Friday, July 26, 2013

Using your Brain to help you Lose Weight

I recently read this article in Bottom Line magazine and found it to be very interesting.  The article talks about how a lot of people are struggling to lose weight.  Often times, they lose weight, but they end up gaining it back.  All of these diets and calorie counting isn't working for them.  This article talks about using your Brain, your most powerful organ, to help you lose weight.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Strategy one: Look at your feelings
When you wish to eat, ask yourself whether you really are hungry.  Pay attention to your stomach.  Is it full or empty?  Ask yourself, Do I really need food right now?
People often eat for reasons that have nothign to do with hunger.  We eat when we're upset, frustrated, bored, etc.  The act of eating is a disctraction from uncomfortable feelings and a coping mechanism that makes the feelings less intense. 
Studies have shown that mood strongly affects food choices.  One study published in American Demographics found that people gravitate towrad ice cream and cookies when they're sad...potato chips when they're bored... and pizza or steak when they're happy.
My advice: Before you eat anything, seriously ask yourself why you want it.  If you haven't eaten for several hours, you're probably just hungry.  But if you're craving a snack even though you ate recently, you're probably dealing with emotional hunger.  Ask yourself, "How am I feeling aobut the world today?"..."What's my mood?"..."What do I really need at this particular moment?"..."Does my stomach feel empty?"
When you eat only when you're hungry and you don't use food for an emotional fix, you've achieved homeostasis, a type of mind-body balance in which you desire only what you need. 
Imagine a single cell floating in a petri dish.  It doesn't think about food.  It takes in nutrients when it needs them and stops when it has had enough.  It is in a perfect state of homeostais. 
You can achieve the same harmony by being self-aware, or mindful.
What do do: Suppose that you came home from work and already are anticipating the taste of chocolate.  Don't go straight to the pantry.  Instead, run through the mindful list.  If you determine that you are experiencing only emotional hunger, take three very deep breaths and smile.  This simple exercise can make the craving go away.  It also works if you've already started eating and don't want to overeat.

If you wish to read the rest of the article, obtain a copy of Bottom Line Magazine Volume 34 Issue 15, or comment below and I will send you the rest of the article.

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