Our Relationship to Food
Hi everyone great to be here I love creative life so much so I think we had a little discussion of this earlier but who here has been on a diet before or some sort of restricted eating plant either lose weight or get healthy and some other reason right now keep your hands up if you love dick there is the most fun you've ever had right well how there's a more important question did anybody have a lot of success on their diet and by the way I'd love to hear from the online audience as well if it like if anybody has had success on a diet and it's really generous to say for a year but let's say three three years would be better but we've had from for year great awesome about five percent of the population has done this five to ten percent it's very rare but I can definitely sympathize with those who haven't done this because I have done all the diets so I started dieting tragically when I was eleven years old I grew up in southern california and my mom was super into all the diets this is ...
like you know the late eighties early nineties like baywatch era and so one day when I was in sixth grade I came into the kitchen and my mom was making I was pretty sure I was eleven I was pretty sure it was a milkshake and I was like oh, my gosh, I just won the breakfast watery like my mom. I I think we're having ice cream for breakfast, and so I asked her and she said yes, it's a milk shake but there was this caveat that it was this new sort of diet milkshake that is supposed to help her lose weight and went right over my head. I was like, cool. Can I have some? And she was, like, sure. And so, without ever making a conscious decision, I started having slim fast every day for the next year or two. And, you know, once you become twelve, thirteen years old, you start becoming self conscious, sort of concerned about boys and how you look. And so from there, when I started worrying about these things, I turned to the only thing I knew which was this lifestyle of, you know, sort of diets and potions and powders and bars and, you know, I did that prepackaged food, the cons like the nutrisystem, the weight watchers, I did this for my entire all of my childhood, basically all through high school, all through college. You know, about a college, it changes, it goes a low carbon atkins and south beach, and I mean it's it's, so many of them and it all of them, and I didn't it wasn't until I was actually the rue college and a couple of years into graduate school, so I went to school I studied molecular and cell biology I used to berkeley right across the bay and and then I studied neuroscience as a phd student at here ucsf in san francisco and a couple years into my program I was so frustrated about the dieting because like I was doing what I was told right that's what we're told to do we're told that if you want to get healthy if you want to lose weight you have to do all these things that are miserable, you know, eat food you hate and like never have any fun and and I was doing those things actually I'm like one of those freaks that is really, really strong willpower and you know, I talk to people all the time like I just have more willpower like no, no, no trust me, I have all the willpower and I would do it, but I was miserable and I still struggled you know, when I got to college I gained thirty pounds because I don't know what I was doing and then I lose it and then I get it back and I was going up and down like this and one but after a couple years of graduate school I realized at a certain point that I finally had enough training so that I didn't have to listen to the media anymore that I didn't have to listen tio the books and the programs and all that stuff that I had counted on and so I turned to the science and started reading and honestly at the time I was really it's still very much on the wrong track I was actually looking for the perfect diet like I don't care what it is I just want to stop fighting this fight just tell me what to eat, I'll do it just tell me and I'm like digging through the science like, you know, maybe a slow car may I don't know maybe it's calorie counting and I discovered something that at the time made me really upset actually I discovered that die it's what I've been doing for fifteen years is actually a better gateway to gain weight then to lose weight that actually people who don't diet gain less weight, you know, even if they do get way most people do gain way, but if you're dieting, chances are you're going to gain even more over a three year period bummer right has been doing this forever, but at the same time wright had told the jammed with my experience right, this is I kept struggling the more I dieted the morris tried these things, the more I personally struggled and the more defeated I felt as a result of all that struggle um, but I had another hypothesis was like, okay, diets don't work, but what does work, you know, there are people out there that don't struggle with this. I've seen them, kate and back doesn't struggle it's like looking people like this too on dh, so I started reading about people who are naturally thin, what they eat, and it turns out these people don't die it big surprise, but they have it siri's of small little habits, lifestyle things that sort of keep them on track naturally, and they don't worry about it very much, and they're happy. And so I am I realized that this was the answer I also realized this very famous quote is true and what had been doing for fifteen years, which is that, you know, like, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results like that's, the definition of being crazy and that's, what dieting is and that's what I've been doing, and I was ready to really just get off that roller coaster. And so I decided to try this very unscientific sounding thing, which was just eating real food and basing my habits