a recipe for disaster for me.

I always have believed that moderation was key (and never understood why I couldn't master moderation) until I read The End of Overeating, by David Kessler, in which he explores the addictive quality of the intensely pleasurable flavor/texture combinations especially the fat/sugar/salt combination.

I find it difficult to not overeat foods with this flavor profile. Throw in a crispy-chewy texture and the pleasure is almost orgasmic.

There's some truth to the "better than sex" descriptor often used to describe decadent recipes. Better than sex, not so much, but "nearly as good and a whole lot less work," is pretty accurate.

For me, it helps to apply "two out of three" logic to food pleasures. I do well as long as I avoid combining fat, salt, and sugar (or starch). When I combine no more than two out of the three elements, I'm less likely to compulsively overeat. A bit of salt on an apple, very yummy, almost decadent even, but not as compelling as that same apple spread with Nutella.

I also have to take other factors, such as my female hormones into account. Most of the month, I could indulge in Nutella-smeared apples without jeopardizing my weight loss, however during the 7-10 days of pms/tom portion-control is nigh impossible for "trio foods."

Sometimes it helps to see trio foods as "poisons," especially in my case where even moderate amounts of sugar, especially when combined with high glycemic grains, tends to trigger physical symptoms, such as red, inflamed, and itchy hands, feet, and face.

Poison isn't accurate, but neither is safe.

freelancemomma
07-11-2013, 10:12 AM
An article I enjoyed. You may also enjoy it.

I much enjoyed the article and have put it in my resources file. I understand that some people have trouble handling sugar, but the wholesale demonizing of sugar and carbs strikes me as disingenuous. There are plenty of people like me, who have absolutely no ill-effects from carbs. Carbs give me energy, improve my mood, and provide unique satisfaction. When I briefly tried a lower-carb regimen, I felt like I was "eating in black and white." Call me naive, but I believe that the FDA and Health Canada would amend their food guidelines if the evidence implicating carbs in disease were truly solid.

F.

Wannabeskinny
07-11-2013, 10:20 AM
I am currently in a forum discussion (a cooking forum) with someone about this very topic. This someone believes much like the author of this blog that food is not the enemy, and that we villainize food too much. Sure sure, in an ideal world we'd all be able to do everything in moderation. However, most of us here know that it's easier said than done. I too cannot white knuckle and have just one cookie. I have physiological responses to food that cause me to crave certain foods. I have battled an eating disorder that makes it a daily struggle to make good choices. These are not excuses, these are solid reasons why sometimes food IS the enemy.

Especially sugar. I can't think of another food substance other than sugar that is completely and utterly unnecessary for the survival of our species. There is absolutely no need for the addition of it to our food. There is plenty of fructose and natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables, that is all our bodies need. The pervasiveness of sugar in food supply is criminal. I ask you, how much sugar is really necessary in a hamburger bun? Well in order for a fast food restaurant to keep you coming back they spend millions of dollars studying the optimal amount of sugar and salt content in a food to tickle your taste buds just so. Sugar may not be cocaine, but it does have addictive properties and diminishing how dangerous that is is quite irresponsible.

Nobody argues that a little sugar does no harm. Nobody is losing any sleep over a little dessert here and there. But when you can't walk down the cereal aisle and find one single box of cereal without added sugar, when you want to buy a can of beans that doesn't contain triple the amount of sodium than your body needs in a day, when potato chips get their own aisle at the grocery store, then yes we have a problem with food.

Wannabeskinny
07-11-2013, 10:23 AM
I am currently in a forum discussion (a cooking forum) with someone about this very topic. This someone believes much like the author of this blog that food is not the enemy, and that we villainize food too much. Sure sure, in an ideal world we'd all be able to do everything in moderation. However, most of us here know that it's easier said than done. I too cannot white knuckle and have just one cookie. I have physiological responses to food that cause me to crave certain foods. I have battled an eating disorder that makes it a daily struggle to make good choices. These are not excuses, these are solid reasons why sometimes food IS the enemy.

Especially sugar. I can't think of another food substance other than sugar that is completely and utterly unnecessary for the survival of our species. There is absolutely no need for the addition of it to our food. There is plenty of fructose and natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables, that is all our bodies need. The pervasiveness of sugar in food supply is criminal. I ask you, how much sugar is really necessary in a hamburger bun? Well in order for a fast food restaurant to keep you coming back they spend millions of dollars studying the optimal amount of sugar and salt content in a food to tickle your taste buds just so. Sugar may not be cocaine, but it does have addictive properties and diminishing how dangerous that is is quite irresponsible.

