Ten thousand years ago food was scarce and our bodies sought out higher-calorie foods for survival, Doug says. Today, he says, our whole environment is organized to play into our evolutionarily built tendencies, which is where "the pleasure trap" comes in. "We're designed to be ferreting out the most pleasurable stuff with the least amount of pain and effort," he says.
While most people know what they should be doing to better their health, they're usually more interested in the quick fix, Doug says. "The reason why people are overweight and sick is because they're doing things that gratify short-term systems," he says. "It's hard to get people to realize they must sacrifice short-term gratification for longer-term gains, but it's worth doing."
For people trying to lose weight, the first step is resetting what pleasure is, Doug says. He advocates a whole, natural food diet, but he says that many people will experience a reduction in pleasure with this switch. Doug says it takes about 10 weeks for the taste buds to adjust to enjoying a new diet, but ultimately, our bodies are designed to crave this kind of food. Fasting to retrain the taste buds, either through an at-home juice fast or medically supervised water fast, is something Doug recommends.
The key to losing weight is not deprivation, but eating plenty of the right kinds of foods, Doug says. "We need to get people to eat large amounts of whole, unprocessed foods—they will eat to satiation and will not have weight problems," he says. "Losing weight doesn’t mean not eating as much as you want. You can relax and eat and normalize your weight."
Published on August 13, 2007