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interesting article about the addictive qualities of fast food

#1
a few pointers that were on the bottom 1st
very valid & good advice
How to take back control

Plan when and what you will eat There should be no room for deviation; the idea is to inhibit mindless eating and eliminate your mental tug-of-war. Once you've set new patterns, you can become more flexible.

Practise portion control Eat half your usual meal; see how you feel one and two hours later. A just-right meal will keep away hunger for four hours.

List the foods and situations you can't control Cut out those foods; limit exposure to those situations. If offered something you overeat, push it away.

Talk down your urges Learn responses to involuntary thoughts: eating that will only satisfy me temporarily; eating this will make me feel trapped; I'll be happier and weigh less if I don't eat this.

Rehearse making the right choices Before entering a restaurant, imagine chosing a dinner that's part of your eating plan. Think of this as a game against a powerful opponent. You won't win every encounter, but with practice you can get a lot better

Sugar, fat and salt make a food compelling. They stimulate neurons, cells that trigger the brain's reward system and release dopamine, a chemical that motivates our behaviour and makes us want to eat more. Many of us have what's called a "bliss point", at which we get the greatest pleasure from sugar, fat or salt. Combined in the right way, they make a product indulgent, high in "hedonic value".

During the past two decades, there has been an explosion in our ability to access and afford what scientists call highly "palatable" foods. By palatability, they don't just mean it tastes good: they are referring primarily to its capacity to stimulate the appetite. Restaurants sit at the epicentre of this explosion, along with an ever-expanding range of dishes that hit these three compass points. Sugar, fat and salt are either loaded into a core ingredient (such as meat, vegetables, potato or bread), layered on top of it, or both. Deep-fried tortilla chips are an example of loading – the fat is contained in the chip itself. When it is smothered in cheese, sour cream and sauce, that's layering.

It is not just that fast food chains serve food with more fat, sugar and salt, or that intensive processing virtually eliminates our need to chew before swallowing, or that snacks are now available at any time. It is the combination of all that, and more.
This kind of food disappears down our throats so quickly after the first bite that it readily overrides the body's signals that should tell us, "I'm full." The food designer offered coleslaw as an example. When its ingredients are chopped roughly, it requires time and energy to chew. But when cabbage and carrots are softened in a high-fat dressing, coleslaw ceases to be "something with a lot of innate ability to satisfy".

This isn't to say that the food industry wants us to stop chewing altogether. It knows we want to eat a doughnut, not drink it. "The key is to create foods with just enough chew – but not too much. When you're eating these things, you've had 500, 600, 800, 900 calories before you know it." Foods that slip down don't leave us with a sense of being well fed. In making food disappear so swiftly, fat and sugar only leave us wanting more.
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stick the w w w . in front of this link guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/mar/13/obesity-salt-fat-sugar-kessler
 
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