Think everything tastes better with peanut butter?
Is your “PB&J” mostly peanut butter with a little jam ;) ??
Ever wonder why you’re craving peanut butter?
(And can’t stop giving in?)
We’re hardwired to derive pleasure from foods with a lot of fat and calories.
It’s a built-in survival mechanism going back thousands of years, when calorie-rich food (and food in general) was scarce.
This wiring is why ice cream, cheesecake, and brownies taste so good to us!
But even whole plant foods that are high in fat and/or rich in calories can give us a pleasure sensation.
This is why you loooove peanut butter so much. (And why others think dates are pure bliss.)
The highly caloric nature of peanut butter, combined with the mouth feel from all the fat and low water content, makes peanut butter very pleasurable and extremely addictive.
And since most peanut butters are also mixed with sugar and salt, too, they’re that trifecta combination that makes stopping near-impossible after a single spoonful.
We just can’t help ourselves…
Here’s another interesting thought by Dr. McDougall: Nuts (in nature) are enveloped in a hard shell. It takes time and serious effort to crack a nut open (WITH the help of a nutcracker or pick. No tools? Good gourd!) and any tree or plant usually doesn’t offer that many nuts.
But in our modern world, eating nuts is as convenient as unscrewing the lid to a jar and pouring them straight in your mouth.
And then there’s peanut butter -- 19 nuts smooshed into one tablespoon. You don’t even have to use the energy to chew!
It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-oz jar of peanut butter!
(Shocking, I know. But it really puts it into perspective, no?!)
Try to think of nuts and peanut butter (or almond butter, etc) as a delicacy, which they were in society up until the 1900s :)
When I use peanut butter on the meal plans, it’s used sparingly -- just enough to add flavor. (A little goes a long way when done right.)
The Fine Line Between Lusting After Peanut Butter and Having an Addiction to It
With food addiction, the problem is not necessarily the food (though some foods, like sugar and dairy, are physically addictive), but the addictive behavior you associate with it.
If that’s the case, you need to address the psychological and emotional attachment you have to the food.
Apply the asparagus rule: If I tell you you can’t have asparagus ever again, you’re probably not going to bargain with me about exceptions… “ But on my birthday right? I can have asparagus on my birthday?” or try to tell me why you should have asparagus… “But my body is craving asparagus… shouldn’t I listen to my body? And asparagus is a source of this one vitamin!” Or justify eating asparagus… or spout off some study you read about the magical benefits of asparagus…
I guess if you really liked asparagus you might… lol, but you get my point. Substitute in a vegetable you’re only lukewarm about in place of asparagus…
…and if you don’t feel that way about a certain food, you might not have the best relationship with that food...
And remember: The prescription for any addiction is abstinence, or at the very least minimizing temptation as much as possible.
I can’t keep peanut butter in the house because my husband can’t help himself around it. He will eat it and eat it -- putting it on practically everything, or just his finger, until it’s gone. The jar wouldn’t last the week.
Me? I could take or leave peanut butter, but that struggle is real for me with other foods (like dehydrated mango!) which I don’t keep in the house either. (Date vs. peanut)
To be certain, my husband still LOVES the taste of peanut butter and lusts after it (the mere mention and he starts drooling!) but he also thanks me for not buying it. (It’s very love-hate.)
BIG NEWS!!! I’m hosting a very limited, very VIP, free workshop on food addiction and overeating this Thursday, June 11th.
I just did this training with premium members a few weeks ago and it was so incredible, emotional, spirit rocking that I’m doing it one more time.
Everyone left the workshop feeling stronger than ever!
"After the overeating workshop, I am convinced that I can control my "input" (efforts like meal planning and sleeping or light exercise) and rely only on that. If I lose weight - great! If I don't - no problem. The least I can do is control what goes in my mouth and everyday life."- Sireesha C
"It feels so good to not be alone in this fight, and having "homework" or something specific to work on each month makes it feel less overwhelming."- Denise A
More details in tomorrow's newsletter. You must be on the newsletter to receive details, signup here for free! But for now...
Leave a comment below on what you hope to learn (so I make sure to cover everything!).
P.S. Want to know my thoughts on PB2 and “diet” “low fat” peanut butters?
Dr. Essy says not to use it, period. But I've seen the McDougalls use it in recipes...
My opinion? If you have an addiction or trigger with peanut butter, you probably should not use PB2.
For example, a member (a peanut butter addict) discovered PB2 and started going through a container a week, putting it on everything. We agreed she needed to avoid anything like peanut butter.
Similarly, another member, who could take or leave “regular” peanut butter, found herself eating an entire jar of “low fat” peanut butter (sold by Trader Joe’s) every week. One look at the ingredients and I knew why: there was a boatload of sugar and this member was prone to sweets. She also admitted because it was lower in fat and calories, she was more generous with it, even “rewarding” herself for using such a healthier choice.
And one more insight from Beth: "I LOVE peanut butter, but not PB2. I've found fresh peanuts to be the best sub for me in many recipes. If I have PB I'll eat it all. I can have a jar of peanuts on hand and not touch them. For a sauce recipe that calls for pb I'll throw peanuts in the blender with the other ingredients. I also like to buy the grind your own pb at the store because I can buy just a tiny bit if I need it for a recipe."
Bottom line: If it’s not an addiction/love for you, PB2 might be a good lower fat, lower calorie, substitute in meal plan recipes that call for a dab of peanut butter (but the low fat ones are probably not a good idea no matter what due to sugar content).