3 reasons you’re overeating (and why it’s not your fault)

I like to think of myself as a pretty even-keeled guy. I don’t get too upset over a lot. But one thing has me really riled up. I mean, REALLY riled up.

It’s the way we overeat one particular type of food.

You’ve probably heard the term “conspiracy theory” bandied about in a lot of different areas. And for the most part, I don’t subscribe to the concept.

I make an exception when it comes to this. These foods are designed specifically for us to overeat.

I am not making this up.

What are these foods?

Packaged, processed ones.

The manufacturers actually use tricks designed SOLEY to make us eat more than we need to. Yup. Processed foods have been deliberately engineered to make us crave — and eat — more of them.

How do they do that? Let me show you 3 ways food manufacturers make us eat more of what they’re selling:

Trick #1: Craveability

You know that feeling of I need to have that bag of chips that’s in the cupboard RIGHT NOW? There’s a name for that, and it’s craveability.

The reason you can’t eat just 1 potato chip is because of all the different flavors packed perfectly into the chips.

The salt, which sits on the outside of the chip, hits your tongue first. It sends a message to the pleasure center of the brain, which then sends a signal back saying, “Keep ’em coming!”

And while our brains would eventually tire of one flavor (known as “sensation-specific satiety”) and tell us to stop eating, the junk food industry has overcome that hurdle by throwing in plenty of fat (which also helps light up the brain’s pleasure center) and, for good measure, some potato starch, which gets converted to sugar in the body.

Trick #2: Vanishing calorie density

You will always be chasing the taste and never be full without realizing all the calories you already added to your body.

You take a bite of a cheese puff, feel a slight crunch, then, all of a sudden, there’s nothing there to swallow — only flavor dissolving in your mouth. Snack foods that melt in your mouth, like cheese puffs, meringues or cotton candy, have something called vanishing caloric density.

That means that the stomach doesn’t get the memo that you’ve eaten all those calories. So your brain never registers it’s full — even though you’re scarfing down hundreds, even thousands of calories. So you reach for another handful. And another. And another.

Trick #3: Dynamic contrast

You know how I said your brain eventually tires of one flavor? Foods with dynamic contrast give a whole host of differing sensations in the same food. For example: a crunchy shell followed by something with a soft or creamy texture. Think chocolate with a caramel center or an Oreo cookie. Or a maple bacon donut (yes, those are a thing now — yuck!)

The brain loves the thrill of these novel sensations, so it seeks them out. And the dynamic contrast keeps the brain interested, so it never tires of eating the food.

So … what can we do about it?

Now that we know that processed foods are carefully crafted to contain all sorts of flavors and sensations designed to be as addictive as possible, let’s come up with some ways to fight t against this junk.

Here are some hints:

Buy whole foods. If the junk isn’t in the house, you can’t eat it. When you’re at the food store, shop the perimeter. That’s where you’ll find your high-volume, healthy, nonprocessed fare, including veggies, fruit, lean meats and dairy.

Create your own dynamic contrast. Mix things up on your plate to keep things interesting. Try carrots dipped in hummus, plain low-fat yogurt with granola and berries, oatmeal with cinnamon and a sprinkle of almonds.

Stop before you swallow. Before you eat, ask yourself: Is my stomach growling? Am I light-headed? These are signs of physical hunger. If those physical signs are absent, ask yourself: Am I stressed? Anxious? Bored? Then come up with 3 other ways to relieve the problem. Take a bath, read a good book, or call 1-800-928-5580 and someone from our team can talk you out of reaching for that pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

I feel better getting that off my chest. Now, if we could only get that crap off the shelves …

Steven Sisskind, M.D.

Steve Sisskind, M.D.

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.

As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.

Years later I discovered a better approach... based on the fundamental idea that the power of nutrition can transform your health and vitality. But there's a lot of confusion... What foods should I eat? Which supplements should I take? What does the science say?

I have dedicated my life to answering these questions... And I share this knowledge with you every day here at RealDose Nutrition.

I invite you to connect with me by joining my free private community. I've helped thousands of people and I know I can help you too!

Join the Whole Body Club

Dr. Steve Sisskind is on a mission to help you achieve amazing health and vitality through the power of nutrition. Sign up to get access to his valuable health tips, recipes, videos, and discounts for FREE!

Check Also

The 1-step trick to tame your cravings

One subject that comes up a lot around here is how to deal with cravings. …


  1. I have just read all your blogs with great interest… Very little of it was new to my store of knowledge, however there are always little new fragments of interest. Many of my friends (who are far more overweight than myself) deride me for continuing to keep my weight under control/lose more weight. I ordered a bottle of your Real Dose mostly because it has different components from the supplements that I already take. Just a little background on myself – – I am 82 years old and still quite active, although my strength is definitely fading (as compared to say three years ago) I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (which rules out vigorous exercise) and in the last 18 months have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, challenging my eyesight. Given all this my main aim in life is maintaining the quality of that life rather than expand my horizons. I weigh 85Kilos but would like to (gradually) lose 5 of them.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Toni,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your story with us! I completely understand what you’re saying and do applaud your commitment in your journey to better health. RealDose Weight Loss Formula No.1 can help you in your journey by curbing your appetite and cravings, improve your sleeping patterns and mood. If you are unable to exercise due to physical limitations, I do still encourage you to move about as much as possible. Moving about will not only ensure you burn calories but more importantly, maintain your current range of motions. Lastly, I wanted to let you know that should you need any guidance or support, we are here to help. Our Healthy Life Program provides extra help and support for our RealDose Family. If you’d like more information about the program, you can visit the Healthy Life Program page at the link below: blogrd.wpengine.com/healthy-life-program/

      I wish you great success on your journey, Toni! Make it a healthy day!

  2. I’m 62 years old. When I was younger, being overweight was the minority, and we also didn’t have the processed foods that we have today…so thanks again for the reminder

  3. Thanks for this info…it helps to have this kind of knowledge…

  4. Thanks, good information

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *