Lately I have been finding ways how hunger controls us by external factors. I realized after intermittent fasting that I have acquired control over my sense of hunger. I found out how much weight food cues have in my life. I can say now after three months of different fasting techniques that I am able to sit at a table with friends and not have hunger triggered by food itself. It is weird to have control of this switch.
Looking at the history of our social culture, I can pin point that this control started around the beginning of the 20th century with the industrial revolution. The feeling of it hasn’t changed, but hunger, crawls in our minds as an artificially induced effect. The need for nourishment has become a social factor rather than a biological need.
This is an important aspect that nutritionist are not really talking about. Food, besides nourishment, represents information in regards to the seasonal changes. The information is combined with other sources, mainly light and temperature. These two factors give the sense of how difficult is to acquire food. A comfortable environment nicely lit tells our bodies that food is in abundance. The restaurant business is based on this model. Bright light calls for food. Most common food cues: Other people eating, food commercials, memories of comfort and love that link to food, going even to the ordinary posters placed strategically around us. Every corner has easy to grab nice, hot delicious food. Even reading this article might trigger your hunger. Hunger is food drama for our brain and TV commercials (Snickers bar) even made it funny. It’s been over 100 years since the food market started this games.
As we cannot stay away from these cues we need to understand them and ask ourselves the question: Where does our hunger comes from? This is more important the counting calories, carbs or other macro nutrients. There is a personal connection between us and food as comfort, that needs to be conquered, when natural hunger has been reduced to background noise; something collapsed under the weight of provocation.