Vitamin P – Pleasure – is a vital element that makes our meals nutritionally complete and makes life worth living. Losing weight by limiting pleasure is like trying to stop smoking by not breathing.
“When you’re turned on by food, you turn up metabolism… pleasure, metabolism, and a naturally controlled appetite are interwoven to the core,” says Mark David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
I so agree.
Successful New Weight Loss Strategies Prove Pleasure is Good!
Deprivation. Calorie counting. Punishing self-control. Going for the burn. It's time to put these weight loss myths behind!
This old thinking in weight loss almost always boomerangs back to weight gain. The real culprits behind most weight gain are the biochemical imbalances caused by processed foods and stress.
New strategies focus on stress reduction, the pleasure and sensuality of real foods, and true nourishment for the body and soul.
When you're stressed, you're more likely to binge eat on high calorie “false pleasure” foods (aka “comfort” foods). Calorie-rich fat and carbohydrate containing foods stimulate chemicals such as serotonin in the brain that overcome the discomfort of stress to produce feelings of well-being and an elevated mood.
Exploring the mood-weight connection, researchers at Yale University found that women who were most susceptible to stress and a negative mood ate greater quantities of high calorie "comfort" foods compared to less stressed peers.
At Montclair State University, researchers evaluated food preferences under varying conditions and found that non-stressed subjects preferred smaller quantities of healthy foods versus larger quantities of unhealthy foods when they were stressed.
Cortisol is a culprit in cravings. After binding to cortisol-receptors throughout your body, high cortisol can make you anxious, irritable, fatigued, cognitively impaired, and causes difficulty sleeping, elevated blood glucose levels, and more. Raised cortisol levels also result in stress-induced food cravings and overeating -- particularly of calorie-rich fat and carbohydrate containing foods --which can cause you to gain weight gain and deposit fat around your mid-section.
What Do You Crave – is it True Pleasure?
Stress can make you reach for convenient but unhealthy "factory foods." Factory foods are loaded with unhealthy fats, sugars, heavily processed grains and ingredients, artificial flavors and colorings.
Formulated by food scientists, factory foods are engineered to be hyperpalatable to induce cravings and encourage you to overeat.
Factory foods are also made for shelf life, not supporting life. It's hard for your body to break down food that was made to last through Armageddon. Ingredients used to preserve and give them their color are often derived from petrochemicals and butane and set off a cascade of damaging inflammatory responses in your body.
Processed foods also set up imbalances of hormones including insulin, cortisol, ghrelin and leptin which are critical to your healthy relationship with food. With these hormones out of whack, you get raging cravings, high blood sugar peaks and dizzying drops, and you pack on the pounds. You may develop full-blown sugar addiction and constant cravings for sweets.
Learn to recognize and avoid unwholesome “food-like substances” that abound in the middle aisle of the grocery store, in fast food restaurants and convenience stores. At the same time, learn to appreciate fresh wholesome vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, spices, herbs, and, if you desire, organic pasture-raised dairy, eggs and meat.
There is another kind of craving…one that can be good!
It's called a supportive craving.
The Art of the Treat
True pleasure comes from reducing stress, eating well, sleeping soundly, moving your body and feeling your best! Stress and cortisol reduction are critical for you to successfully lose weight.
I have a secret for you – treating yourself is an excellent way to develop new stress-reducing, health inducing, weight-shrinking habits. While it may sound frivolous and counter-intuitive, it’s not: forming new habits can be tough, and treats can help you succeed! When you give yourself a treat, you feel energized, cared for and contented, which boosts your sense of well-being and self-control.
If you don’t get treats, you can feel burned-out, deprived and resentful.
But there’s a real skill in treating yourself. You need to make sure that what seems like a treat in the short term doesn’t leave you worse off later – like that second glass of wine, extra cookie or order of French fries.
Act on your supportive cravings – that juicy apple, crisp salad, savory salmon and other healthy treats. Trade chips for crunchy carrots and celery with a yummy tahini dip, and trade fast food pizza for a tomato and herb topped grilled portabella mushroom. This will save you from that greasy, carby feeling of regret from reaching for that popular doughy dish.
New pleasure foods like Spice Pharm's Golden Goddess Chai and Golden Goddess Chocolate Elixirs – which are naturally "functional" -- are redefining what diets are all about.
Golden Goddess Elixirs are bursting with all-star ingredients for stress reduction and weight loss! Aromatic spices promote satiation, good digestion and a healthy inflammatory response, and a healthy dose of coconut oil curbs appetite and provides necessary building blocks for hormone production.
Concentrated extracts of adaptogenic herbs ashwagandha and eleuthero round out the all-star cast, with their stress-reducing, hormone-balancing crave-curbing muscle-building power. Read the science behind our very special ashwagandha extract called KSM-66.
Why stress your adrenals with that extra cup of coffee, or fall for the fattening desert?
Reach for a yummy elixir instead. You'll be glad you did.