Want to lose weight? Train your brain! More and more research is indicating that stress plays a big role in weight gain. Many people under stress turn to food for comfort.
The emotional brain is command central for weight and common excesses. It includes the fear, reward and starvation centers. When that brain is in stress, all three centers promote overeating and weight gain. We have strong drives to do exactly what we know we shouldn’t do. We can’t help it! Our emotional brain is in stress.That stress ramps up the reward value of food, increases hunger for carbohydrates and decreases metabolic rate, almost ensuring weight gain. ore and more research is indicating that stress plays a big role in weight gain. Many people under stress turn to food for comfort. Our thinking brain (neocortex) goes off line, and the extremes of our emotional brain calls the shots.
Train that brain for losing weight with these 4 tips designed to put you in a positive, weight-dropping state of mind:
– Change your mindset- The word diet often creates a negative mindset. The negativity makes it harder to stick to the plan and achieve long-lasting success. Tell yourself, before your feet hit the floor each morning, “I so excited to start my day with exercise and some clean eating foods”, and mean it! Changing your life is about making a positive lifestyle change. It’s not about what you can’t have—it’s about feeling rested when you wake up, feeling strong and confident, being healthier than you’ve ever been.
-Take baby steps-The idea of losing a chunk of weight is intimidating. It can make the brain whine “How much do you want me lose?! Inconceivable!” Take the intimidation factor out of weight loss by taking small, can-do steps. Small goals are easier to achieve—and each time you reach one, you’ll gain more confidence. That confidence will allow you to make another healthy lifestyle change, and then another, and before you know it you’ll look and feel better than you have in years.
-Be kind to yourself-You’re going to backtrack sometimes. Everyone does. But what’s important is that you get back on track. Throwing your hands in the air and saying “I’m giving up!” won’t make you feel any better. So forgive yourself for slip-ups, and then resume your good-living habits. You deserve a body that’s healthy. You deserve a body that’s fit. Train your brain to help you get there.
-Any habit we wish to develop needs to impart a meaningful reward in order for it to stick. The reward for any habit needs to be immediate and tangible. This means that in order to achieve long-term weight control you need to find healthy foods you actually enjoy eating, physical activities you like doing, and spend your time making these as convenient and accessible as possible. To achieve true success in health and weight loss, we’re better off quitting diets altogether and focusing on building healthy habits we enjoy.
Setting and achieving an attainable goal is a very powerful reward. Since our brains are easily overwhelmed, don’t try to develop too many habits at once. Work on just two or three habits at a time, and build from there. Habits take anywhere from two weeks to six months to take root, but on average about two months. Start with the easiest ones and work your way up. Once you’ve built enough good habits, your health will take care of itself.
To take care of your body, take care of your brain