Do you realise that you can eat healthier
by tricking your brain?
Can your memory really help you lose weight?
Remember what you had for breakfast this morning? Congratulations, that simple hack just helped keep your weight in check today! (That was the easiest diet tip ever, right?)
#Hack 1 – remember what you ate last
University of Oxford conducted a study, and found that people who actively recall the last meal they ate before a eating new meal tend to eat less during the new meal.
The researchers also found that people who suffered from dementia would eat a full meal even after just having finished their previous one, not because they were physically hungry but because they couldn’t remember eating.
They concluded that remembering your previous food helps to cue your body’s hunger signals.
Surprised that something so simple can have such a big impact on how we eat?
Don’t be, says Daniel Truong, M.D., neurologist and medical director at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Centre in Fountain Valley, CA.
“People think that if you feel hungry you must be hungry, that it’s all just biology and hormones, but your mind is really in charge,” he says. “Thanks to millions of years of evolution, food and memory are linked for survival. Your memory drives eating and can override both hormones and instinct.”
Here are four more mind-control tricks to make you the ultimate healthy eating Jedi:
#Hack 2 – Out of sight, out of mind
Keeping treats out of sight is the best way to avoid overindulging. Studies have shown that seeing an ad for a mouth-watering treat can actually make your mouth water in anticipation of eating it (this is a basic suggestibility test).
So, you can kerb that instinct by keeping your goodies in a place you won’t see them every day.
#Hack 3 – stick to the same thing
Sometimes you just don’t care about all the reasons not to, you just want to eat that treat. (The 80/20 guide which is included in my Weight Management Package will show you exactly how to do this.)
However, in this instance, simply keeping your favourite (and only your favourite) snack handy, saying that you’re less likely to overindulge if only one flavour is available.
There’s a phenomenon called flavour adaptation. If you continue to eat the same food, eventually you won’t want it as much. Humans love variety, so the more textures and tastes you have available, the more your mind want to try it all.
#hack 4 – get excited
When we get really happy or excited, our brains release the neuro-chemical dopamine, which makes you feel good and also has the effect of suppressing your appetite.
In addition to eating food you enjoy, I recommend creating an atmosphere similar to your favourite restaurant. Making eating a pleasurable experience will help make it more memorable!
bonus #hack – change your memories
A lot of our enjoyment of eating is related to the experience of eating that food, so if we associate a particular food with making us feel badly, we don’t want to eat it any more.
So instead of focusing on double-chocolate brownies as a forbidden food, try remembering how sick you feel after eating half a pan. You can also use this in reverse by remembering how strong you feel when you eat a veggie-packed salad.
So, there you have it – some simple changes to thinking which will help you to become a more conscious, healthier eater.
Shares and comments always welcome.