Gluten Free For Good


More About Melissa

It’s the new year and more than just a few of us have made resolutions to eat better, lose weight and exercise more. I’m definitely on a mission to lose a few pounds and reset my metabolism after the holidays. I even blogged about it on New Year’s Day. Staying on track with healthy eating can be a bit of a roller coaster ride. For me, sugar is the fuel that causes the thrills and spills.

As a nutritionist, I’m always curious as what makes people overeat. Or, what motivates me to eat that last little sliver of cheesecake when I’m cleaning up after a party – even though I’m absolutely stuffed. Why do we even let ourselves get to the point that we’re absolutely stuffed? If we’re full, why do we pack down one more cookie or the last few bites of the cheeseburger? Or, in my case, two more pancakes floating in maple syrup.

Why do we do that to ourselves?

It’s complicated.

In 1960, women ages 20 to 29 averaged about 128 pounds. By 2000, the average weight of women in that age group had reached 157. For women aged 40 to 49, the average weight had gone from 140 pounds in 1960 to 169 pounds in 2000. *

I wonder what those numbers are a decade later, in 2010?

Two out of three American adults are overweight or obese. We’ve all heard the health risks that accompany being overweight. So, why do we keep shoveling the food in?

This is a test. I had a recipe ready to post today, but the focus at the beginning of the year is always the same and it got me thinking. Why do we do this over and over each year?

According to the research, there are certain food combinations that trigger overeating and understanding why isn’t easy. I can’t really tell you why I ate the last of the cheesecake while cleaning up the kitchen (and fought my daughter for it). I was full, I certainly didn’t need it. There’s no good reason, except that I like cheesecake and in some odd way, I find it satisfying. At least while I’m eating it, but then immediately afterwards, I feel like poo and kick myself in the bum for overeating.

Bazillions of dollars are spent on dieting each year; people lose a few pounds, regain it, and then start the process all over again the next January 1st. Why? Back when I was growing up (the fifties and sixties), most people weren’t overweight. Weight was fairly stable. What’s different now?

I’ll expand on this in a later post, but for now, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a survey. Please choose which food you crave most from the choices below and leave your answer in the comment section. I’ll post the results in a few days. Be honest, there’s no right or wrong. Which one looks the most tempting?

1. Bacon cheeseburger with all the trimmings

2. Brownie ice cream sundae with whipped cream

3. Raw, fresh broccoli

4. Kraft macaroni and cheese

5. Pancakes with butter and pure maple syrup

6. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing

Okay, guys – let me know which one of these choices sets your heart on fire? Are you drooling yet? Which lever would you keep pounding?

I’ve already scarfed up the pancakes, if you’re wondering.

* Weight data fromΒ The End of Overeating, Dr. David Kessler (Nutrition Action Healthletter)

Tags: , , , ,

74 Responses to “tempting food survey”

  1. Tevis says:

    We certainly did fight over the cheesecake! As for what I crave, it’s certainly more than one…here they are: brownie ice cream sundae, broccoli, mac and cheese and pancakes. Is it worse that I crave so many?

  2. Peter says:

    so all of those except the pancakes or brocolli my least favorite veg, make my heart pound but going with my gut (pun intented) hands down it’s the bacon cheesburger especially from DC’s own 5 guys!

  3. Jan Magness says:

    Brownie Sundae w/Whipped Cream – even tho I’m allergic to milk, if I could eat it, this is what I would choose.
    The burger & choc cake would also be in the running. Forget the broccoli, if I eat much more of it, I’ll turn into it!

  4. Alta says:

    It depends on the time of day. Near lunchtime? That cheeseburger. During my weak-snack time (which is usually after dinner, late at night, when I’m tired and not really hungry), that sundae.

  5. Wendy says:

    Bacon cheeseburger

  6. Rebecca says:

    difficult decision! It would depend on time of day for me too – either the mac & cheese or the pancakes. I love broccoli. The cheeseburger and the sundae, for me – eeew!

  7. Hethyr says:

    Broccoli – honestly! =)

  8. Jack says:

    None of the above
    I would choose beer

  9. Diana says:

    Broccoli! I can’t believe it. Where are the chips, Melissa?!? Not every emo eater is a sugar junkie. If you’d put up some really good–looking, spicydelicious corn chips, even rosemary roasted potatoes, I might have maybe gone for that. I guess I’m converted. Scary! Gulp.

