Desire: conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment.
Extra strong impulses towards that something, in this case food. The desire for food comes from dopamine. Dopamine is the “feel good” hormone. As humans evolved, dopamine was a big factor in survival. It is released by the brain when the body is doing something beneficial. For example, dopamine is released when eating, having sex, finding shelter, being warm, etc. It was the brain’s way of telling the body, “this is a good thing”.
When we eat healthy food, our body releases a healthy dose of dopamine. It shows the body we’ve addressed the hunger signal. It ensures we will have the fuel we need to survive. The problem, though, we have now concentrated foods that release unnatural doses of dopamine. This is problematic for our highly evolved brain. More dopamine equals more desire, much more desire than is necessary.
Have you ever eaten a whole bag of chips and wondered what happened? Have you sat down with a half-gallon of ice cream and a spoon and plowed through most of it? That’s overdesire. It’s your highly evolved, super smart brain, performing exactly as designed. Truly, it’s not your fault.
Our brain’s seek pleasure and avoid pain. It stores valuable data in the lower brain for quick access and to save energy. Our brain is working to be very efficient and it knows, for example, that ice cream produces a lot of pleasure. When our brain is working so efficiently it can make us feel as though we’re eating against our will. It makes us feel like we have no control.
Our thoughts create those feelings of desire. Thoughts like, I love it, I’ve earned it, it tastes so good, it will make me feel better. Rewarding those kinds of thoughts with food makes our desire stronger. It builds a powerful pathway in our brain.
One of the ways to curb overdesire is to eliminate the foods from your diet that cause the big dopamine hits. The two biggest culprits are flour and sugar. Both produce big dopamine hits that signal your brain you need more and more and more of it. Relying more on veggies, protein, and healthy fat will decrease the dopamine thus decreasing your desire for food.
Imagine life without the overdesire for food. Imagine not thinking about food all day long. Imagine what you could do with your brain when the clutter of food thoughts is gone. Imagine.