around, not the you know, because I was told, you know, that you have to drink the powder shakes and eat the bars and all these things the evidence shows that instead, if you focus on vegetables, if you focus on really food and it's ok, by the way, if you eat carbs it's but it's okay, if you eat meat, you know, all these things had been my enemies and I was like, really, really, really, really scared d carbs I mean, I had an eating carbs in like, three years at this point, and I was like, oh, it's gonna make me that so if somebody so I took what I call my leap of science because if it wasn't a leap of faith, it felt like a leap of faith because I was so scared but really it was based on all the the sci I'd read about, so I took a deep breath and started eating and to my shock and delight not only did I not gain weight as I had expected, but I lost weight uh naturally, easily slowly but it started coming off I was eating more than I had ever eaten in my life since I was ten I was having breakfast every day I was eating weird things called grains, which I hadn't eaten and forever I was learning to cook a little bit because it's kind of hard to not eat processed food, so I was like, ok, like vegetables and things and the more I did this the better I felt, the more weight I lost I actually my goal was you know, I had a goal weight. I'd always wanted to get down to this special weight in the special size everybody has their magic number that you think is going to, like, make your life perfect. I actually went all the way down past that. So what I want with in high school and I still wear that to that day to this day like I am and like that I got anyone dream of that let alone like eating food I liked so that that's another thing like process food you know, we have a great ability, tio, tune out how nasty it is like when I was a kid, everybody agreed with that one I got I was a kid and I wanted that first slim fast shake it doesn't taste like a chocolate milkshake in touch taste like but like it's disgusting it's like powdery and growth and it like maybe there's some say smell of chocolate associated with it but it just tastes gross of big chunks of ice in there. I mean, that stuff's nasty, but we convince ourselves it's like palatable because it's good for us and that's ridiculous and so when I started eating real food and focusing on health, I have this whole new world opened up to me, I discovered I love food, and this was something I've been fighting my entire life, and it was delicious. It made me happy. I was no longer that, like weirdo at the bar with my friends when they're all like ordering pizza and, like, I'm like, I'll have a vodka soda with a salad thinks, you know it's, always awkward to be that person who's trying to watch your weight with your friends, all just going crazy and having fun. And finally, I was able to enjoy myself and social she's social situations, and this was such a profound difference for me in my life remember I've been struggling with this stuff really fifteen years that I was like, I have to tell people about this, and it actually inspired a career change, so I was on a trajectory to be a academic scientists like hanging out in the lab with the my studying their brains, but I decided at that point to start ah, blawg and and I said, I started my blood summer tomato, and I started writing about all these things, and I was so excited because I thought that if everybody just knew this, I mean, like, everybody diets, everybody does, it was like, if I could do tell everyone to stop dieting if they're all going to like change their lives and it's gonna be amazing so I started telling people that and one of the beautiful things about the internet is when you tell people things they can talk back to you and so I was telling people about my experiences like I went on all these I used to do all these diets and now I changed my ways of eating and I changed my life you should too and they were like, oh, dude, that sounds awesome I can't wait to eat more and eat food that tastes good and like lose weight magically I'm just like so busy I can't cook, you know? I mean, gosh, I'm so busier fresh vegetables that's expensive man like mcdonald's that's that I could afford that, but I can't and it was just one thing after another and basically I realise that people didn't really want to hear it so and also there's also another issue too, which is that no matter how much I told people that like the vegetables like you're amazing there's also like yeah, but I don't want to be healthy I want mac and cheese like I want I want pizza, I'm so I just ah wantto show you guys I had a little survey done around the creative life office and I asked people what their reactions tio healthy eating actually are and these are pretty comments I just want to show you this video really fast I feel that I'm supposed to be doing something rather than I want to be doing something when I hear the words healthy eating kind of sounds like a pain in the ass kind of sounds like annoying and frustrating and I'm going to feel like I'm not doing right feels nit picky it's awful it's expensive and it's boring for me not much taste this is going to sound silly I always think of eating a bunch of color so when I eat, you know, making sure I'm eating all the colors to the rainbow that's what when I think of eating healthy that's what I think of healthy eating is not eating packaged foods if it's got a label on it it's probably not healthy my biggest challenge we got health it's consistency doing it every day I'd be able to make those good decisions every time they have to make decisions about the meal. If you're gonna exercise, I would say being in an office setting such as this one where we have things like eminem's or catered food coming in that it wouldn't normally eat on a regular basis heavier food uh, you know, if I'm just