  10. Teresa says:

    It’s a toss up between the chocolate cake and brownie sundae (with non-dairy ice cream and whipped topping)-They both look so good. πŸ™‚

  11. Emily says:

    Actually, I don’t crave any one of those choices anymore than the other. I would say that I certain points in the day I would crave the brownie over the burger, but after a long day at work, I really crave a good juicy burger. And pancakes almost every Saturday morning!

  12. Lynn says:

    Wow! Well, since I can’t eat them (ha), the pancakes look terribly tasty πŸ™‚
    I believe the issue is convenience — we used to have to work for (or at least wait for) our food. The ease with which we can grab just about anything makes it far too easy to overeat (IMO).

  13. Krista says:

    right now? Broccoli (guess my lunch salad wasn’t big enough), or mac and cheese with broccoli, now that gets my mouth watering. I have to say a slice of conventional cheese pizza would be at the top of my not-pictured list. After dinner I’d probably want that chocolate cake.

  14. Martha Russell says:

    Those pancakes sure look good! On the other hand, ice cream calls my name. Like many others I sabotage my own efforts!

  15. Definitely, hands down the brownie sundae. I can’t lie.

  16. Cynthia says:

    It’s a tie between the bacon cheeseburger and the brownie sundae most times. But when I am tired, or sick and hurting, I love a really good bowl of Kraft M&C.

  17. Kate says:

    2-6-1-4-3-5. πŸ™‚ At least right now. As others have said, it depends on the day and time, but nighttime is when I want me some sugar.

  18. Jennifer says:

    I’d pick the burger with all the trimmings

  19. Cid says:


    It would have to be the pancakes. Part of me thinks it should be the chocolate cake but I’ve eaten so many shockers over the years, my memory banks are telling me ‘it will taste of plastic and whipped air’… if on the other hand someone confirmed that it was truly a chocolate dream, I’d quickly swap the pancakes πŸ™‚

    Last night one of the UK tv channels had what I assume was a repeat documentary on why some people find it practically impossible to lose weight. All the usual stuff was discussed about western gluttony etc. They also featured a story about some obese mice in a lab. Certain hormones (I think) were found in the thin ones which, when given to the fat mice resulted in speedy weight loss. Research has only just started apparently as to the complex nature of the chemicals associated with appetite.

    Anyway, if we all wait for the scientists to bring out a revolutionary slimming tonic, it’ll be too late for some. So the best shot we have is to follow this blog, eat the right stuff and exercise more.

    The whole cravings thing is interesting…. ask us again in a month’s time when we’re knee deep into our new eating regimes. If I exclude meat for long enough I yearn for that. On the Atkins diet I yearned for any green veg…. which I can tell you was a first for me! Could it be that we all want what we can’t have?


  20. Anne says:

    Sorry, none of the above. I would enjoy a savoury filled roll and might be tempted with a little of the Brownie Ice Cream to follow.
    My weakness is good continental (Swiss) chocolates which I have just selfishly devoured from Christmas.
    I would not bother during summer time for some reason. Perhaps it is all about comfort eating of sorts?

  21. Karen K says:

    Brownie Icecream Sundae. Haven’t had one in over a year since being diagnosedvLactose Intolerant and Celiac and was my favorite.

  22. Molly M. says:

    Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Although, I actually crave Annie’s Gluten Free Mac Cheese since I haven’t had the Kraft brand for years…Plus any salty/crunchy snack.

  23. lo says:

    Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is my choice this morning. But, then, pasta is my downfall. Never mind that I haven’t eaten Kraft mac in years and years — that picture has given me a craving.

  24. Brownie ice cream sundae without a doubt. Still doable at Outback with their Thunder Down Under flourless brownie BTW for those who are gluten free, although I haven’t had that in years. Ice cream is really what always calls my name.


  25. Julie Lynn says:

    First reaction: Cake! LOVE cake. πŸ˜‰

  26. Renee says:

    Sundae first – then mac and cheese, esp if I could eat Kraft again. Then the burger (if it was on a nice GF bun) and then the broccoli, although at times I do crave vegetables. But I would eat the sundae first.

  27. wow – this is quite something. I agree with Cid – I think most often it’s the things we cannot have that we desire most.
    Funny enough, I feel horrible after I’ve eaten an ice cream sundae. But, at this very moment in time – that looks far more delicious and appetizing than anything else pictured up there.
    I’m not all that shocked at myself: it’s veritably swimming in chocolate. That’s all that matters:)

  28. Coco-Emily says:

    Pancakes smothered in syrup and butter win for me.
    The brownie sundae/broccoli come in close for a tie at second place though. I think the broc craving is coming from the fact I haven’t eaten a raw vegetable in almost 4 months though…. and of course the pile of carbs and sugar is becauce I haven’t eaten anything that resembles a pancake in about 4 or 5 years! The burger and mac & cheese just make me think of sodium and MSG and water retention!
    I’m excited to hear your results on this little study!! Xo

  29. Audrey says:

    the bacon cheeseburger allll the way.

