On the Psychology of Eating

Has your dietician or the latest article you read told you to stop eating practically everything? Is this good advice or are you committing harakiri? How do you react in a situation like this where your intentions are good, but the practicality of implementing such information is almost impossible?

The science of deprivation of food is strange. Deprived; you will immediately crave it more. Your body also continually attempts to create homeostasis. Homeostasis is the effort of the body to create balance in your body. The effort to create balance also holds good for various nutrients such as sodium (salt) and carbohydrates (sugar) for example. Therefore, your effort must be to reset the standard level in your body before the craving can be dealt with. Imagine you are eating 3500 mg of salt every day. If your nutritionist now suddenly asks you to go on a meal plan of soup and salads and cut out salt, your intake of salt might fall to 1500 mg. Naturally, your body will revolt. You will constantly feel hungry or crave something salty. The response is just your body trying to maintain standards.

If you persist, your body will adjust to the new normal. The adjustment can take up to fifteen days depending on what you are changing. The period of adjustment is frequently known as detoxification. Your body now has a new normal, and your cravings go away. The question before you is a delicate one. Should you jolt your body back to a different level where it gets used to high concentrations of salt or sugar? In movies, they often visualize this as a patient whose heart has stopped and is being resuscitated by jolts of electricity with the words "clear." You are doing the same thing with your craving. Indulge if you will, but only in moderation, please!