eating for myself at home, I am preparing light food but when the bad food, the cookies the cakes air here in front of me and that's the hardest part having enough time to cook healthy meals and finding time to exercise my biggest challenge about health is sleeping enough and avoiding late night snacking my biggest challenge has always been staying away from sugar I like desserts I would also say um eating more greens my my worst nemesis is sugar so I've definitely have a sweet tooth that I have to overcome I think my biggest challenge regarding health is making sure that I eat a variety of foods and not just rely on takeout or packaged foods when comes in my diet the biggest challenge is to consume the right foods on dna tio it's so much of the bad foods foods have so much sugar or fat natural because they just get on the reasons comes here finding time to prepare healthy food I love cooking I just don't have the time to do it um we're the money one issue I have with food is getting up if meeting my diet I don't like meat that much um and then when I tried to be vegetarian fighting meat substitutes that have enough protein and making sure I'm getting enough iron and all that good stuff the biggest challenges I've had with food are making sure I eat the right amount of food so a few years ago I lost about forty five pounds by just eating less so I didn't change what I was eating but just really cut down how much I was eating and it's important for me to be conscious of how much food I really need for my body and not just to eat to eat I eat out a lot and so I don't really know exactly what's in my food I don't know how much butter or oil they use I restaurants or exactly you know the quality of the food so I think my biggest challenge would be to be more in control of what I'm actually eating and having more of a variety I tend to eat the same things a lot and so probably don't have as much varieties I should I feel like bad foods like the sugary foods they trigger things in your brain that you can't always control you crave them more you know? So I'm going to crave cookie is more than I'm gonna crave broccoli maybe and so I think that's always harder to battle what your brain is telling you to eat versus what I know I should be eating and you guys you guys resonate with that at all yeah I I I just want to hear I do really quick similar thing with you guys what let's just go around the room start with uh shot on and let me know what what's your number one challenge you think uh number one challenge I think is making fewer decisions about the food so it's just and know what to eat and it's very easy to put together and I have spent much time and uh I feel good about it so we can just flow more into your daily life makes sense mm I like eating a lot so so the challenge probably like I want to feel full and but I know that I'm eating something good like, you know, like if I eat salad and chicken I actually really happy sometime I picked rapes and and I feel full told I know like this probably worse yeah so there's more you need your you enjoy food and you wantto be able to feel satisfied with but still eat healthy yeah ok, yeah, one high yeah indulging and healthy foods which sounds really strange an example uh, this past um weekend I was at an event where I could go teo this stand that was particularly healthy or had raw foods and he was like, oh right cookies and they're so healthy so I can have like I'm of them, right? Right s o it's this whole idea of all I know it's good so I can just have a whole bunch of it to you more allies, the food and when it's good that you that give yourself permission to and um I guess I mean I don't I don't think I have a challenge so much but I tend to eat in volume and so whenever you eat something that's super heavy or like has a really high density then you feel overly full afterwards and you don't like that feeling um yeah I mean it's it's just uncomfortable I guess and you feel like it's unhealthy no okay, they're not by any means and that's so number one number two I run a lot and so I need the optimal fuel for that too okay for me it's finding the balance because I can be like I can he tell c and be good for two weeks or so and then something happens and uh all of the bending and I'm like go crazy and then I get worried and two weeks later I'll be on the health place again you're on the world power cycle you got it honey volume I just lied too much I mean it's all portion controls saddam in comedy the whole bag of chips in one sitting I just enjoy doing that. I think that's really common for me I think it's managing hunger there son just hungry all the time and nothing seems to be satisfying and then times I'm just not interested but I hear that little voice the back of my head you better eat your next meal not until you know, right, you're going to get until morning, that kind of like, really, I'm not feeling scarce about food, so you want to regulate the the feelings that you have around hunger and satisfaction? You got it, like, tio snack all day I find myself sometimes just the whole day is just a grazing period. So rather than eating meals, you skip meals and tend to just grace. And I bet you lose track a little bit, of course. Well, and I make bad poor choices, let's not say they had poor choices, you know? I'd rather snack on brownies and cookies than, you know, eat healthy, of course, um, having the right food in the house and taking time to prepare it, because if not, then I'll just go get something carry out or something. Quick, that's no good for me. And then it wasn't I hadn't even thought of this until you mentioned, like moralizing the food like well, if it's good that I get this, we'll shove it in so that's definitely a trigger for me. So the moralizing and also the allure of convenience. Yes, which is very, very tempting because who here is busy, everybody