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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Brain Hacks to Stay on Track with your Diet

#Health #Fitness #Brain #Lifehack #TipsAndTricks #Weightloss #Diet #Dieting #Willpower #DidYouKnow #BeachBody
Disclaimer: This post is for education and entertainment purposes, and is not intended as medical advice. We recommend you talk to your doctor, and do your own research, before beginning any diet or exercise regiment.

       Striving to make healthier food choices is something everyone should do, but it can be hard to stay on track. A diet is more than just what you eat; it's when, how, and why you eat. While some of these factors may be based on necessity, many of them are based on habit. Changing habits isn't just about willpower; it's about forming new patterns of behavior, and tricking your brain into avoiding the old ones that get you in trouble. With a few simple, habit-busting brain hacks, you can make it easier to stay on track with your diet.

       If you ask yourself "When do I eat?" the immediate answer is probably something like "When I'm hungry!", but if you really think about it, you'll start to notice other common factors. Maybe you're used to snacking when you're at your desk, or watching a movie. Maybe you tend to skip lunch, only to get second helpings when dinner time comes around. Perhaps you feel reluctant to give up comfort food, or some kind of ritual like grabbing a doughnut on your way to work. Think about your daily routine, and take note of when you eat, and what you're doing at the time. Understanding when you eat will give you clues as to why you eat.

       It's important to note that you should not avoid eating, but rather, you should avoid over-eating and unhealthy eating. There are certain things that can trick your brain into consuming more food than your body needs. For example, if you multitask during meals, or otherwise eat absentmindedly, you're distracting your brain from receiving the messages that tell you you're full. You may also simply lose track of just what, and how much you consumed due to not paying attention! Skipping meals can also tempt you to over-eat later on when you're extra hungry. The trick is to eat when you need to, before you get hungry, so that your cravings don't push you to make unhealthy food choices. Furthermore, when weaning yourself off of unhealthy foods, it's important to remember that your body will probably crave all the extra sugar and salt that it's used to, until enough time passes to get it out of your system. These are just a few examples of how your body can tell your brain to do things that aren't necessarily good for it. Being mindful of what your brain and body are doing with regards to your diet empowers you with the knowledge to make healthy choices.

       Arming yourself with facts, and knowing what to expect is half the battle, but there will be some times when you just have to downright trick yourself into sticking to the plan. For that, there are a few down-and-dirty life hacks that can help you along the way. It's all about keeping busy, and distracting your senses. Busying your hands by playing a game on your phone, painting your nails, writing, or doing a craft will make you less inclined to pick up that bowl of popcorn. Committing to a piece of hard candy, or a stick of gum, can make the act of eating less appealing. In fact, treating yourself to small flavored candies, gum, jelly beans, etc in small quantities can take the edge off cravings that would have caused to you go foraging for junk food before. Even flavored lip balms can trick your sense of taste and smell enough to keep cravings from getting the better of you. Brain hacks like these can help you train yourself to shift your focus away from meals in those times when you know you shouldn't be snacking.

        Understanding when, how, and why you might indulge in unhealthy eating habits, and knowing how to catch yourself before you repeat the behavioral patterns that get you in trouble is the key to sticking to your plan. Remember; food is not the enemy! Rather, it's straying from the goals and rules you set for yourself that can sabotage your diet. It's entirely possible to eat everything a healthy adult is supposed to, without depriving yourself, and still stay on track. Just remember that when you arm yourself with knowledge, and practice good habits, you're training yourself to make good, healthy choices that can last you a lifetime.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to check out some of my other posts. Here's what I recommend now:
10 Foods to Fight Seasonal Allergies
Healthful, Home Made, Orange-Ginger Tea
Healthful, Home Made, Apple-Ginger Tea

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