Nobody argues that a little sugar does no harm. Nobody is losing any sleep over a little dessert here and there. But when you can't walk down the cereal aisle and find one single box of cereal without added sugar, when you want to buy a can of beans that doesn't contain triple the amount of sodium than your body needs in a day, when potato chips get their own aisle at the grocery store, then yes we have a problem with food.

freelancemomma
07-11-2013, 10:27 AM
For me, it helps to apply "two out of three" logic to food pleasures. I do well as long as I avoid combining fat, salt, and sugar (or starch). When I combine no more than two out of the three elements, I'm less likely to compulsively overeat.

That's an interesting approach. I'm glad it works for you!


F.

nelie
07-11-2013, 11:01 AM
I just wrote a long (longer than usual) response to someone's post about eating "Real Food" that kind of fits in the discussion.
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/4790608-post4.html

I think no foods should just generally be off limits but you have determine how food makes you feel as well as how it nourishes your body. I think there is room for sugar in most people's diets. I myself eat dark chocolate on a semi regular basis.

I think we can also become desensitized to sugar and salt somewhat so that we need greater amounts to achieve the saltiness/sweetness. My mother, who is the queen of artificial sweeteners, prefers fruit with splenda sprinkled on it. I let her taste my morning fruit smoothie while I was visiting and she insisted that I needed to add a sweetener. It tasted fine to me. With decreased amounts of sugar/salt in my own cooking and things I eat, often items taste too sweet or too salty to me (so no pleasure in that). I feel better with limited amounts of sugar (very limited amounts of artificial sweeteners) and limited amounts of salt. This also includes fattier foods as I prefer less fatty foods and even a few too many nuts can leave me feeling bloated.

Overall, you have to find what you enjoy, how you enjoy it and if it doesn't bring you enjoyment or nourishment, why are you eating it?

KittyKatFan
07-12-2013, 11:54 PM
Great article. For some people, staying away from sugar seems to work. But I was going nuts by staying totally away from sugary sweets. I would feel deprived without them and would end up binging on them - a habit that is much more unhealthy than eating a cookie every once in a while.

I'm not saying my binging days are over (although I hope they are), but I have found that the best solution for me is moderation. I used to fear carbs and stayed away from desserts and all junk food. After finding the right treatment program and working with a nutritionist and therapist, I began occasionally eating those foods I crave, in moderation. To my surprise, the cravings all but disappeared and I still lost weight even though I was just trying to maintain. I feel much happier now. I still eat very healthy foods overall, but have learned that a sweet treat every once in a while won't kill me. I even baked a cake tonight and instead of eating the whole thing uncontrollably, I had one small piece and felt satisfied.

Food serves a purpose, to fuel our bodies, but there is also a joyful element to eating, handed down to us from our ancestors, that we shouldn't ignore either.

Lolo70
07-13-2013, 01:01 AM
I think one problem is that men generally are less hormone driven. I always had PMS and find the cravings for starch around that time are crazy. Ketogenic diets helped a lot. But since I stopped doing it, the cravings came back on certain days. I do not like desserts, but I like pasta and bread. I found I need to exercise portion control for those.

Other than that, I prepare all my food fresh. I do not buy anything pre-made. My pleasure derives from preparing the food and tasting it. I do not really need to eat a lot. Food is sensual for me, not just fuel. There is nothing better than the taste of sun riped veggies and fruit from the garden. And I am addicted to herbs and spices. And wine of course. I now started to also make my own soft cheeses. After a year of ketosis and artificial foods, eating fresh food again is like being in paradise.

Vex
07-13-2013, 10:53 PM
All I know is, it took every ounce of energy I had to pass up on some red velvet cheesecake from the cheesecake factory the other day. The only reason I did is because I KNEW it had 1200 calories a slice. Apparently there really is a line I will not cross, thank god.

That being said, while on vacation, i had a sugar and carb fest, and now that I'm home and back on plan, I find myself having enormous headaches which I'm guessing is from sugar withdrawal.

While I agree with the blogger that the internet public has gone way overboard in the 'avoid this food or else' and the 'organic for life' ideas, some of those ideas have roots in fact for some people.

Suzanne 3FC
07-14-2013, 05:24 PM
I'm not afraid of food, but I've reached a point in my life where I avoid food that makes me feel bad, and crave food that makes me feel good. It's kind of like being at that age where practical shoes are ok :lol:

I gain a lot of pleasure from eating a bowl of blueberries :) I do consume real sugar, such as the sugar that I add to my salad dressing to cut the acidity. I don't use sugar substitutes or anything else artificial if it can be avoided. However, the idea of eating cake or candy doesn't appeal to me anymore because it makes me feel icky.

I eat anything I want. I just don't want the same foods that I used to :)