A Deep Dive into Evolutionary Psychology with Adam Sud

In this episode, we talk to Adam Sud to walk us through the theory of evolutionary psychology that explains why people find it difficult to be happy and healthy despite knowing and being aware of the common sense approaches in achieving so. Here, Adam explains that it’s not the lack of willpower or discipline but the environment that has conditioned us to behave in the way that we do.

Nov 29th, 2022

Episode Notes

Memorable Moments:

  • 03:35 – Evolutionary Psychology refers to the ways in which people behave, why they choose to go one way versus another, in regards to the way in which our genes have explored the environment of our evolutionary story.
  • 04:58 – All animal life is actually motivated by something called a tripartite motivational system, or a motivational triad, and those are pleasure-seeking, pain avoidance, and energy conservation.
  • 13:03 – In the modern environment, when we get a dopamine stimulus, it is what we call a supernormal stimulus that raises our dopamine circuitry way outside the bounds of normal human experience. And our brains don’t really like that. And so what they’re going to do is they’re going to defend themselves against this intense stimulus.
  • 15:23 – When you’re habituated to repetitive, consistent supernormal stimulus, the wrong decision feels incredibly right for your survival. And the right decision feels incredibly wrong. 
  • 16:01 – The reason why people find themselves in that situation isn’t because they’re broken. It’s because that is their psychology responding exactly the way it’s designed to respond to an environment that is too shifted away from our natural history and our natural behavior. 
  • 17:48 – It’s not a fault of theirs, it’s the fault of their environment. And if they are willing to cultivate an environment that looks more indicative of their natural history and their natural behavior—spend two to four weeks living in that environment, their dopamine receptors are going to regain sensitivity. They’re going to recalibrate to an environment that makes sense. 
  • 25:02 – What you have to understand is that humans have a psychology of more. We’re trying to get the most for the least every single time. But now for the first time in human history, that decision might not be the best thing to do for our long-term outcome. 
  • 25:48 – If you can organize your environment to look like what you want to do, you don’t have to outcompete the environment in order to be successful. 
  • 29:10 – Everyone thinks that they’ve got to figure out how to be disciplined enough to do a thing. Instead of trying to become more disciplined, design a more disciplined environment. This is really valuable. Your self-control will always be a lot less necessary when your environment doesn’t require you to depend on it. 

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This podcast is hosted by Allison Walsh and Dr. Angela Phillips. It is produced by Allison Walsh, Savannah Eckstrom, and Nicole LaNeve. If you’re interested in being a guest on this podcast, please visit www.therecoveryvillage.com/dearmindyoumatter.

Show Contributors
DSCF4328 - Adam Sud (1)

Adam Sud

Adam is an Insulin Resistance, Disease Reversal, Weight Loss, and Food Addiction expert with amazing personal experiences to share. He has worked with some of the most respected programs and companies in the health and wellness world. He served as a lead insulin resistance and food addiction coach for Mastering Diabetes using plant-based nutrition and as a clinical health coach for Whole Foods Market’s Global Wellness Center at the company headquarters. Adam is an international speaker for the health and wellness movement and addiction recovery movement and has presented at some of the biggest health and wellness events. Adam has worked in mental health recovery centers using nutrition as a tool for strengthening recovery and relapse prevention. He is also the founder of the non-profit, Plant-Based for Positive Change that is dedicated to advancing the research of diet and mental health / addiction and has completed the very first research study to investigate the effects of a nutrient dense dietary intervention on early addiction recovery outcomes. He firmly believes that the simplest change on your fork makes the most profound change of your life and that self-love is the root of all recovery.