Nutrition (Self-Care)

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12

If it is good for us, why does it not taste better? When making the choice between crunchy Cheetos or carrots, the pleasure center of the brain is triggered based on how you have trained it. Eating healthy is actually a habit that can be developed if you are willing to overcome the strong desire for things like sugar, carbohydrates, grease or salts.

Like any addiction, making better food choices can result in similar withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can include severe anxiety, headaches, sadness, anger, sweating, shaking, disorientation and depression. They can last anywhere from days to weeks or even months after quitting.

Addictions of any kind is the result of becoming a slave to something.

Weaning yourself off of food will cause your brain to come alive by screaming for the junk it wants. Sugar, for instance, generates dopamine, a neurotransmitter that delivers messages to the “rewards center” in the brain. Think of dopamine as handing your brain a reminder that it needs to repeat the pleasurable activity that just gave it a boost.

The signal sent out by the dopamine when you consume sugar tricks your brain into thinking that it needs to seek out the cause of pleasure — in this case, a sugary tasty treat — over other, healthier activities.

You start eating more and more to get that same feeling you had that was pleasurable. Imagine sugar, soda, and caffeine all stimulating the rewards center, constantly telling you that you want more and more of these substances.

Carbohydrate’s such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, sugar, yogurt, and milk cause an increase in blood sugar levels and drops just as quickly, leaving your brain wanting more. Our bodies change 100 percent of the carbohydrate we eat into glucose. This affects our blood sugar levels quickly, within an hour or two after eating.

Beyond emotional eating, there are many reasons we choose foods that offer little nutritional value. Below are just a few of those.

CONVENIENCE offers a quick solution when our schedules are busy or we lack the energy needed to plan, shop, prepare and clean up from a more nutritional option. But over time, choices based on convenience has consequences that add up fast.

ANXIETY causes us to seek out “comfort” foods that are high in carbs and sugar.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION motivates us to choose junk food because our willpower is at a weak point as our logic brain operates less effectively.

FOOD ADDICTIONS can develop early in life as children learn to crave more junk food that triggers the reward centers of the brain.

What can you do this week to improve your eating habits? Ask God to show you any unhealthy connections between your emotions and food choices.

God bless your journey.