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FALLENLEAVES28 SparkPoints: (1,267)
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12/7/13 1:35 A

Throughout history, I think, largely almost every government was full of evil people that had their own best interest in mind.

The food industry in the country is an example. You need to be careful what you feed your family. You need to pay close attention. There are thousands of books literally written on how horrible the meat industry is alone! The treatment and cultivating of our food from all areas of the food industry is corrupt. To put it simply most companies in the food industry do not care about your health.

The obesity epidemic does directly correlate with our culture and largely with the foods we are conditioned to eat.

Many of us literally need to unlearn everything we think we know about nutrition. Sometimes you need to dig deep to learn the truth thanks to our media, gym classes, and society.

I do want to add that sugar is seriously horrible for you and extremely addicting. Our food industry doesn't seem to care ( example: LESS fat!!! ***they end up adding a ton more sugar). I remember reading a study online about these British scientist giving rats an option of water, cocaine, or sugar. And the rats went for the sugar. Sugar is rarely found in nature and it is not meant for us to eat in such large amounts.
The whole dietary brainwashing about how healthy certain carbs, cereals, and grains are is equally as laughable. When in realty many of those healthy grains have been stripped of their nutrients and replaced with dangerous additives like sugar!

It's not like that all over the world. For instance my boyfriend is from Ghana and everyone I meet from Ghana can't stand artificial sugar. It's strange to me. My boyfriend can't eat lots of the common foods we eat (like bread, milk, sugar). He gets very sick. He's used to eating fresh Fish, vegetables, and fruit. Not that garbage our government over produces. It's interesting that he is from a country with much more poverty, but they eat so much better then Americans. And they actually have an abundance of food to feed their high population ( common misconception about Africa). They don't have the corrupt food industry we have and they are much better off!
Ghanaian dishes by the way use natural foods that are good for you and are very yummy!

When I discovered certain eating behaviors I had it was a pretty awesome discovery. I believe stress, emotions, boredom, addictive additives put in food that stimulate hunger (Sugar!), and availability of food (not mental) all plays into my frequency of eating. The key is to learn from these behaviors and alter your behavior.
If stress arises turn to something that calms you down. Eating is largely a psychological process........I have a hard time not overeating at my parent's house. Whenever I go there I get so stressed out. It's very hard sometimes. It's amazing that you can associate stress with a certain place. And that a certain behavior is hard to resistance when in a specific environment. I'm rambling.

Good topic.

Edited by: FALLENLEAVES28 at: 12/7/2013 (01:39)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/6/13 10:11 P

First of all, blaming the food industry is not new. It has been happening for years, because it is true. I hope you aren't naive enough to believe that a company wouldn't manipulate you to make more profits. Or that the government would invent a diet high in wheat and corn, so that they lobbyists who own them get rich? Nah! Impossible! lmao.

Yes, we live in a free society, but if the food you eat causes cravings, then you are no longer in control. These aren't tricks. This is science. If they want you to drink more, they give you free salty foods, and watch as you buy five $4 drinks. For a $1 bag of popcorn they made a lot of profit. This is just common sens, and is followed by almost every bar I have been to. If you think a bar can manipulate you without any scientists, why would you think that a food manufacturing company would not do the same, when they have scientists working for them. Their only concern is for profits, so they keep their jobs. When the government switched us to low fat, ways of making the food taste better than cardboard had to occur. So they added HFCS, sugar, and salt. These have side effects, that are negative.

The idea of training your brain, or stopping patterns, or telling yourself you are worth a whole lot more, all seem to be ways of admitting the problem is yours.

If it was mental, we would have had obesity epidemics, and high rates of cancer, and heart disease before. We have been getting steadily fatter and sicker since the 1890's when we started to refine grains, and introduced cola into our lives. It has nothing to do with mental. It is physical. Yes, there were fat/obese people, but not in the quantity we have today. 60 % of people, and expected to keep increasing. We expect diabetes to double in the next 20 years.

