Do you find that you always overeat whenever you have tacos? Or what about that frozen pizza you thought you would never be able to get through on your own, all of a sudden disappeared? Or all those Pringles and Doritos, ever finished a bag of those on your own? I know I have. And not only once.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a salt, chemically converted into a flavour enhancer. It is found in most processed food, and causes both weight gain and obesity as it damages the appetite regulation center in the brain by causing leptin resistance. Now, leptin is a hormone that controls how much you feel like eating. When eating products containing MSG, the urge to continue eating never stops. In other words; you overeat, your stomach hurts and you feel sick. In a way, MSG fools the brain by enhancing the flavour of the food, making you think it tastes amazing. It stimulates the excessive release of dopamine, which creates a drug-like rush providing a tiny sensation of well being, and it is obviously addictive. Which is why you keep coming back for more, and end up eating too much. In this process, brain cells are also being destroyed. MSG has also been found to cause inflammation and abnormality in the liver.
I’m actually surprised by the amount of products out there, containing MSG. It’s pretty much impossible to escape, and I do therefore suggest you buy REAL food and prepare it at home. If you try a period without MSG in your diet, and get used to the taste and flavours of natural food, you’ll instantly notice when you go back to eating it. The taste is so chemically enhanced, and you’ll just never feel satisfied.
Instant soups and gravy, spice mixes, salsas, dips, sauces, sausages, processed cheese, chips, gelatin, yeast food, supermarket-breads, taco-kits, frozen pizzas, pre-made burgers, most restaurant food, take-away.. The list is again, endless.
As with anything, tiny bits in moderation does no harm. But if you eat tacos three days a week, have sausages every Saturday, eat lollies every day, and throw in a frozen pizza for your hungover-Sunday, then you’re not really having small amounts anymore.
These ingredients always contain MSG:
|Autolyzed Yeast||Calcium Caseinate||Gelatin|
|Glutamate||Glutamic Acid||Hydrolyzed Protein|
|Monopotassium Glutamate||Monosodium Glutamate||Sodium Caseinate|
|Textured Protein||Yeast Extract||Yeast Food|
And these ingredients tend to contain MSG:
|Flavors and Flavorings||Seasonings||Natural Flavors and Flavorings||Natural Pork Flavoring||Natural Beef Flavoring|
|Natural Chicken Flavoring||Soy Sauce||Soy Protein Isolate||Soy Protein||Bouillon|
|Stock||Broth||Malt Extract||Malt Flavoring||Barley Malt|
|Anything Enzyme Modified||Carrageenan||Maltodextrin||Pectin||Enzymes|
|Protease||Corn Starch||Citric Acid||Powdered Milk||Anything Protein Fortified|
I can’t stress the importance of knowing/recognizing the ingredients of what you eat. Eating healthy isn’t hard, it simply requires a little bit of planning, a little bit of effort and a little bit of will-power. If you want it bad enough you will find a way, if not, you will find an excuse. Whenever I eat unhealthy food, my body reacts within an hour. My stomach aches and I feel SO bloated. It’s usually not worth it.
I was starving on the go this morning and ended up buying a protein smoothie and a müesli-bar due to lack of planning. Put it into my ShapeUp-app and woooow, 1000 calories. In a large smoothie and a müesli bar. Hidden, useless energy much? You could eat ten bananas for that! It’s okay because it was just a once off thing, but think of those people grabbing that as a “snack” on their way to work every day. Been keeping track of my calories lately to sort of make sure I eat enough on the days I do double gym-sessions, and for a good reason too – yesterday I was 1400 calories BELOW what I should have been. Now I don’t want food to become a crazy obsessive thing in my life, it is what it is; nutrition, but I’m not gonna force myself to eat another 1400 calories on top of the 4 proper meals I’ve already eaten. If you’re full, you’re full. It’s obviously not good to deprive your body of 1400 calories every day, so I will try to increase my portion sizes instead.
I also just wanna remind people that obsessively counting calories and checking your weight is not the right way to go about things. It’s a great idea to calculate the amount of calories your body would simply to stay alive, aka BMR and RMR; BMR is your basal metabolic rate (during wakefulness), while RMR is your resting metabolic rate (during sleep). You can do that here. This is of course only a pointer in the right direction. And instead of obsessing with what you weigh, get your measurements and body-fat recorded regularly, it is way more accurate and way more motivating when you see that changing! Remember; muscles weigh more than fat.