The Little Known Reason We Get Addicted to Processed Foods

The Little Known Reason We Get Addicted to Processed Foods

Ever wonder why most of us can relate to downing a whole bag of Doritos in no time flat…but we never seem to fall into a kale addiction or summer squash overeating binge?

Well, the average person may not know the brain science behind food addictions, but the food scientists have it all figured out.

In fact, companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars studying our behaviors and how our brain works to influence our behaviors.

In this short video I share an industry insider secret which explains exactly why some processed foods are dangerously addictive and how to avoid the foods that have the highest addictive ratings out there.

Quick Point Summary

1.  Processed foods with many added flavors (think high sugar and sodium) confuse and disrupt the process of the hypothalamus to trigger appropriate hormones to be produced in response to our eating.

2.  Leptin, in particular, is an important hormone that gives us the feeling of fullness, triggers us to stop eating and turns on fat metabolism.  There are many factors that can contribute to leptin not working or not being produced in our body.

Eating something that has extreme amounts of a specific taste, or even worse – extreme amounts of multiple tastes at once (think spaghetti sauce that has tons of sugar added to it) – is one cause of the proper production of leptin getting warbled.

3.  The simple solution is to move your diet more and more toward whole, real foods.  Easier said than done for many of us though.

That’s why you’ll want to keep your eye open for free video trainings coming out shortly and the live running of my signature course being announced soon.

As a busy mom, the transformation of your diet and health doesn’t happen in a bubble, so when you and your family need to move into a healthier direction with the foods you eat and the way you care for your health- you’ll need specific steps and processes that take into account the life you live and that set you up for success every step of the way.

I’d love to know, do you find yourself struggling with food additions, binging or out of control eating?  What kinds of foods does this normally happen with?  When in your day does it normally happen?



17 responses to “The Little Known Reason We Get Addicted to Processed Foods”

  1. Hi Lisa,
    As a new (older) mom of an infant through adoption, and soon to be (surprise!) mother of a second adopted infant; and working full-time out of the home, I find every bit of information and wisdom you bring into my world helpful and insightful. We already eat a very whole diet and I make huge efforts to avoid processed foods. My biggest challenge is that when I’m overtired, and under self-nurtured…which sadly is often the case these days…I still crave, crave, CRAVE sweet baked goods! I dream of devil dogs, whoopie pies, cupcakes and twinkies…although they were never a big part of my diet. Creamy-cakey goodness is my nemesis. I can make a wonderful whole foods chocolate cake that helps…but the cravings are tough to take. Any thoughts on this would be great.

    1. Hi Marie,
      I read your comment…and was wondering if you have ever tested yourself for over production of yeast?

    2. Marie – have you ever looked into raw food sweets? They are basically made of dried fruit and nuts, and a lot of people have found that they work well in assuaging the junk food cravings. Just search online for things like “raw food cookies” or “raw vegan sweets”. Easy to make at home if you have a food processor.

      1. Ooo Ladies, I love the support here…great suggestions! Kristin S is right- Yeast overgrowth is a huge issue for many women and the tricky thing is that once you have a candida overgrowth those nasty little yeasties actually trigger you to crave sugar so that they get fed. Crazy but true. So dealing with a yeast problem if you have it is important.

        Emily- love these suggestions for those who can manage some dried fruit in thir diet- which is you have a right-functioning metabolism is no problem…many yummy options out there for sure.

        Also Marie, I’d look at your diet to be sure you are giving your body enough protein throughout the day. Just another thought as we are brainstorming together. Of courses without knowing you personally, these are all just useful avenues to consider.

  2. this is so true! we made homemade pasta sauce last night (from tomatoes out of our garden!) and i ate half as much as i would normally with a jarred tomato sauce.

    we normally buy organic brands of sauce, do these still have brain mixer-upers in it too?

    thanks! so informative, as always!

    1. Good question, Jenn! They could so it is always important to check. In order to be organic, they could simply add organic sugar, so there is no automatic rule that organic sauces won’t do this. But simply check the label and the ingredient list. I know most probably don’t but you can confirm quickly!

  3. Hi Lisa – My biggest weaknesses are homemade baked goods. I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies last week and at one point was eating them and suddenly felt like I needed someone to stop me, I felt out of control. Anything chocolatey and chewy (BROWNIES!) is nearly impossible for me to pass up. I know it’s bad for me but I have comforted myself with the thought that it wasn’t store-bought so it doesn’t have all the extra junk in it. However, the more I learn, the more I’m realizing that just plain sugar and white flour are SO bad for me! I love to bake and so does my 3-year old so it’s something fun for us to do together, I guess I need to come up with some healthier options. Any suggestions?

    1. maybe you’d like to try a recipe like this:

      Very tasty and healthy. My kids love these. If you wanted to make the chocolately, you could add cocoa powder.

      1. Renee- Love it, thanks for that link!

        Kristy, there are many great options out there for healthier baked (or raw “baked”) recipes…The first that comes to mind is from a dear friend and amazing real foods expert Katie from Kitchen Stewardship- she wrote an ebook Healthy Snacks on the Go. Here’s the link:

  4. Kimberly Avatar

    Hi, Lisa,

    You’re always so insightful! I work from home, and every day without fail, around mid-afternoon, I start craving…usually, ice cream…and always ice cream that has either peanut butter or nuts in it. Not just a summery treat for me…this is a year long dilemma. I’ve always preferred it to other sweets anyway. Sometimes, in the evening, I’ll get a craving for something salty instead, but usually a couple of cups of low-fat/sodium popcorn will zap that. I’m guessing my afternoon “hunger” may be a dip in sugar or even protein perhaps?

    1. Kimberly, it sounds like a blood-sugar dip in the afternoon and mineral depletion. Try upping the animal fats at lunch, snacking on a smoothie with nuts (similar mouthfeel to ice cream), and switching to unprocessed sea salt. Another option is possibly adrenal fatigue, which low-fat eating (and low-fat products) won’t help. Do not fear [real] fat! 🙂

      1. Ohh Lauren, so insightful!

        Yup, Kimberly sounds like you may want to explore what’s happening to your natural energy stores then. The thing is we are supposed to have a bit of a lull during that time, it is a natural dip in our circadian rhythm, but most of us feel a total crash and corresponding habit of getting through with sugar and/or caffeine.

        Absolutely look into what you are eating for lunch- is it substantial enough- does it include protein, healthy fat and fiber…and prepare for a solid energy rich snack around that time. I love a 3:00 smoothie with berries, kale, and chia seeds.

  5. have you checked out juice plus it is an all natural supplement that does not replace whole food nutrition but bridges the gap between what we eat and what our bodies need. i get usually 6 fruits and veggies a day and then Juice Plus + helps me get the additional phytonutrients and it is all natural made from 17 fruits and vegetables and grains check out

    I try to keep my kids from the processed for as best I can without being the food nazi, i loved this article

    1. Hi Cari,

      I also love Juice Plus…just began about a month ago and have really enjoyed it being in my own and my children’s diet!

  6. This was an amazing video Lisa. I will be sharing this video with others.

    1. Thanks Renee!

  7. Beth Holmes Avatar
    Beth Holmes

    My big binge addiction is Ice Cream — but it has to be really good ice cream like Ben and Jerry’s with lots of bits in it. I can most definitely eat a whole pint at one sitting — in fact I am not satisfied with less than a pint — I know I have a problem. I also tend to crave sweet baked goods such as cookies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *