Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
Aided by food industry, sugar addictions are causing obesity and illness
As a country we are becoming fatter. And it’s happening faster than anyone would ever have imagined. Obesity rates in America have gone from 27 percent in 2013 to 27.7 percent in 2014. That is almost 1 percent in one year!
Our society—through government health agencies, through the media, through the food industry, and through insurance companies—has convinced us that if we just ate less and exercised more we could lose weight. And since we are a shame-based society, most of us have bought the idea that there must be something wrong with us, that we are lazy and “fat-seeking” individuals with no willpower and no commitment to doing what we must to lose weight.
You know something? They’re all wrong; dead wrong. The problem is that we may all be dead much sooner because of the exploding obesity epidemic, while feeling horrible about ourselves because we have been fed a completely trumped-up, falsified version of why we are becoming obese.
Are you ready for some truth?
We are a nation of food addicts and it’s because the food we eat has been proven to be biologically addictive. Yes, you heard that right, the food we are eating is addictive, and no amount of willpower can overcome the addiction if we continue to eat addictive foods.
In one animal study published in 2007, the researchers compared the response to sugar with that of cocaine. They found that rats preferred saccharin (an artificial sweetener) or sucrose over cocaine. Even when the rats were given higher and higher doses of cocaine, they still preferred either sucrose or saccharin.
The comparison between drug response and sugar response does not end there. In several other studies it was clearly demonstrated that rats fed a high diet of sugar suffered withdrawal symptoms similar to that of heroin when they were put on fasting diets.
The cycle of stimulation and sugar craving
In another article published in 2013, Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard researcher, concluded that eating a diet rich in sugar induces a drug-like response in test subjects, both physiologically and in neural activity of the brain. He stated:
“Compared with a low-GI (glycemic index) meal, a high-GI meal decreased plasma glucose, increased hunger, and selectively stimulated brain regions associated with reward and craving in the late postprandial (after eating) period, which is a time with special significance to eating behavior at the next meal.”
In simple terms, this study demonstrates that eating sugar makes you hungrier, stimulates cravings for more sugar, and tells the brain to eat more of it. Just like with a drug, the brain wants the reward of the same stimulation over and over again.
Another major contributing factor to our obesity epidemic is the role of the food industry. The food industry, just like any other industry, wants to create profits. What better way can you think of than to help people become addicted to the food they eat?
Doesn’t this insure that people will come back repeatedly to eat the same addicting foods to create the stimulus the brain needs in its reward centers? And just as with drugs where the person builds up a tolerance, the addict has to keep taking more and more of the addicting food to get the same high.
The food industry has made a science of this—developing strategies including “taste institutes” and working with “craving experts” to find the sweet spot or “bliss spot” of foods in order to create food dependency. This is akin to drug dealers giving you “tastes” of the drug in order to develop your addiction to the drug.
Scientists study how we respond to taste by analyzing brain wave patterns and hormone and neurotransmitter release, and in this way they can predict how we will respond to any given food and taste. When they identify a certain set of responses they can be sure that we will respond favorably to a food or taste and will seek this food out repeatedly.
The food industry spends millions of dollars a year, trying to paint a nice image of their concern for public health and welfare, when in fact they spends millions more developing the very strategies that have made a nation of food addicts.
Sugar consumption and disease
On a personal note, I know about this addictive process intimately. You see, my father was a Coca-Cola salesman and we had all of the soda we could want daily. When I was five I was drinking two bottles of soda a day and had become completely addicted to it.
Although I did not become obese, by the time I was nine, I was an undiagnosed diabetic. It is important for people to realize that diseases connected to the overconsumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates (such as pasta and bread) are numerous and will often occur together. Examples of this kind of disease collusion are obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, psoriasis, or ADD/ADHD.
It took me years of learning and changing my diet, exercise, and lifestyle to kick the habit of eating sugary foods and to cure myself of diabetes.
If you would like help discovering what foods you are addicted to (sugar is just one) and what you can do to “kick” the habit and detoxify your body from its current state of dependency, then please contact me at my office at 516-609-0890 or through my website: drdbrant.com.