Hyperpalatable Foods, your insatiable appetite, and what you can do to control it!
I recently recommended you listen to a podcast featuring Dr. Stephan Guyenet, who talked about ‘5 effective ways to eat less.’ On the podcast he talked about hyperpalatable foods, which is something I’ve been very interested in, and his take on this is logical and very clear.
Dr. Guyenet is the man who introduced me to the role of hyperpalatable foods in the obesity crisis. He’s certainly not the first to look into this phenomenon, but he’s the guy that made it really click for me.
What is a hyperpalatable food? It’s a food that’s so rewarding that ‘you can’t eat just one.’ These foods have always existed, at least since man first stirred multiple ingredients together. They are simply foods made up of OR containing large amounts fat, sugar, and/or salt. I’m sure you can name a few right off the top of your head.
Fat, sugar, salt: none of these elements of food are bad, per se, but in combination, they trigger things deep within us.
Hy • per • pal • at • a • ble • food
it’s more than just a noun
- a food containing a combination of fat, sugar, and salt that triggers you to eat, crave, or desire more of a similar food
- the snack aisle of the grocery store
- anything at 7-Eleven
- that thing that calls from the kitchen late at night. Outside a lone wolf howls…
Those elements can be ‘bad enough,’ but then you have to consider the various engineered ‘mystery’ ingredients that food companies design in their labs – things like natural chicken flavor, natural strawberry flavor, and whatever comes under the label of the generic ingredient they like to call ‘natural flavor’ – and you have a food literally engineered to get you to want, crave, desire, and need more of it.
BTW, I’m using ‘literally’ in the literal sense here, not in the ‘I’m literally walking on air’ sense. Literally literally. Like seriously, guys in labs design these foods to be hyperpalatable. Here’s a video from 60 Minutes. Like for reals. 😉
Yes, the right (or wrong) foods can send some of us on a food bender, and out of control. We’re like a werewolf under a full moon, but instead of stalking and killing our prey, we stalk and kill every bag of chips in the pantry. …and then go back for the cookies, crackers, and ice cream.
What can you do about all this?
I really, really, really want you to listen to that podcast, but in the end, I know many of you want it distilled down to bullet points. At the end, Guyenet gives his top 5 tips, and here they are.
Top 5 Nutrition and Diet Tips to Lose Weight
…and control that insatiable appetite!
- Control your food environment – Don’t have tempting food around you.
- Be aware of what foods cause you to eat beyond fullness, and limit them or skip them.
- Make it sustainable. Choose a diet that you can stick to.
- Choose foods that have a lower calorie density – A binge on apples will have limited damage to your diet compared to a binge on donuts or chips.
- Protein – Increase your protein intake. More protein tends to make it easier to keep your calories lower.
Let me know what you think!