I Don’t Count Calories: Ingredients, Food Addiction and Hyperpalatability


I could care less about calories in food.

I’m serious.  I honestly don’t give a shit about the calories that are in the food I eat.

When you eat real food, you can relax your thoughts during a meal.  It’s great.  You should try it.

What’s real food you ask?

Boom… real food.

Thank you Pick N Save for the lovely picture to make help make my point.

What I care about are the ingredients that are making up those calories.

I can get all of the information that I need about a food by the number of ingredients listed on the box.  I have to be honest, these days I don’t buy anything that comes in a box.  My girlfriend can testify to this, it drives her nuts.

I could fill an entire 8×11 sheet of printer paper full of one-liners about eating that I commonly use with people, but one that has seemed to really hit home was the following…

5 ingredients or less is a green light food.

Once I have been working with a client for a while, I move my recommendations back to 3-ingredients or less for worry free eating.

Here is an example of food you shouldn’t eat:

Tough to see the exact ingredients, but easy to see that it’s a long ass list.

Are you curious to see the “health” brand that contains this novel of ingredients?

I will disclose the brand at the end of this post…  I have to keep you reading somehow, right?

Eventually, once the habits of that client begin to adjust to their new found eating strategies, one of two things happen…

1)  They begin to eat 1-ingredient foods naturally because they see what eating real food does for body composition in short time, with or without the addition of movement training.

2)  I slowly transition them to eating 1-ingredient foods with ease (ease based on results).

The ingredients in food are addictive, and I predict (as do many experts) that we will begin to see massive lawsuits against the food industry for their conscience intent to make unprocessed manufactured food addictive to consumers.  Watch.  It will happen.

Hyperpalatability is another term that you should become familiar with.  Dr. John Berardi, CEO of Precision Nutrition and author of my favorite cookbook (Gourmet Nutrition), has written a great piece about hyperpalatibility over at www.precisionnutrition.com.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Berardi’s article:

“Processed foods are engineered in ways that exceed basic reward properties of traditional whole foods, making them hyperpalatable.

Consider items such as ice cream, burgers, candy, melted cheeses, buttery/oily sauces, and so on – these are the foods that stimulate the release of opioids and dopamine in the brain and have addictive potential (note: artificial sweeteners can even trigger a dopamine response).

Rodent studies confirm this: Rats are unlikely to binge on normal rat chow. But when given the option of sweeter and fattier rat chow, rats go on a bender.

The table below shows the characteristics of some “normal” foods and some hyperpalatable foods. Notice how much higher in sugar, fat, and/or sodium the hyperpalatable foods are — and how many ingredients each food contains.”

Notice anything about the chart above?

Check out the number of ingredients in foods that have been identified are hyper-palatable.

This isn’t rocket science ladies and gentleman.  It’s right there in the chart, and it is listed again and again in the research.  We know what is making us fat.

In my effort to really beat my point into the ground until it makes it’s way through the filters that we all have on our eyes and ears, I recently snapped a bunch of pictures of foods at the grocery store…  find them here soon.

Yeah, I know you don’t want to hear my advice Prince.  Tough shit. Diva.

What I know for sure…

I know that nutrition has been written about over and over.  I am kicking a dead horse here.  I know that.

 Huge newspapers like the New York Times have begun to exploit the food industry and preach the importance of healthful eating.

But we aren’t getting it as a population.  For some reason, it is falling on deaf ears and blind eyes.

The United STates is the

So what is psychology behind a person actually knowing what they should and shouldn’t eat, yet continuing to eat the worst quality food on the planet?

I think that the issue is deep rooted to our childhood and also to social factors (friends, family, etc).

Junk eating starts young these days.

So, it’s Saturday and time to hit the Farmer’s Market.  You won’t find one vendor at the Farmer’s Market in Eau Claire, WI selling their fresh harvested Doritos to the public. 🙂

Real food being sold @ the Farmer’s Market in Eau Claire, WI

Getting you to think one article at a time.  Time is now, let’s goooooooo…

Oh, I almost forgot.  Remember that brand that I promised to reveal?  Here is the “natural health food” I was talking about…

P.S. I also think that there is common perception that eating healthy foods is more expensive than eating junk.  I will show you why it isn’t in a future post… Stay tuned.


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