We didn't just decide we weren't worth a whole lot more, and decided to get diabetes. It was the food we eat.Obesity has gone up and down throughout history, but over the last 40 years or so, it has gone steadily up, with no end in sight.

So while some of the success of dieting comes from mental changes, the greatest changes would come from people avoiding certain foods. Many people overeat because they can't stop eating, not because they don't know what a proper serving size is. This isn't because of a low fat diet itself, but from foods created when the government invented a diet for us. Food manufacturers made food whose only important trait was that it was below X amount of fat.

You can't blame people for eating these foods, and getting cravings, and eating more, and you can't expect a corporation to make a decision based on the health of people, over profits. All you can do is point out that this is occurring. By removing these trigger foods, you can eat a healthy diet, whatever diet you are on.

Dieting should be easy, and done without thinking about it obsessively. All of you statements are a mental argument with oneself to eat properly. Why waste the time, if all you need to do is not eat those foods?

" in some cases it is just not knowing what is good ".

Exactly. Even if we disagree on why the foods cause these cravings, we can let people know what is bad, AND good for them. I think that most people have a general idea though, and some of the foods we think of as healthy, just aren't. If you ever feel hungry ( barring startvation ), there is a problem with the food you are eating. Hunger isn't normal. You think hunger is normal, and we should find ways to deal with it. I just disagree with that completely. Hopefully this mental stuff works for some people, including you, and you find good health, but this has been the method tried for years, and most often it leads to people thinking they are weak minded, or a failure, when they cant " train their brain ". Every doctor on the planet is telling this to their patients, and has for decades. Has it worked? Only if rising obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are the goal.

I agree with Renata's version. There are mental aspects to dieting. However, the reason for being obese is not ours most of the time. We didn't all become a generation that overate at increasingly rapid rates, after hundred of generations of not doing so. There is a reason, and it isn't that we just didn't feel worthy, or didn't understand serving size. That is placing blame on these last 2 generations of people. It is our fault.

We just disagree with each other. I stated my position, and you stated yours. You may be right in some cases, and I believe I am right in others. I talk to hundred, if not thousands of people who have done this, by simply eliminating certain foods. I am sure some people have done it through " mental abilities ". Renata for example.

The difference is that my way doesn't blame the person who overeats, and is easy to do, since you are no longer hungry. Your way insinuates that it is something lacking in that person, and with some mental abilities, and corrections, they can overcome their failures.

The one question you haven't answered is.. why are the people still hungry on your way of dieting? If I trained my brain, told myself I was worth a whole lot more, and learned serving size, that does nothing to stop the fact that I had cravings, or felt " hungry ". In fact , if my serving size goes down to proper levels, I am probably hungrier.

I am not saying that sitting down and making a plan isn't helpful, which is a mental ability. I am saying part of your mental ability, might be using your brain to realize that some of the food you are eating is causing you to be hungry/have cravings. We would probably put sweets and processed foods on the list of these trigger foods, but there are many more.

So in these circumstances you would hopefully agree that it isn't mental. You may think it is 90 % mental, and 10 % physiological ( sugar makes us eat more ). I happen to just think it is 90 % physiological, and 10 % mental.

I only explained myself, so that you would understand why I said that. I felt if I was going to disagree with you, you might like to know why. I could have just come in, and said you were wrong, and left. Would you have preferred that? I know I hate it when people attack my way of eating, and don't explain why, so I felt I wouldn't do that. I disagree mostly, but felt I owed you an explanation.

OZZY1231 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 36
12/6/13 9:14 P

wow blaming the government and the food industry that's new.
last I checked we live in a free society and nobody but you decides what goes in your mouth.
willpower and mental abilities are not the same.
learning, training your brain to understand why you do the things you do. taking responsiblily for your own actions.
not repeating the same patterns over and over again.
maybe just realizing you are worth a whole lot more.
in some cases it is just not knowing what is good, how much is good.
learning from people on sites like this.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/6/13 8:47 P

Renata.. I think we are close in our way of thinking about nutrition. I just think that the percentage of people who overeat due to eating trigger foods is a lot higher than you do.

