South Beach Diet - Why when I eat some not-so-healthy choices my mouth and brain are happy... but....

01-04-2005, 11:50 AM
Another Norris Chumley email....

Why do I feel euphoric when I eat the wrong foods?

That is a great question. This is the beginning of solving the mystery behind the symptom of obesity. The mystery is in your mind and psyche. Here are some questions to ask yourself to try to shed some light on why a given food makes you feel euphoric: Was this a food your mother or father fed you for comfort? Are there wonderful memories of happy times connected with eating this food? Or very importantly are there people that you associate with the food? Do you eat the same things over and over, because they make you feel good, and remind you of happier times?

Also know that there may be an actual chemical affect that the food is giving you. Certain foods cause your brain to secrete endorphins ("happy juice") that make you feel euphoric. Chocolate is one of them. You can also create extra endorphins by doing other things, like exercising, getting hugs, making love, playing with animals, etc. None of these are fattening!

Eating high calorie foods is also instinctive. They make you feel satisfied and safe for a reason. After all, finding high calorie foods was a matter of survival for humans. If we caught animals, their fat would give us lots of energy. We probably preferred plants and fruits with extra sweetness and fat calories, too, for extra energy. Now centuries later, we donít need so much high calorie nourishment because we donít use nearly as much energy as we used to when we had to forage and hunt. Sitting behind the computer or in front of a video screen all day doesnít require many calories!