Why do we do what we do? Why do we eat what we eat?
We will not stop with the answer, “because it is good.”
We trace the root cause of why our minds tell us that a certain food is good when our hearts say, “No, for heaven’s sake, don’t give me a heart attack!”
We won’t stop asking Why until we get to the bottom of things.
When you put food in your mouth, are you really hungry? Or... Are you simply bored? Are you just thirsty? Are you stressed? Are you mad? Are you sad? Are you sleepy and trying to keep yourself awake?
Do you find any eating patterns based on these triggers?
A long time ago, a scientist named Pavlov did an experiment. He noted that his dog salivates at the sight of food. But ringing a bell does not make the dog salivate. However, when he rang the bell and presented food to the dog, the dog salivated. By doing this often, the dog would soon salivate at the sound of the bell even without food.
This classical conditioning theory may explain some of the reasons why we eat when we’re sad.
Do we associate eating with celebration and being with family, and enjoying joyful times?
What about associating chocolates with rewards?
Were you given ice cream as a treat when you were a child?
If you were well-behaved, did you get sweets? If you were sick, were you given soda.
So now, whenever you feel bad, tired, or stressed, you dig into a gallon of ice cream and drink a liter of Coke and finish that bag of M&Ms.
Is this why you have a sweet tooth?
Or are you a salty snacker?
When the body is dehydrated, the blood pressure goes down. A typical body response is to crave salt because salt draws water into the blood vessel to increase blood pressure.
Before pulling that bag of chips, do we ask ourselves why we’re craving something salty?
When was the last time you drank water? Why does your body fail to get the proper signal? Are we listening to our bodily cues, or do we react mindlessly?
In the next couple of days, let's try to observe our eating patterns.
Again, get hold of your journal.
Write down your “Bakit List,” as my husband would say. (Note for English speakers: “Bakit” is the Filipino translation of “Why”). Gaining insight into your whys will make it easy for you to answer your What, When, and How—more on these in the coming days.