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How to train your brain to overpower your belly

We all know that the brain plays an important role in our lives. As well as being the centre of thought, it is also the seat of motivation. Studies are increasingly showing that you can train your brain to help you to break bad habits and adopt new good ones.

Can this apply to dieting?

It is possible to train your brain to reject unhealthy foods and opt for the healthier choice. Once your brain is trained to choose healthy food, your health will naturally improve and you should start to see the difference in your weight.

Dieting goes digital

Harvard Medical School Researchers have developed the iDiet, which taps into the power of the mind to help people to lose weight. The diet consists of around 1,000 calories a day, and includes foods that release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, as well as foods that are high in protein and fibre.

The research team used MRI scans to look at the brains of people who were testing the diet. They noticed that study participants brains began to show signs that they actually liked healthy foods in a way they did not before going on the diet.

Eating well is its own reward

When a person eats something that they like, the reward centre in their brain lights up, which makes us feel good. In many people, fatty, high-carb or sugary foods trigger the reward response. After a while, the reward centres of the study participants’ brains were triggered by healthy foods rather than unhealthy foods.

This means that we can retrain our brains to prefer healthy foods rather than unhealthy ones, and that people should be able to maintain their healthy eating habits once they come off a diet. The first step to success is to eat more healthy food. In time, our brains respond and we want more healthy food.

Posted by Jennifer
October 2, 2014
Feature

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