The Pleasure Trap
Mastering the Hidden Force That Undermines Health & Happiness
Alan Goldhamer & Doug J. Lisle
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
A wake-up call to even the most health-conscious Americans, this book boldly challenges conventional wisdom about sickness and unhappiness in today's contemporary culture and offers ground-breaking solutions for achieving change. The authors provide a fascinating new perspective on how modern life can turn so many smart, savvy people into the unwitting saboteurs of their own well-being. Inspired by stunning original research, comprehensive clinical studies, and their successes with thousands of patients, Lisle and Goldhamer construct a new paradigm for the psychology of health, offering fresh hope for anyone stuck in a self-destructive rut. Integrating principals of evolutionary biology with trailblazing, proactive strategies for wellness, they provide readers with solutions for the challenges of keeping on a healthful course in order to make the most of their lives.
A pillar of your diet and nutrition plan
This book deals, in plain talk, with the idea that food is pleasure. It is so because eating is the first order of business if we are to survive and we must be directed by our brain to seek it before all other activities. Therefore, for survival's sake, our brain seeks high calorie foods that can be obtained with the least amount of energy expenditure. It's a sort of cost/benefit analysis made subconsciously by our brains. So put out a plate of shelled nuts and some beautifully prepared carrots or celery and your brain will go for the nuts every time. Knowing this--and allowing for the vast amounts of high calorie, pleasure-laced foods available to us which require little or no effort to obtain--and you start to realize that we are living amidst an evolutionary time bomb. No wonder we face an obesity epidemic!
But wait! There's more. The problem has a multiplier effect: neuro-adaptivity. What's that? Walk into a dark room. Can't see a thing. Right? Wait a few minutes and your eyes adjust. Now you can make out shapes but if the lights come up, it's too bright until your eyes adjust back. That's neuro-adaptivity. What does this have to do with food? All these high reward, pleasure-laced foods start giving you less and less pleasure over time because your brain adjusts down. So you eat more and more of them in an attempt to recreate the pleasure of the first time you ate them. But your brain keeps adjusting down--same as with a drug addict trying to recreate his first high. Bam! That's the pleasure trap.
It's a sad thing too, because you're actually eating more high pleasure food and enjoying it less and less. By retraining yourself to eat simple foods, you will get back that pleasure with healthy foods without feeling denied in any way. It takes time (usually weeks) but it can be done.
The pleasure trap and calorie density are the two main principles you need to understand and master if you're to have control of your food and health.