Hey Radical Health Seekers 👋
This week in your Radical Health Newsletter:
- Why processed foods are like drugs;
- Why moderation is doomed to fail;
- How to quit processed food forever;
- And our beginner’s guide to pushups…
According to a University of Michigan survey…
The most addictive processed foods are:
#5 Ice Cream
The survey authors state that these processed foods can be as addictive as cigarettes, alcohol, and cocaine.
Let’s dig into that this week…
Bliss point: Why “just one bite” doesn’t work
We received this email from Andy during the week:
I think I’m addicted to junk food..
I’m very new to an animal-based diet and have been seriously struggling to stay away from french fries, pizza etc.
Everyday feels like one step forward two steps back.
I fell off the wagon entirely at Halloween, thinking a few pieces from my kids’ stash wouldn’t be a big deal.
But a few pieces turned into a whole backslide and I was roaming the house for days afterward craving foods I thought I was done with.
I’m finally getting back on track now, but I’ll admit I’m a little stunned.
I feel ashamed that I can’t stop eating this stuff.
Any tips you can give me?
Andy, the first thing to know is this isn’t your fault…
Because our brains are hardwired to seek out tasty and novel foods.
This was a valuable evolutionary adaptation when we never knew where our next meal was coming from…
But in today’s world, food companies take advantage of this, by deliberately engineering their products to be highly addictive.
They light up your brain like a Christmas tree (look up bliss point)
This is literally your brain when you eat processed foods:
(why yes we did just sneak a Christmas gif into this newsletter barely a week after Halloween 😎)
The salty, crunchy, fatty, and sweet flavors of processed foods hijack the dopamine receptors in our brains, creating a “food-high”…
And then you “come down” from the “food-high”, craving more.
It’s a vicious cycle similar to what happens with many highly addictive drugs.
But unlike cigarettes or cocaine, processed foods are not hidden.
They are EVERYWHERE, and widely encouraged and accepted.
So under these circumstances, how can we resist the siren call of processed foods?
And is moderation or the occasional cheat even possible?
We don’t think so.
Because processed foods are engineered to be hyper-palatable and hijack our biological wiring.
For example, almost all processed foods contain seed oils, which increase the production of endocannabinoids, specifically 2-AG and anandamide…
These compounds hijack the satiety receptors in our brain in the same way that cannabis does, leading to increased cravings for more food.
It can create a vicious cycle, where the more seed-oil-enriched food you eat, the more you will crave it.
We are hardwired to crave these hyper-palatable foods, and eating clean 90% of the time quickly becomes 80%, then 50% and eventually 30%.
Like cigarettes, cutting them out of your life is the best approach.
Here’s how you can do that 👇
How to quit processed foods forever
#1 Don’t have them in the house
It may seem obvious, but if you want to quit processed foods, then don’t have any in your home.
Because chances are, if they are in the pantry, they are getting eaten.
#2 Swap them for animal-based foods
Make sure you have plenty of animal-based foods on hand for when hunger strikes.
Be sure to get enough meat every day (1lb per 100 lbs of ideal body weight), and if cravings strike, go for a banana or some meat.
Get yourself a bottle of Firestarter which contains unique nutrients to help fight cravings…
“During the course of my first bottle, my body became completely satiated. In other words, no cravings thus I felt complete contentment!” – Cheryl V
#3 Remember your why, and how processed foods make you feel
What’s your “why” for quitting? Is it to play with your grandkids? Or to just not feel like crap?
Remember how eating processed food makes you feel, and ask yourself if it’s worth it to you.
#4 Find an alternative stress relief
Many people rely on processed food as a form of self-medication after a stressful day.
To quit processed foods, you need to replace them with something else.
Exercise is a fantastic alternative, because it relieves stress, improves your mood, and your health!
Speaking of which…
A beginner’s guide to pushups
Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans can’t do 5 pushups in a row?
And that 1 in 2 can’t do 10 in a row?
That’s according to a survey carried out last year by Gymless.
Now if you are one of those people who struggle with pushups… and can’t imagine doing 3 in a row, never mind 10…
Try our beginner’s guide here, and you will be doing 10+ pushups by Christmas 💪
#1 Wall pushups
Wall push-ups are the easiest way to start. And before you write them off as “too easy”, try do 10 or 20 of them with good technique before moving to the next version!
🔑 Key points
- Standing about 3 feet from a wall, place your palms shoulder-width against the wall.
- Bend your elbows, and bring your chest towards the wall, and then gradually back, in a modified push-up movement.
- Keep your body straight during the exercise. Don’t let your bum stick out, and don’t bend your neck. Go slow and remember to breathe!
- If you struggle, bring your feet a little closer to the wall.
#2 Incline push-ups
If you find the wall push-ups easy, then move straight onto this version.
All you need is a chair or stable piece of furniture.
Ideally, you will have two different heights so that you can progress between them as your strength improves.
🔑 Key points:
- Make sure the chair or piece of furniture will not slip. Use something heavy, or place a non-stick mat beneath it.
- Keep your body straight (including neck and bum).
- Go slow, remember to breathe, and focus on good technique.
- As you improve, use a shorter chair or box until eventually, you’re doing push-ups with your hands on the floor!
That’s all from us this weekend!
The Heart & Soil Crew
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