on earth, right, like everybody's busy. What are you guys you guys have we got some great comments coming in from line people who are sharing what their challenges are about their relationship with food are sugar bomb is saying the challenge for them is eating outside of the home actually what vanessa was saying in the video there including prep food to take with them on the go like that and they maintain that healthiness on artistic syl I think that's how it is is my challenge is eating too much when I'm stressed I eat even if I'm not hungry on my life right now is very stressful we got some others there as well esti is saying my challenge is getting to you enough how interesting now that was a problem I had as a child I was never hungry so I never used to eat on by actually then began to get very disinterested in theater so I was in a way that's kind of helped me in my life because I've always remained quite skinny but as a child that leads to frighten them you know my parents enormously that I was very underweight I was just not really interested in food I think that's a really important point some people act like it's this blessing toe be underweight or do not desire food as much but it could be just this problematic is the opposite problem and I think that's a great to bring up joe I know I was just going to say for me it's you know kind of lowering the maintenance around showed just I want to take a lot of thinking out of it feels like a lot of work yeah yeah absolutely all right we're going toe you guys are gonna love this we're gonna talk about all this thing so yeah, I just wantto emphasize like I talked to thousands of people about this is you're going imagine and so I hear these all the time so the most common one by here by far is time energy is another big one people get home from work and they're like wiped and don't believe that they're capable of just expending a little bit more energy to get a healthy meal when you could just calling for a pizza lots of people complain about their willpower there does that they think that they're weak and and that if they were just stronger that or you know more in control of their behavior that then they could get this whole thing handled money is a big big issue for a lot of people yet we get hung up on the belief that money as a you know required that health is the luxury once again here like I didn't hear a lot of this today actually, but there's ah I'm sure somebody online or somebody's going toe resonate with this which which is that um people believe they're sort of destined or, like, stuck to their genetics or to their family history, or that they're sort of stuck in a certain way, and that there's nothing they can actually do to help their health, which I disagree with, but we'll talk about that some more and preferences, another big one. Some people just hate vegetables. I bet there's some people online, which is eight vegetables, and that could be understandable. Nobody I don't want anybody to ever read stuff they don't like, so that's an issue, and then also, people feel a lot of peer pressure, you know, maybe they want to eat healthy, but they come to work, and they're in an office environment where it isn't necessarily easy to make the decisions that are already kind of hard, and then you pile social pressures on top of that, and it makes it borderline impossible. When you talked about hating vegetables, because alex, from london, is saying he loves vegetables and he's a ton of them, but he keeps eating the same stuff. Spinach, green beans, broccoli is that equally as bad to stick to the same vegetables over and over? That's a good question? We'll talk about that a little more tomorrow, actually, but it generally speaking, variety is important, but if you liking some vegetables is much, much better than not liking any because at least you don't have that barrier to overcome his well and we'll talk a lot about the barriers that keep us from doing these things that we want to d'oh andan there's people that just basic procedural problems I was one of these people I feel like some people don't know how to cook I had no idea how to cook until I was twenty five and then I sort of stumbled my way through it, but uh also you know, I don't know where to get good vegetables. I I didn't know I didn't know that I was even supposed to eat vegetables I thought I was supposed to be slim fast, so these are the sorts of here things I commonly hear from people about why they can't get healthy and I heard these so often these sorts of I don't want to be little them and say they're excuses because there these are all valid concerns and I think we all have them but they have nothing to do with knowing about nutrition, right? They have nothing to do with it, you know, being able to follow a diet for a long time and so what sort of came crashing down in the realization I had when I put my thoughts on my block and started getting feedback from people is that health is not so much an issue of nutrition, it's, an issue of psychology, it's, the issue of you know, obviously what is on your plate is very, very important, but how that food gets there, how much of it gets there, how often it gets there. Those are the places people get hung up and that's the hard part. And so today what we're really going to be addressing is this. You know, I'm almost everyone I guarantee you watching online, you guys watching if I show you a plate of salmon and broccoli and vegetables, and I show you a plate of like pizza nachos, I got that everybody could identify the healthy meal in the room, right? Like it's, not that hard. The hard part is choosing it. You're starving and when you're stressed and when you're want to procrastinate or when you're partying with your friends, you know, so that is the hard part and that's what we're going to be talking about this this whole course.