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Why We Overeat: We Crave Fattening Foods

Juicy hamburgers, crispy French fries smothered in cheese, brownie sundaes topped with ice cream — why can't we say no to these fattening foods? We can't help it, according to Health magazine. Dr. David A. Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite says, "We’re hardwired to hunger for fatty, sugary, salty foods because, back when our ancestors were foraging for every meal, palatable eats meant extra energy and a leg-up on survival."

Well thank you Mr. Caveman for my desire for greasy pizza and cheesecake. Not only do high-fat foods taste great, but when you devour them, a signal is sent to your brain that you're satisfied and happy. Your brain also forms long-term feel-good memories of the experience, which makes you crave it again and again. Even seeing or smelling certain fattening foods can spur pleasant thoughts that make us crave it. Well I guess old habits die hard. It does make me feel better to know that my brain's hunger for triple chocolate mousse pie is a force stronger than my willpower.

How can you combat this hardwired desire? Find out when you read more.

The best thing you can do is know which high-fat foods are triggers for you. Dr. Kessler says since certain moods, times of day, or places can spark our need for our favorite treats, avoid giving into your cravings. This will prevent the link from forming between foods and their triggers. Also set yourself up for success by avoiding foods that you can't say no to. That means you might want to find a different route to work that doesn't take you past a chocolate shop.

Source: Getty
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