Who doesn’t love food? In-N-Out, Taco Bell, and Chipotle. Whether eating healthy was your new years resolution or you’re starting your diet, you’ll most likely digress and end up eating that one hamburger. Then comes the usual, self-loathing topped off with voraciously stuffing your face with chocolate. Face it, we’re in a love/hate relationship with food.
I mean, it’s sort of obvious why we would like food, isn’t it? According to The Guardian magazine, we human beings are naturally programmed to want foods by having liked them. According to Kent Berridge, a neurologist at the University of Michigan, there have been experiments to prove that your brain is directly related with the likings of food. The neurochemical that gives us pleasure is dopamine; and when Berridge suppressed domaine in rats, the rats did not want the sweet food it was given, but still enjoyed the sweetness. Meaning, the rats liked the food, but that did not mean they wanted the food. These two aspects of the reward system are directly related and close intertwined with our natural tendency to like food. Dopamine triggers what we decide to want, and the brain releases endorphin and enkephalin, which produces the liking.
If you’re not into the science-y background story, let me put it this way: psychological elements affect how we feel about food. Our brain is stimulated and induced when we taste and swallow food. It cultivates our mind and of course, our stomach. But food is also the illicit villain that destroys our eating habits specifically created for the sole purpose of losing weight. If you’re a teenager, you should’ve have gone down this path at least once.
However, we absolutely hate food when it lures us into eating it whilst trying to restrict our diets. Imagine what it would be like to eat as much as we want and keep the same body the entire time. That’s right, it’s just not possible. It is inevitable; we’ll end up gaining weight if we keep on eating the food that we love, and we all know that include sweets and junk food. We start letting our desire of staying skinny control us and manipulate us, until we go completely nuts and end up gorging food upon our mouths.
Hey, but remember: in the end, you have to do what you love; working for and keeping a glamorous body may be important, but the most important thing is to stay happy and healthy. A small piece of chocolate wouldn’t kill you, but taking the stairs instead of the elevator, for once, wouldn’t either. Finding balance and figuring out the eating habit that works for you is important. We may have a love/hate relationship with food, but the key is to seek your midpoint within the two extremes.
– Leona Maruyama (’17)
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