Food Porn

Mouth and chocolate

If you have ever heard competitors talk about forbidden foods, you have most likely squirmed in your seat as these individuals moaned and squealed with obscene delight as they described favorite dishes in great detail. It is no surprise why fitness people refer to certain foods as “food porn” because they are so taboo. The highly restrictive nature of contest prep meal plans heightens the appeal of foods such as macaroni and cheese, chocolate cake, baby back ribs, French fries, burgers, pizza, etc. (I imagine that those of you who are involved in fitness are salivating after reading that list). Some people actually plan out a restaurant attack based on all the foods they want to eat post photo shoot or competition. I still find it amusing that The Cheesecake Factory has become almost the standard across the country for a post-contest cheat meal, because it has an enormous menu sure to please the palates of ravenous competitors who want to eat everything in sight after being deprived for so long.

Whenever I compete, I have a peculiar habit of keeping the hotel television turned on and set on the Food Network 24 hours a day. Whether it’s Cupcake Wars, Man Versus Food, Chopped, or Drivers, Diners and Dives, I love capturing glimpses of delectable offerings whenever I am in the room. The strange thing is that it isn’t torturous for me at all. It’s actually comforting in a bizarre and voyeuristic way, because I live vicariously through the individuals who indulge in foods that I could only dream of eating. I can sit there and imagine how a dish would smell and taste. Isn’t that how porn works too?

When competitors and people who diet are deprived of decadent foods and suddenly get a glimpse of the forbidden foods, the visual appeal can be staggering. Since we are also animals, we become more intrigued by the things we cannot have, whether it’s delicious food or sloppy sex. When we indulge in either of these activities, we tend to make sounds which reveal the bliss that we are experiencing in that moment. Scientifically, the pleasure centers in our brains are triggered strongly by a fantastic meal or incredible sex. It seems that the phrase “food porn” is quite fitting indeed.

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