People obviously overeat to be overweight. That is the 1st law of Thermodynamics. So why are they overeating? Why are fast food places so busy at midnight? Heard of 4th meal? lol.

I watch Biggest Loser a lot, and several seasons ago, one of the contestants had her whole family die in an auto accident. She had seen a shrink, and had dealt with it as much as she could, and she did fabulously on the show, losing weight. She had been a normal weight before, and the only reason for her weight gain was the trauma. This was mental, and I understand that there can be smaller forms of mental power used while dieting, and I don't dispute that some of it is mental.

However, what I think, is that a majority of people are overeating due to the foods they eat on their " healthy diet ". They eat their 3 square meals, and 2 healthy snacks, and everything seems fine, till around midnight they get cravings. These are the same people who are " starving " 2 hours after breakfast. At this point, their mind is telling them that they ate the proper amount already, and they shouldn't eat more. Their body is saying " FEED ME NOW! ". This is not mental, it is physiological.

We all have different trigger foods. For a lot of people it is chocolate.Sometimes it can be another food, that makes us crave chocolate though. What we ate for dinner.

At this point, we could sit down, and give ourselves a talking to, plan out a successful diet, and force ourselves to stick to it for 3-4 weeks ( it becomes a habit by then ), and it may work. It won't be easy though. You are " hungry ", and want foods that you say NO to. Over time this may work. You avoid going to Taco Bell for burritos, when you really want them at midnight, and eventually you settle into a pattern, and find success.

Where we differ is that I think that by avoiding those few foods that trigger these reactions, you won't need to do this. You won't ever feel hungry, or have cravings. Once this happens, you don't have to use any metal power, except to make a menu once a week, and make a grocery list. You are avoiding the " hunger " that we too often consider normal in today's society. We hear people say that they are hungry because they worked out a little harder today, and think that makes sense. It doesn't. You don't feel hungry from burning 300 extra calories. I can eat 1500 or 2500. I don't feel hungry on 1000 less calories. If I did, I would have to eat, since I don't have any This ability for me to drop 500-1000 calories without feeling any hunger/cravings is why I can lose weight.

So while some weight loss is mental, in varying degrees, I think if most people would just avoid certain trigger foods, they could lose all their weight effortlessly. The reason I think it is a majority, is I read the posts of those who cheat a lot. They almost always have an extreme desire to eat more, or one food in particular, to the point of it being irrational. They lose control. if you are not in control, then it isn't 90 % mental.

If you are in control, then yes, it can be a mental hurdle that you can achieve, and find success.

So both can be true. Overeating is physiological for some, and mental for others. Obviously you think that most overeat due to their way of thinking, and I agree that first we have to admit there is a problem, and make a plan. These are mental, and I understand that. Some mental has to be a part of your decision, or else you would just continue the way you were.

I think most people fail on diets though, because they think of it as mental, and don't address what foods do to their bodies, and why they actually overeat. Sometimes they get lucky, and find what works for them, which differs for us all, but that is a very low % chance of success. It would be much better if they noted what they ate BEFORE they overate. If it becomes a pattern, then removing the food that caused the overeating, would remove the overeating.

Still I agree some of it is mental. I had to decide to do something, and force myself to stick to my diet till it became "normal " for me. Many of the times that I strayed off plan at a restaurant, or party, because I didn't want to look weird, are times when mental could have factored in, but the funny thing is, most often .. mental fails If you aren't hungry, most of us don't overeat. The chance of success is much higher.

I think we can agree on that.. A person who isn't hungry will succeed more often than a person trying to ignore their hunger, by using mental powers.

