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If you have ever been on a diet you will know that one of the first things you tend to do in order to try and lose weight is work out how you can reduce your calorie and fat intake whilst probably trying to work out a way to increase your physical activity. You’re not alone in tackling weight loss in this way, as this is what the vast majority of us do when we decide to lose some weight.
It is, of course, important that we look at our diets, work out how to cut calories and fat, and think of ways to increase exercise and physical activity. All of these things form a vital part of the weight loss process and are therefore essential elements for those that want to shed the pounds. However, one thing that many of us fail to take into consideration when we are planning to lose weight is how the brain is linked to what and when we eat – and how we can make positive changes through retraining the brain.
How is the brain connected to eating and weight ?
Most people fail to make any connection between the workings of the brain and their eating habits and weight. However, the brain is programmed to make associations between food and certain situations, environments and even emotions. When you think about it you do not always eat because you are feeling hungry. Often people eat because they are in a particular environment, doing a particular activity or feeling a certain way.
For example, if you go to a party where there is food you will often eat even though you are not hungry. This is because the brain is programmed to make you feel as though you need to or should eat in this sort of environment. Likewise, if you are feeling bored or depressed you will often turn to food despite the fact that you are not hungry. Again, there is a strong link between the way that your brain connects certain emotions with eating and food.
In some cases, you may find that you always eat at a particular time of the day, whether you are hungry or not. These are habits that have been formed by the way in which your brain is programmed to associate eating and food with certain times of the day.
Techniques that can help to break the link
Being able to break the link between food/eating and certain situations and environments is often the key to being able to lose weight more easily and more quickly. If you are able to break this association you will have far more control over when you eat, what you eat and why you eat.
There are a number of different techniques that can be used to try and break this link and to retrain the brain so that you do not always associated times, places, environments, situations, and feelings with food. You may find that some techniques are more effective than others for you as an individual, as different techniques tend to suit different people rather than there being a standard one that suits everyone. Some of the popular techniques for retraining the brain include:
- Stimulus control
- Portion control
- Removing temptations
- Food journaling
How do these techniques work ?
These techniques work in different ways to help you to re-programme your brain when it comes to food and to enjoy great success when it comes to weight loss.
- Stimulus control: Being able to exercise more control over your situation and environment can go a long way towards enabling you to resist temptation and avoid eating unnecessarily. Doing something as simple as letting people know that you are trying to losing weight so that you do not feel compelled or pressured into eating unnecessarily when you are with them can prove really helpful.
- Portion control: Many people consume too many calories and too much fat simply because they fail to control their portions at mealtimes. It is important to have meals that are controlled in terms of portion sizes and you can do this through measures such as getting used to having a smaller plate or by taking your time when you eat and really chewing your food so that your brain is able to register when you are full
- Removing temptation: It can be extremely difficult to steer clear of food that you should be avoiding when you are surrounded by it! One way to combat this if you do not have a lot of willpower is to remove the temptation by getting rid of the junk food from your home
- Food journaling: The great thing about food journaling is that it is so simple yet so effective. By simply logging and monitoring what you are eating, when you are eating it and even why you are eating you can see where you need to make changes to cut unnecessary food consumption and change your eating habits to aid weight loss
The owner of the site proactol reviews, Jessica Ainsworth enjoys sharing her expertise and interest in weight loss, fitness and weight management with others. She is an experienced holistic nutritionist whose interest and work is concentrated in the areas of fitness and weight loss.