Salty or Sweet? Your mind is hardwired to want the fattening stuff … lots of it! Learn how to lose weight fast by understanding the science behind your food cravings. When you understand why you crave certain foods, you’ll understand how you can lose weight quickly by simply controlling your cravings.
Understanding Your Cravings
If you want to lose weight fast, you need to understand that your brain is what drives you to crave that sugary, fatty splurge, such as french fries, donuts or ice cream. This mind-craving connection has become popular among researchers and has resulted in new insights into how to resist the cravings and finally begin losing weight.
Feel Good Chemicals
At the center of this mind-craving is a system of interconnected neurons that have evolved since the beginning of man; these neurons, or reward pathway, kept prehistoric man alive by prompting the desire to eat. Since high calorie food was scarce and necessary for survival, the brain learned to flood itself with the feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin in response to anything associated with these high calorie foods.
The brain can be triggered to release these chemicals in response to smells, sights and even people, places or memories. The effect of releasing these chemicals was to push you to eat when the high calorie food was available. This mind-craving system worked well until modern times when these high calories foods became available 24/7. Now with our over-abundance of fatty, high-calorie foods, we’re seeking ways for quick weight loss.
Lose Weight Fast
If you want to learn how to lose weight, whether it’s belly fat or fat in general, you need to understand how your body is wired to view food. When you understand the body’s response to food, you can use some simple strategies to help you overcome your cravings. It is possible to lose weight fast,
but it’s not as simple as just making the decision to forego your favorite foods. You have a long established mind-craving system that will try to derail you at the first whiff of that fresh baked donut. Learning effective techniques for how you can lose weight fast will help ensure that your weight loss efforts are successful.
Know When You are Hungry
A better measure of when and what to eat is if you’re truly hungry. True hunger is your body’s biological signal for nourishment; it comes straight from your stomach. When your body needs energy, your stomach releases the hunger hormone ghrelin to the hypothalamus which regulates metabolism. This signals you to go looking for food. Then, when you’ve had enough to eat, your fat cells release the chemical leptin, which signals the body to stop eating.
But, as many of us know, a feeling of being full is not enough to cause us to walk away from our favorite foods. Have you ever overindulged at Thanksgiving? Made room for one or two more bites of your favorite dessert? Even being tired or stressed can cause us to eat beyond the point when our body tells us we’ve had enough. There is hope, we can learn to outsmart this mind-craving system and get control of our cravings.
8 Weight Loss Tips to Mastering your Mind-Cravings
1. Treat Yourself – When you decide to eliminate your favorite food, you can be sure that’s the one you’ll crave the most. Pick a healthier substitute and occasionally allow yourself to indulge in your old favorite. Remember, it’s not the food that matters the most – it’s the quantity and frequency that will make the biggest impact.
2. Turn off your triggers – Break the patterns that encourage you to binge. If you normally snack as soon as you walk in the door, break the cycle by doing something else.
3. Accept the craving – When a craving strikes, don’t ignore it. Take a look at why you’re eating. Many people eat because they are sad, bored or frustrated. Realize that the craving will most likely pass in a few minutes, concentrate on breathing and think about something pleasant. If after 10 minutes, your stomach is still growling, have a nutritious, low-calorie snack.
4. Feed the hunger – If you allow yourself to get overly hungry, you will be more likely to indulge in junk food. Eat protein and fiber at every meal to keep the hunger hormone ghrelin at bay and to help you avoid overeating.
5. Pace yourself – Start setting a timer and making your meal last 25 minutes. It takes 12 minutes for a thin person’s brain to register that they’ve eaten. It can take 25 minutes for an overweight person to get the same message. Give your brain a chance to realize that it has had enough to eat by simply eating slower.
6. Feed your taste buds – After a few bites, your taste buds no longer enjoy each mouthful as much as the first. Like a wine connoisseur, relish every bite and stop when the flavor loses its initial enjoyment.
7. Watch what you say to yourself – Avoid negative self-talk. If you eat something you wish you hadn’t, don’t beat yourself up over it. A couple of cookies aren’t going to make you fat. You don’t need to tell yourself you’re a “loser” or a “failure”, instead tell yourself, “it’s not big deal, I’ll stop now.” Negative self-talk does a lot more damage than just undermining your weight loss plans.
8. Start small – Don’t try to conquer your entire weight loss plan in one day. Start small, eliminate your morning donut, incorporate an afternoon walk, whatever it might be. Just don’t try to do everything at one time or you’ll find yourself feeling overwhelmed and defeated.