Monday, August 25, 2014

Food addicion and the Brain

Have you ever stopped to consider how food addiction is different than any other thought you have?  I know some people like to think that they eat 'mindlessly', but I completely disagree.

There are only 5 things the brain is capable of processing in 'real time'.  Five.

Sight.
Sound.
Touch.
Taste.
Smell.

EVERYTHING else our brain processes is based on the past.  We aren't capable of processing non-sensory information in real time.  For example, you're doing a math problem-- that isn't real time.  It is all based on thoughts you've had before, things you've learned before.

You're having a really bad day, feeling crappy, stressed, upset, etc.  All of those thoughts and feeling are based on something that happened five minutes ago, yesterday, last week.  A reminder of how you felt when something simlar happened before.

So when you're experiencing sensory input, that is real time information, and it has the capability to block out almost any and every other type of input.  So... bad day... let me grab that ice cream.  The brain processing associated with taste can block out (according to reseachers) almost 80% of any other intellectual processing.

Of course, we're not all food addicts based on coping skills, but if you think about it, food addiction is a VERY efficient way of coping, based on how the human brain works.  Now... how to change it is the struggle.

It's unfortunate that candles and music aren't nearly as effective for me.

5 comments:

  1. So true! I need a replacement behavior! I'll be working on one.

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  2. I need a replacement behavior too! Hmmm...maybe tequilla instead of food?

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    1. I'd rather replace food with sex myself lmao

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  3. Food addiction is unlike any other addiction... you can't abstain from food :(

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  4. Interesting take on this. The thing that always bugged me about replacement behaviors is professionals always use exercise...if I liked to exercise, I wouldn't be this fat!

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