Pizza ... Could I be Addicted? - FIT Human Performance

Pizza … Could I be Addicted?


pizzaNovember 3, 2013

If you have known me long enough then you have heard by now my reaction to the word ‘pizza’.  If a picture of a slice happens to hit my eye, I salivate.  If my wife hints that “we are tired and don’t have time to cook” , I dream in ‘pizza’.  If the best smell EVER wanders down the building from Pizza Tonight (like when they are roasting garlic) I think my heart skips a beat.  The point to this admission of my guilty pleasure, achilles heel, and shape shooter is this … there are many factual reasons we make bad decisions on food.  So let me try to explain, but not justify.

Our brains are hard-wired to find certain things pleasurable, such as eating food or having sex.  “This brain ‘reward circuitry’ makes sure we carry out behaviors we need to survive”, said Brad Lander, a psychologist at Ohio State University. “Anything that stimulates the reward pathway is going to be interpreted as something that’s necessary for life and needs to be repeated”, he states.

Many things that are not, in fact, necessary for life can also stimulate this reward circuitry, including drugs, sugar, fatty foods, and even behaviors such as gambling and exercise.  YES, exercise.  The pleasure we get from these substances come from the release of dopamine in the brain, which reinforces behavior.  But, stimulation of this circuitry does not guarantee addiction, it simply means that substances that act in this way have a potential to be addictive.  Therefore, much like a smoker who puts a cigarette in their hands … around pizza, decision “fail” for me.

If you have read this far I do hope you noticed my comment about exercise above, it can be addictive as well.  When we work out, the body also releases dopamine to the brain.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps in transmission of signals in the brain and other organs.  If you have ever stuck with your fitness training program longer than you thought … well then you know already.  Like the days you missed a workout or run, and you just felt lost.  I know the lifestyle, and miss the results.

Ok, so we have already passed Halloween and that leaves only 52 days until Christmas and 58 until New Years Eve.  Maybe it is time to put on the exercise clothes and not the Santa Costume.  It is time to get hooked on exercise!  Who’s with me!?

Let’s discuss some goals, now pick up that phone and get started!

In good health,


“Pizza is a lot like sex. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” – Anonymous