Quick answer: you love food and eating. But what do you like most about food? Do you enjoy the aromas? Do you savour the flavours? Or do you look forward to that feeling of being completely full after a meal?
The results of a recent study show that the number one cause of weight gain might not be any of the above.
Is This the Biggest Cause of Your Weight Gain?
There is no shortage of studies that show obesity rates are rising in many parts of the world. But there is less data on what works to combat the crisis.
Yes, we know that processed foods, high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, and short on fibre, can cause weight gain. And a diet with more whole foods, including fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, can promote weight loss.
But why does it remain so difficult to lose weight and reverse rising rates of obesity?
The short answer is that controlling our weight is far more complicated than we think and the recent study shows at least one way in which that’s true.
The research results, published in the journal NeuroImage, indicates that what you see may play a bigger role in weight gain than was previously thought.
Of course, how food looks is very important to making it appetizing. It’s why the images in food advertising and on food packaging look way more tempting than in reality.
But the study results show that visual cues appear to be “an important factor triggering overeating” according to the lead author of the study. In other words, the sight of food is at least as big a factor in overeating as any.
What it Means for Your Fight Against Weight Gain
It’s one more thing you need to be mindful of, and take steps to avoid in your weight loss journey. But how do you avoid the sight of food? Of course, you can’t just wear blinders. But do anything you can, including the following.
- Take packaged foods, especially snack foods, out of their packaging and put them in marked plastic containers as soon as you bring them home from the grocery store.
- Keep vegetables, fruit and other healthy foods at the front of refrigerator shelves so they are the first thing you see, not packaged foods.
- Eat and/or drink water before grocery shopping or going to a restaurant. And go to restaurants whose menus don’t include images of the menu items.
One way to avoid the sight of food, or any other trigger, from interfering with your weight loss is to ask the nutrition counsellors at your local Herbal One Centre to create a healthy diet plan just for you.
Learn more ways to help you manage your weight by reading our article “3 Easy Diet Hacks to Improve Your Calorie Deficit”.