I’m willing to bet a lot of money that most of us can think back on our life long careers of over eating and think of a food item or two that you just couldn’t get enough of. Whether its that ‘bet you can’t eat just one’ salty snack or that or that chocolatey ‘Sweet dreams you can’t resist’, these products were scientifically designed to keep you wanting more and more.
Let me introduce you to a new word, one that food scientists and manufacturers don’t want you to know about; ‘Bliss Point’. Bliss point is the point in a processed food where it is as delicious as it can possibly be, without making you feel satisfied or full. The ‘Bet you can`t eat just one’ is not just an ad campaign or slogan for a product, it was a point that was carefully and scientifically engineered to ensure that you couldn’t eat just one, because they want you to eat more and buy more. With the use of a bliss point, products are tested and tweaked over and over again to keep you eating and craving and not feeling full.
Scientists primarily use three nutrients, salt, sweet and fat in combination to hit all of our taste buds in a perfect way and send a `We need MORE!` message to our brains!! Natural food hits our pleasure receptors with these same three ingredients, but it takes today’s science to create that perfect ratio that makes us crave our favourite snacks in a way similar to an addiction. Food producers tweak the ratios until they reach the perfect bliss point for their products, they utilize market research/focus groups and taste tests, over and over until they achieve their goal. With a bit of perseverance, they successfully drive their products bliss point to perfection and their own sales and profit through the roof.
The most well-known example of this is with Dr. Pepper soft drink. The manufacturer changed its formula over 60 times trying to create that perfect recipe until they found that sweet spot. In this case, tasters would take a sip wait a few minutes to allow taste buds to bounce back, and then taste again. The results provided by these over 4000 taste tests helped to formulate numerical values in relation to how likely consumers would be to purchase their Dr Pepper Cherry vanilla flavour.
In our pre-keto days, we all had our own versions of bliss point, our own level of that perfect sweetness. A quick trip to the coffee shop would be a perfect place to see this in action, with customers in any typical lineup ordering everything from black coffee, right on up to those who wanted 4 or 5 spoonfuls of sugar in their coffee cup.
We usually advise new people to the world of keto to totally cut out sweets and go back to the basics for the fist couple of months. That bliss point from your past is one of the reasons why we do that. Its hard to go from 4 spoonfuls of sugar directly into a ketogenic low sweet version of a soft drink, or a dessert treat, or even a cup of coffee. You often find newbies adding packet after packet of sweetener in frustration, because they are not achieving that same sweetness as before. They can not find their old bliss point.
New Ketonians are so excited about their new Ketogenic way of life, and they usually want to burst out of the gates with fancy keto ingredients, and keto recipes. What they`re missing out on, is the premise that you have to slow down and learn to walk before you can run. By throwing sweeteners and chocolate and fat bombs in your first week of ketosis, you`re only confusing your body and your metabolism more. You`re much better off to let your body detox and just forget about all those eating habits that got you into trouble in the first place. We understand that your body is craving sugar, every person who ever went through a detoxification has cravings. Its your body telling you its used to having something. But those cravings were not helpful in your old life and they won’t be helpful in this Keto WOE. Don’t let yourself be a slave to food.
One of our goals as Ketonians must be to find a new sweet spot or bliss point. It’s a must to acknowledge that those spoonfuls of sugar are part of the problem that caused us to want to start a keto diet in the first place. If we continue to allow ourselves to crave and expect that same level of sweetness, we’re just using other sweetening tools as a placebo for that sugar. We’re not really achieving a better level of health that we set out to obtain.
But I promise you, if you forego that sweet taste for just a couple of weeks, you will be absolutely amazed at how sweet the simplest item really does taste. A single raspberry becomes a vibrant burst of flavour, a square of dark chocolate becomes a melt in your mouth morsel of decadence and one packet of sweetener becomes more than enough to sweeten a cup of coffee or tea.
As you work on yourself, don’t forget to work on your bliss point! Its truly a part of the healthier you that you’re searching for.