  30. Sheila says:

    I confess… chocolate cake!

  31. Karen says:

    Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. So I would say the cake. Now, if the mac & cheese was homemade – hands down my first pick!

  32. great question. First choice would be chocolate cake with chocolate icing, then anything with bacon. I’m soooo healthy!

  33. Lauren says:

    Honestly, the broccoli. I’ve never been a burger girl and KD has never been something I love. I would enjoy the cake or pancakes, but I like those both in moderation =D.

  34. Heather says:

    Hi Melissa!

    Here are three inputs for your survey:

    Sophie picks the broccoli.

    My husband picks the chocolate cake.

    And I pick the chocolate cake too.

    I assume this is just based on the visual imagery, since I am sure that cake is not gfree!

  35. Heather says:

    And of course chocolate makes me feel bad so I don’t eat it even if it’s gfree BUT the chocolate cake appeals to me, which I think is what you were going for?

  36. Miles says:

    A great post. Broccoli and macaroni cheese in that order. Would never eat the desserts because I prefer savoury food.I think our mind pushes us to finish what is left in the pan because it tastes good even though our stomach is telling us we’ve had enough. As a chef I have always had to work on the the fact that after two to three mouthfulls of a dish the brain becomes ‘bored’ which is in part the reason for the explosion of ‘tasting menus’ in expensive restaurants. More dishes, smaller portions. Which is right I wonder?

  37. Jennifer says:

    None of the above. I really crave donuts…white powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar donuts are my main weakness.

  38. Kay says:

    I can’t eat any of those tasty treat. Not even the broccoli! Still hoping I’ll heal enough to get the cole crops back one day. I miss cabbage the most. LOVE cole slaw. LOVE steamed cabbage.

    Since giving up all the foods on your list, I really don’t have the same cravings I used to. The maple syrup on those pancakes looks really tempting. My guilty pleasure is French toast drenched in syrup.

  39. Chocolate Cake…so yummy…must be home made as this imbues it with the love I love to consume!

  40. Megan says:

    Hmmm…I think it would be the bacon cheeseburger but WITHOUT all of the trimmings. I wouldn’t want to ruin a good thing with vegetables. πŸ™‚
    And, the ice cream part of the sundae is a close second.

  41. Kelly says:

    The broccoli for sure. I’m a huge broccoli fan. Although, I’d prefer it slightly steamed and with some garlic and sea salt πŸ™‚

  42. Mary Mary Quite Contrary says:

    Bacon Cheeseburger baby!

  43. 63 Teeth says:

    Mac and Cheese please!

  44. Nancy says:

    Bacon Cheeseburger, fer sure!

  45. Marinka says:

    Can’t help it, but I’d love to have that chocolate cake most! Although that burger is really tempting too.. What I usually crave most are potato chips though.

  46. Janet Ehlers says:

    The pancakes and a big cup of coffee! I’m a sucker for breakfast foods.

  47. Tosh says:

    I have read and enjoyed this blog forever and successfully tried and delighted in many recipes. Thank you!

    My husband says the burger. I had a much harder time choosing but would go with the brownie sundae – sans whip.

  48. Ben and I would both pick the brownie sundae. It was a bad idea to look at your blog right before dinner – my stomach is now growling! πŸ™‚

  49. The burger. Maybe because it’s almost 9:00 and I haven’t eaten dinner! But I love bacon, cheese and a juicy hamburger with all the trimmings, esp. the french fries. Give me the grease any day!

    If the Macaroni and Cheese was from Noodles, maybe but Kraft–no way–it even looks like the “cheap” Kraft. Not tempting at all.

    Only like homemade ice-cream, the runner-up? The chocolate cake FOR SURE! 2nd Place for me!

  50. Kimberly says:

    The chocolate cake, although the mac and cheese is running a really strong second.

Leave a Reply

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
recent posts

my book
(co-written with Pete Bronski)

stay connected
Gluten Free For Good on Facebook Gluten Free For Good on Twitter Gluten Free For Good RSS Feed

Subscribe with Bloglines
Add to Feedburner
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to Google
Add to NewsGator
Add to MyAOL