It's kind of like treating a cut with Neosporin, and saying Neosporin can get rid of the pain. You know what else removes the pain? Avoiding being cut. While being cut may be unavoidable, never being hungry isn't. If you aren't hungry, you don't need to use your mental powers. It is just a matter of avoiding the problem vs. dealing with the problem. For most of us.. hunger/cravings are the problem.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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12/6/13 1:11 P

I think you misunderstand me a little bit Russell. "Mental" is not the same thing as "sheer willpower and nothing but willpower 100% of the time". I am very negative on the power of willpower, actually. I had a tremendous motivation when I started out and even so could distinctly feel the "willpower" aspect of things start to slip after about six weeks. It just didn't matter, because by then I'd established so many good habits and my tastes had changed so much that it would almost be more effort to go back to my old habits than just to keep going. There was nothing on the "old ways" side of things that appealed to me anymore enough to even bother with.

I'm just about a year into this now (one more week!) and willpower isn't even relevant anymore. My lifestyle maintains itself. I have more idle thoughts (and actual actions) related to improving my diet most days than I have ones that might lead me to backslide. In six months my weight hasn't budged a single pound. (This is a good thing, for anyone who hasn't read down to my signature yet, since I'm in maintenance.)

That doesn't mean it's not mental. I do agree with you that stuff like junk food/snack food in any significant quantity is not compatible with losing weight and keeping it off, and I could probably out-outrage you on what has been done to our food supply if you got me started, but recognizing that -- or even being willing to -- is one thing, and doing something about it is something else. In order to lose any weight at all I had to reach a point where the fear of losing all the junk food was less signficant than my need to get it out of my life. That's mental. I had to consciously drop the resentment over it occasionally, had to consciously set aside the negative thoughts that tended to creep in every time my stomach grumbled, even if lunch was 20 minutes away. That's mental. I had to be determined to treat myself like a healthy, fit person -- like I love myself -- instead of behaving like I hate myself and wish I would die ... and keep that up even on the bad days, when things outside my control were going wrong and I felt terrible. That's mental. I had to ignore my worries about the future and forget my regrets about the past and just focus on doing what I need to do in each single moment -- to trust the process and not the measuring sticks -- in order not to get overwhelmed. Also mental.

If the only reason that people got overweight was because they were hungry too often, then the solution you found would be a magic bullet for everyone. But it's not. For a lot of people, hunger isn't really the issue -- including while dieting, or while trying and failing to maintain. It's other things, all over the emotional and habitual map. All those things have to be managed in order to be successful, before even worrying about the details of how and how much to eat. That's why it's a mental thing above anything else for most of us.

MLAPEDIS SparkPoints: (33,287)
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12/6/13 12:45 P

I agree it's a mental attitude. I know all the right things to eat and do to lose weight, and have done it over and over again throughout the years. I've even gone extended periods of doing the right things - the key is getting over the mental hurdles involved in sticking with it. Remembering how bad you felt before and overcoming the social and evolutionary impulses to do unhealthy things gets harder to do the farther you come in your weight loss journey. It's something where you need to recommit on a daily basis to remember your motivations (the motivation board on Sparkpeople's start page is great for that!)

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,218
12/6/13 10:30 A

Ok, a positive mental attitude is a plus, however Americans need to learn more about nutrition.
Dieting is not the concern it is changing your lifestyle. I laugh when I read about "Cheat days", why go back to something and cheat if you already know you should not and it may cause a person to spiral out of control.

Control should be focused and in real life most people are not in control...I read something somewhere....The brain that saw itself winning the game...already won....

I think we all have to be passionate about changing our way of life and reinventing ourselves.
Mental and physical health can be achieve through discipline...when I started my diet I lived by these phase....

What makes the difference between wishing and realizing our wishes? Lots of things, and it may take months or years for wish to come true, but it's far more likely to happen when you care so much about a wish that you'll do all you can to make it happen.”

