Food As Pleasure: The Pitfalls And Solutions
In this day and age food has become more to us than just nourishment for our bodies. Food has become a passion for some. Food is force-fed (pun intended) to us by advertisements on tv, billboards, radio, and the internet.
the food industry spends enormous amounts of money trying to get us to buy and eat more food. People use food in many different ways. Some people use and abuse food for comfort, passion, stress relief, rewards, gifts, and a social activity just to name a few. There is nothing wrong with being passionate about food. The key is keeping food in balance.
When we eat food as a passion it becomes more than just fuel for our bodies.
Eating for passion instead of eating for hunger triggers feelings of reward in the brain. This type of eating is referred to as Hedonic hunger or the desire to eat for pleasure.
The reward signals promote individuals to overeat even when they feel full and their body has taken in the required daily amount of nutrients they need. This type of activity can result in conditions such as obesity and eating disorders.
Some people view food as a friend, a treat, or a reward rather than needed fuel for the body to function. Food can take on a glorified position in your life. The importance of food is blown out of proportion compared to what it is actually meant for. Some people see their relationship with food as the key to happiness.
They place too much importance and emphasis on food. This is where balance comes into play. Food can be an important part of your life to a certain extent. You don’t have to treat the act of eating as just a task to live. It’s ok to enjoy food as a social activity, treat, or reward as long as it is done in moderation and in a healthy manner.
The pleasure of eating is short-lived.
As soon as you put the food in your mouth, chew, and swallow, the experience is over. At that point, the brain takes over and the reward sensations kick in. The key is to enjoy those feelings of reward in moderation and not overindulge. One term that comes to mind when I think moderation and balance is gluttony. Gluttony means to over-indulge or to over-consume food and/or drink.
If we overindulge, we start to think of food as exciting causing pleasurable sensations. This makes food seem fun and special. This behavior can leave us in an emotional state. This emotional state is the point where we understand what is occurring and we use restraint to moderate or we overindulge and become at risk for problems.
If food passion does become a problem, we have to realize how overblown our thinking about food has become. Glorifying food is a belief that we need it to be happy. This is not true. If we take a hard look at our beliefs about food and discover the truth, we realize that we do not need to get pleasure from food. We need food for nourishment. We should obtain passion from life and include food within our life’s passion.