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23 Sep
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Being Overweight Is Not About Will Power – It’s About Manipulation

I was working on my new video called Diets Make You Fat and I got totally sidetracked by something I discovered while I was doing my research.

One of the reasons many people are overweight is because they are being deliberately manipulated by Big Food into eating very much more than they need, simply in order to make sales.

Many people think that being overweight is about will-power, or rather the lack of it. But overeating has nothing at all to do with Will-Power and everything to do with the way your brain chemistry is being deliberately manipulated by the chemical additives in food.

I had no idea about the full extent of this, and to be honest, I was disgusted that Big Food just treats people as a source of wealth no matter how much damage is done to their lives. And let’s face it, being obese has a seriously damaging effect on almost every aspect of life. But perhaps the most pernicious is the low self-image that tends to be created, followed by the isolation, loneliness, and hell of being unable to control what you feel you should be able to control. Then, because you can’t, you think the fault lies with you.

Big Food manipulates us into overeating and this manipulation is the real source of the obesity epidemic.

What Are They Doing?

So what exactly are they doing?

They are by-passing your natural full signals and deliberately stimulating dopamine release. Dopamine is a neuro-transmitter created in the brain. Its effect is to make you feel good. It’s the same chemical that, when over-stimulated on a regular basis, creates physiological addiction.

It’s the mental stimulation derived from these highly palatable foods that makes so many people crave them, not hunger. This mental stimulation is responsible for re-arousing your appetite even after you are done eating.

This multi-billion-dollar food industry has discovered that three things: fat, sugar and salt, are the key ingredients for creating that mindless nibbling that never leaves you feeling satisfied but always leaves you wanting more. They use specific combinations of fat, sugar and salt — but different combinations for different foods — to make you crave these products. What you are after is your fat-sugar-salt fix. These are, as often as not, pre-packaged snack foods. But there is one more feature – the chemical flavouring. It is this, along with the specific combination of fat, sugar, and salt that you crave, which makes the whole thing supremely palatable to you yet leaves you permanently unsatisfied and always able to eat more regardless of how full you feel.

Is it any wonder you, and so many others, are overweight?

I don’t know about you but this makes me feel angry.

Too Big is the New Small

But that’s not the end of the story.

Portion sizes of innocuous seeming pleasures get ever bigger and there is a hidden calorie load here that you may be unaware of.

Coffee Houses

For instance a Starbucks Mocha Cookie Frappuccino Blended Coffee Venti (24oz – a little over a pint) with semi-skimmed milk has almost 700 Calories in it. If you drink one of these a day, 5 days a week – which many people do, it will add 52lbs to your body weight in a year. That’s almost 4 stone. And you wonder where the weight came from! That’s a four stone penalty for the simple pleasure of an enjoyable treat that makes work tolerable.


Of course a trip to the cinema would not be the same without a snack of something or other would it?

But this is where cinemas make their money, so you have to walk the gauntlet of these tantalising offerings before you get to your seat. For instance, at my local Cineworld cinema, a large (8oz) salted popcorn is over 1200Calories, so a trip to the Cinema once a week plus a popcorn will add 18lbs to your weight in a year. Throw in a large 32oz Coke, and you are adding 24lbs to your body weight each year. Keep that up for just 4 years and you will find yourself 100lbs (7st) heavier. This is how the weight sneaks up on you and again you wonder why you’re fat.

This snack is part of the enjoyment of the Cinema experience for a lot of people and to watch a film at the cinema without the Nachos, or the popcorn, or the ice cream, or the soft drinks would be no fun at all – might as well just be boring and stay at home. Still, the boring people don’t find themselves wondering where that 100lbs came from.

The Fizzy Stuff

Soft drinks are another huge source of hidden calories if you drink them regularly.

10 teaspoons of sugar, or the equivalent in High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), are found in a standard can. HFCS is absorbed more rapidly than regular sugar, and it doesn’t stimulate insulin or leptin production. Leptin is part of the body’s feedback mechanism that lets you know when you are full, so HFCS actually prevents you from triggering the body’s signals for being full and this in turn leads to over-consumption and increased Calorie intake.

If you buy bottles rather than cans then you are drinking 17 teaspoons of sugar in a 20oz bottle. Many soft drinks, particularly energy drinks, contain caffeine which is something else that people appear to get hooked on.

In the UK in 2002 the average soda consumption was around 2 litres per week per person. I don’t drink the stuff so someone must be having my 2 litres as well. US consumption was roughly double this.

So what’s the way out?

The way out is to slowly reduce your consumption of these products. Just going cold-turkey will leave you with strong cravings that you will probably give in to. So reduce consumption slowly and get into the habit of reading the labels that tell you what is in the product you are thinking of consuming. And beware the term natural. Manufacturers use this to trick you into thinking something is good when it isn’t. Natural caramel  is sugar reacted with sulphites and ammonia. Ammonia is what makes bleach work.

Think before you eat, that’s all you need to do. And if you are hungry, then have a banana or an apple, or a handful of grapes and check in ten minutes later. If you still want the snack then have it and enjoy it.

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