Double Trouble in a bun

20Sep10

Oh boy, oh boy. The calorie counters are going to have a fit over this little gem. Someone, somewhere in the golden halls of fast food invention has created what has to be the pinnacle of fast food.

Is it a pizza? Is it a burger??

Burger King’s New York Pizza Burger is advertised on their website as  “A 9-and-a-half-inch wide burger made with four Whopper patties topped with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce, and Tuscan pesto sauce. It’ll be available exclusively at the New York City Whopper Bar starting in September to fulfill that longtime desire for a giant burger that sort of tastes like a pizza.”

Irresistible appeal?

As if pizzas and burgers by themselves weren’t hard enough to resist, this new invention is yet another example of the ‘hyper-palatable’ food described by David A.Kessler in his book, ‘The End of Overeating’. Loaded with salt (according to Sophie Freeman in the Daily Mail it’s full to the brim of the white stuff with 3,780mg of salt – more than double the 1,600mg daily limit for adults – and an enormous 59g of fat – the equivalent of 29 rashers of bacon.

Irreversible damage?

Recent research by Imperial College London, published on the BBC website last month, suggests that fast food outlets should consider handing out cholesterol-lowering drugs to combat the effects of fatty food. Taking a statin pill every day, they said, would offset the increase in cholesterol that consuming a daily burger and milkshake would cause. The researchers said there could be no substitute for leading a healthy lifestyle, including eating a good diet, but that a complimentary statin would be at least one positive choice among a sea of negative ones.

“A junk food diet has a wealth of unhealthy consequences beyond raising cholesterol”

Professor Peter Weissberg

British Heart Foundation

Swimming against the tide

Is there anything else we can do in this rising sea of unhealthy options?

Are we powerless to resist the lure of the deep fried, quick fix meals that are on offer almost everywhere we look when we are out and about? Could there be something else behind our McHabit?

The soothing effect of fat

Does this sound familiar?

“After a hard day at work I came home to hear the kids screaming upstairs. On the doormat was a speeding ticket (my fault). I looked in the fridge to start making the tea and my hand just reached into the drawer in the door where I keep a bar of chocolate and before I knew what I had done I had eaten the lot.”

We don’t tend to binge on broccoli, or carrot sticks. Brown rice takes too much chewing to give us a quick fix. The biscuit tin, the crisp packet and the chocolate bar give us an almost instant hit of ‘feel good’ chemicals that rush to our brain and dull the stress of the moment. The trouble is that this kind of eating, where we are reacting to stress by stuffing our faces with food that is filled with salt, sugar and – let’s face it – fat, can become addictive.

Breaking the habit, stepping away from the ‘Pizza Burger’

Breaking the chain of emotional eating is not easy. That’s why diets don’t tend to work. The human body, in times of stress, craves comfort. It’s only natural.

But what is unnatural is ignoring the links that exist between the stresses that we experience and how we deal with that stress, our reactions.

Imagine that scene again:

“After a hard day at work I came home to hear the kids screaming upstairs. I called out that I was home and ran up to say hello and ask them what the problem was. Once they’d calmed down I went back down stairs. On the doormat was a speeding ticket (my fault – I knew I’d been going too fast so it’s a good lesson to learn). I looked in the fridge to start making the tea and pulled out the vat of soup I made yesterday when I knew I would be late home today. I put it onto the cooker to warm and went upstairs to change.”

A new way forward

In the second scenario the stresses were the same but the reactions were different. In fact, there was barely a reaction. Instead there were responses and they didn’t knock our subject off kilter.

Think of it as the difference between how you feel when you’re having a good day and having a bad day.

Undoing those beliefs and reactions that we hold deep inside ourselves and that trigger our emotional eating is possible but it takes time and it takes work.

Will you? Can you?

Are you willing to take the time to undo your stress, undo your beliefs and set yourself free to respond to your life in a positive and stress free way?

You can change if you want to.

Post written for and with Anne Morrison, Clinical Hypnotherapist

Anne’s site can be found at:

www.hypnosisselfhelp.co.uk

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