From TV to computer screens, sexy food images are everywhere. That’s why we have to be careful; food porn stimulates poor choices and overeating. Find out how and why in today’s update. Also, learn what you can do to appreciate food and choose wisely at the same time.
Why we eat
Eating patterns are influenced by many factors, including:
- Gut/brain cues (e.g., low blood sugar, growling stomach)
- Learned behaviors (e.g., it’s lunchtime at noon)
- Thoughts (e.g., I’m on a low carb diet; I haven’t eaten for 3 hours)
- Habits (e.g., cookies every night before bed)
- Social context (e.g., it’s a party with food, so I’ll eat)
- Food availability (e.g., I’m out of vegetables, so I won’t eat them)
- External / environmental cues (e.g., images of food, cooking shows, food blogs).
And it turns out that looking at food, or even pictures of highly palatable food, can chronically activate our desire to eat – even in the absence of true physiological hunger.
That’s because we don’t just eat to satisfy our nutritional requirements. We also eat for pleasure.
Some potential solutions
Here are a few ideas to help you handle the onslaught of food imagery and take control over your urges.
Embrace the drive to eat.
Eating is a normal function. We need to eat to survive.
And, knowing what you now know about the sight of food and its power over us, if you want to eat more of a certain food, put it on display.
Put it on the eye level shelf of the fridge and pantry. Watch recipe videos and look at cookbooks that use the food.
Meanwhile, if you want to eat less of a particular food, put it out of sight or don’t buy it at all.
Learn your hunger.
Learn the difference between “need to eat” (physiological hunger) and “want to eat” (psychological hunger or desire stimulated by food cues).
You’ll probably be more receptive to attractive food images if you:
- have more body fat (perhaps because of insulin)
- are hungrier
- are restricting food.
Even if you aren’t normally affected by food images, you might also be more cue-receptive or easily triggered in certain situations or moods. Know your vulnerabilities.
Recognize food porn when you see it.
As the classic line about porn goes, “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.” The same is true of food porn.
When you feel compelled by appealing food images, stop and notice that. Think about what makes those images so appealing to you.
Is it the look (oh-so-delicious)? The time when you see those food cues (i.e. late-night commercials)? The place where you see those images (e.g. in the supermarket)?
Recognize that manufacturers and marketers desperately want you to consume this stuff, and they know that images are powerful.
Triggers depend on our automatic response. Pause. Take a moment. Decide slowly. Eat slowly.
This will keep you in control.
Limit your exposure.
Make life easier for yourself. If you know you are sensitive, avoid excessive cuing of foods you don’t want to eat.
If you find yourself cruising food blogs looking for a “hit”, or rooting in the kitchen after food commercials, think about how to adjust your environmental food stimuli to filter out those cues.
And, as Michael Pollan advises, “Treat treats as treats.”
If you get caught up in food cuing, distract yourself. Place your focus elsewhere.
Notice how often your thoughts go to food when you’re bored. Do you need something else to engage you?
“Food porn” is impossible to miss in our food-obsessed culture. And there’s no question that images of food can tempt us to eat, even overeat.
But with a little bit of knowledge and some forethought, you can exercise control over how food images will affect you. Whether it’s your eating behaviors, weight, or body composition.
Remember, food images aren’t evil. Yes, you do have to be careful. But, then again, you can also use food images proactively; to help to change your eating habits for the better.
Read the full article HERE.
400 Meter Run
50 Air Squats
400 Meter Farmer’s Carry For Time
Level 1: 35/25#
Level 2: 53/35#
Level 3: 70/53#
Coach’s Tip: This workout is classic CrossFit. Simple yet effective. Focus on perfect air squats= Full depth, stand all the way up at the top, upright torso, no hands on legs! The question will be: How fast can you push your air squats WHILE maintaining form and range of motion?
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