Of steak and sugar cookies… Why can you overeat on sugar?

It was always sort of a mystery, why I could eat cookies and chocolate in huge quantities without experiencing the feeling of fullness the way I did when eating a steak. Usually I can’t even eat a whole steak before my body tells me to stop. In the meantime I have learned that it has to do with the fact, that my steak consists of complete protein and other nutrients, which my body recognizes as actual nutrition. I start eating with great appetite, love my first and second and third bite and so on… but the more bites I eat, the less appealing my food looks to me. This is because my body is sending feelings of satiation to my brain.

Also, when I eat steak, I have to do lots of chewing and swallowing. All of this takes time, and eventually satiety sets in, my body’s way of saying, “I’m nourished and well fed.” Time to stop.

When I eat a sugar cookie or other sweet treat that is made with ingredients like flour and sugar and chemically processed ingredients, I spend very little time chewing and swallowing, and because these “foods” are devoid of any nutrients, my body doesn’t recognize them as food/nutrition, hence it doesn’t send the “I’m full” signal to my brain, and so I keep eating.

Of course, in addition to this I am convinced that I’m actually addicted to sugar, so in addition to my body not recognizing sugar as food, I believe that sugar does something else to me. Dopamine levels are higher when you eat sugary treats, and dopamine regulates “reward” in your brain. While modern scientists don’t officially recognize sugar as an addictive substance, they are careful not to say its’ not possible.
The fact is, when I eat anything with refined sugar in it, I instantly get this reward feeling. And because I like that feeling, I want more of it. Give me more, more, more!!

We also know that we evolved to be attracted to sweets. To get a better understanding on why this is, check out this great article on The Perfect Health Diet. It is well written and makes sense of some of that science talk, that I find so difficult to understand sometimes.

Have a great day, Everyone.

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