In this week’s group meeting Health Coaches Amy Eiges and Brian Wiley continued the discussion of food addiction, sharing their everyday struggles with the many low-carb options now available. Many members also shared their challenges.

Discussion:

  • Amy opened up the meeting talking about the long term effects of the things that drive us to eat. She explained how she can still overdo the “keto treats” even though she has been low carb for years. Though low carb has suppressed her appetite, these foods are highly palatable and trigger our reward system. She uses them and sees them as a means to keeping low carb sustainable long-term, but realizes that they can be a slippery slope, so use with caution.
  • Brian talked about his recent CGM experiment: his goal was to test the low carb and keto products he rarely consumes to test their accuracy on blood sugar. By the end of two weeks he was consuming more than double the products he started with and has had a tough time cutting them out afterward even though very few of them had any impact on his blood sugar numbers.
  • When we get hooked on these products it’s hard to cut them out — they can quickly become an everyday indulgence or binge. Amy described an instance while in the grocery store where she was adding a lot of keto products to her cart and realized she was planning a low-carb binge. Also, even though she had recently lost her taste from COVID, she found herself binging on highly processed, super sweet keto products.
  • If you struggle with overconsuming highly palatable keto foods, the best thing to do is focus on real foods like meat, fish, chicken, eggs, Greek yogurt, and green leafy vegetables. Eating these foods until full will help lessen the desire to eat those processed foods.
  • Some things that drive us to these hyperpalatable foods: poor sleep, high stress, or a disrupted schedule. The team advised when these things happen, not to worry about fasting — focus on real satiating foods, and eat as many meals as it takes to get you through the day. Fasting when these things are happening is very difficult and willpower will let you down.
  • Realize we are facing an uphill battle: food companies do everything they can to keep us hooked on their products. By switching up the many different taste profiles (even in the same bag of chips!), or using strategies in advertising to attract our attention, these products are all designed by teams of people to hit our body’s reward centers so we crave these products.
  • It’s not only the processed foods that can be problematic — it’s also very easy to over-consume nuts, cheese and other dairy. These foods are very energy-dense and the fat/carbs add up easily. They are convenient, but offer little in the way of satiety.

Article by Brian Wiley

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who struggled to lose weight for most of his life. He attempted most of the mainstream approaches, along with the standard advice to “eat, less move more.” This advice resulted in minimal short-term success, or no success at all. Brian then adopted a low-carb lifestyle in 2009, and succeeded in losing 100 pounds. He has maintained that weight loss ever since using a low-carb ketogenic IF lifestyle. "I see people every day, both in real life and on social media, struggling, going through the same cycles of unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful, is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution." Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer.