Jun 13, 2017

6 Tricks to Rewire Your Brain to Crave Healthy Food Instead of Junk Food

When a food craving strikes, are you craving potato chips, candy bars, or carrot sticks? Unless it is carrot sticks, you need to help retrain your brain to start asking you for good foods instead. Contrary to popular belief about old dogs and new tricks, you can truly get your brain on board the healthy food train.

The key to getting your brain to shout out for healthy foods though lies in discovering what triggers your cravings for sweets and junk food. Often, these triggers are the cause of us choosing something subpar to satiate our hunger. So dig deep with these tips and you will soon find that you will more often hear your brain when it asks you for something good for you instead.

1. Quit denying yourself

The worst thing you can do when you try to make a healthy change to your diet is to tell yourself or anyone who will listen is that you can’t have something or even that you do not deserve it. Doing this is a direct sabotage to your efforts because it has the opposite effect.

Instead of being helpful, it makes you feel deprived. Try a more empowering thought such as that you can eat what you want whenever you feel like it. It sounds silly, but it triggers your brain to feel good about the things you eat.

2. Focus on the food

We are a generation of distracted eaters. Are you busy messaging friends, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, or even watching TV while you eat? If so, you are only mindlessly munching.

Be an active participant in your meals. Choose to focus on the flavors and textures, chewing slowly and meaningfully. You will feel fuller faster and much more satisfied, which will keep you from reaching for snacks when you really do not need them.

Read also – 6 Healthy Foods to Treat Your Brain Fog

3. Notice the effects of the foods you choose

How do you feel after you eat fried, fatty foods or overly sugary treats? Not so good, right? Now, how do you feel after you eat something with real nutritional value? Focusing on the good feelings healthy food gives you will help your brain want to get that feeling again and again.

4. Eat honestly

Always ask yourself if you are truly hungry before you eat. It is easy to confuse our need to quench thirst with hunger. Drink a glass of water before you eat anything. If you still feel hungry after 10 minutes, then your body is definitely looking for food.

Eat three meals per day with a healthy snack in the morning and one in the afternoon. Avoid snacking in front of the TV, which will net you more calories than you intend.

5. Be active

When you exercise, you are less likely to succumb to the allure of foods that are not good for you. You will be more likely to make healthier choices instead of rolling through the drive-thru for a greasy burger.

Read also – 10 Exercises You Can Do Almost Anywhere

6. Lower your stress levels

Even good stress like getting married, starting a new job, or buying a home will lead you to stress-eating. Take steps to reduce your stress so your body will not release cortisol, a hormone that increases your appetite which in turn leads to your poor eating habits.

Cortisol makes you choose things that are less than healthy instead of going for what you know is right to eat, so eliminate stress and you will see an improvement in your health.

Remember, you can always train your brain to crave veggies if you eliminate the major triggers that lead to unhealthy food choices. What tricks do you use to make healthy eating choices? Tell us!

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