It is a popular belief that half of the diseases occurs because of what you eat, and what you don’t.

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination.”

In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired. ~Author Unknown

So, yes there is an aspect to one's mental attitude but once everyone realizes that they need to balance blood sugar...they will achieve success. Research proves the more insulin you have, the more fat is stored and the more weight you gain....and that is not advice just for Diabetics.

Russell has a lot of good points however, no one twists a person's arm to eat poorly...I think the key is to learn about nutrition, minerals, carbs, fats, protein, etc.

Tracking on spark people helps you to make better choices if you enter what foods your thinking about for that day, scrutinize the nutrition report and stay within the doesn't take willpower to do that. And I agree with Russell that a response to the foods you already ate, cause cravings.....If you crave sweets, it could be a sign that you consume too much salt....again....Eating too much salt boosts the production of insulin, the hormone that tells the body to store fat. The more insulin you have, the more fat is stored and the more weight you gain. Even mild dehydration may slow down calorie burn.

Just my opinion!

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 12/6/2013 (10:35)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/6/13 2:20 A

I also disagree. I didn't gain the weight because of the way I thought. I gained weight because the foods I ate caused me cravings. I cut out the foods that triggered my cravings, and lost 160 lbs. Nothing changed for me mentally, except that I realized that the foods that were supposed to be healthy, were not.

People didn't decide to make poor choices that caused the current obesity epidemic. The Senate decided that low fat was best, and food manufacturers started manipulating our foods to make them low fat. They added salt, and sugar to make foods that lacked fat, taste good again. We replaced fat with sugar and salt. These have health side effects, like diabetes, high BP, cravings that make us overeat, and leads to obesity, cancer, and heart disease.

This isn't low fat, but what it has been warped into, that is deadly. The very food you are eating is causing you to overeat. It was manufactured to do this, and is working quite well. It isn't a choice for many people. It has nothing to do with willpower. They can simply stop eating those foods, and without any cravings, they stop overeating, and their health improves as they easily drop weight.

This is akin to cigarette manufacturers not removing the nicotine, because they know you will become addicted, or a bar giving you free pretzels, or popcorn to make you thirsty. Is it mental for a thirsty person to be sitting 5 feet from beverages, and decide to have another one? No, it is a response to manipulation by the person who wants you to eat more, drink more, smoke more, so they can make more profits. They are in business to make money. The cure is to realize that you are being manipulated with simple science, and stop eating the foods that cause this response.

I applaud anyone who can use willpower to lose weight. It is a much harder path, and as evidenced by America's waistlines, one that not many succeed at. They decided it was mental, and by sheer will made it work. The thing is, it is very easy to do this with no willpower. We all know how to fill in a tracker to fit certain ranges, but sticking to that is the problem. What makes you go out after eating your 3-5 meals, and get more? It isn't mental. That is a response to the foods you already ate, and the cravings they caused.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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12/5/13 11:48 P

Totally mental.

BLUEHORSE17 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/5/13 11:36 P

I believe it's all in the mind in the end. Your mentality while 'dieting' can either make or break you. It depends on which thoughts you choose to listen to.

OZZY1231 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/5/13 11:21 P

you disagree I just said we have to plan it out make choices. I said its us reacting to situations not thinking and planning for success that is stopping us

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/5/13 11:18 P

I disagree. Success in anything is about what you DO and how much action you take.

I can love dieting or hate it--it all boils down to what I actually choose to eat and how much I actually move each day.

OZZY1231 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 36
12/5/13 10:59 P

i just figured it out dieting is not half food half exercise no not at all. its 90% mental. if you live your life reactively then you are destined to fail.
reactions lead you to make bad decisions, bad food choices. we can't count on reactions. reactions are when we don't plan and our minds have to go to their databases and do what they always did. (fast food) on the way to your kids game because your late.
if however we work really hard to plan and create a database of good choices live with less reactions we can have a plan that will succeed.

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