I recently wrote a post on Facebook titled “You are what you eat, so eat how you want to feel” to which I received the following question; how do you convince your mind to change the habit?
I’m sure many people share the same sentiment as my friend who asked the question. While health coaches, psychologists and various other doctors and professionals have been successfully employed addressing this very question, I’ve done my best to write a brief summary about how I believe you can convince your mind to change the habit.
To do so, I’ve broken my response into the three categories listed below:
- Become Informed
- Understand the consequences
1) The first step to convince your mind to change the habit is to become Informed
- Your Brain on Dopamine.
Let’s start at the top. You don’t need to know all the details because you could be researching forever; you just need to understand some of the basics about why those Crispy Cheesy Chips, Delicious Candies or whatever your snacking pleasure is, taste so good. Dopamine is the main hormone released when you sense pleasure. This is the same hormone associated with addictions to things like cocaine, heroin and even caffeine. After a scientist has created a product in a lab, it will be tested on a human subject (don’t worry – no humans are being harmed). That subject’s brain will be scanned while eating. The scientist wants to make sure that the part of the brain responsible for addictive habits and pleasure seeking will be activated by the formula in these foods! If not, the manufacturer will go back to their scientists and have them create another formula. More or less, foods are created to make us addicted to them.
We’ve been duped!
- It’s all about the money.
Most of the food produced in this country, mostly processed, that are sold in our supermarkets, have been produced with one goal in mind – TO MAKE MONEY! The idea? Reduce production costs, thereby keeping consumer prices down. How else do you think your can get a 99 cent double cheeseburger at McDonalds? The result? Genetically modified, severely nutrientLESS food is produced that your body has not genetically adapted to and is therefore not able to properly process. Allow me to introduce you to what results from this; obesity, diabetes, Alzhiemer’s and many of the other diseases that are hitting epidemic proportions across the world. If you subscribe to Netflix, download and watch the documentary called “FoodInc”.
- Your genetics want you to eat everything.
For millions of years, humans were hunter-gatherers, most of the time searching, fighting and starving for food. When they found it, they ate as much of it as they could because who knew when the next meal would come? Today, our genetics are very similar to how they were even 10,000 years ago when we were still hunter-gatherers, in that we have a desire to eat everything in order to survive. In today’s world, however, we have an abundance of food available. Your genetics haven’t changed much, though; your body still wants to eat everything. If you are carrying excess weight on your body, understand that your body is holding on to that weight as a survival technique. While you know your next meal or snack is around the corner, your body does not, and it’s going to keep storing food accordingly.
2) The second step to convince your mind to change the habit is to understand the consequences.
- I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you continue to eat crap, the chances are very good that you will develop one of the epidemic chronic diseases sweeping the globe, including diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and others. Now imagine the worst situation possible- it could be as bad as your death, then think about how that would affect those that you care about the most. Your children, spouse, friends and family want you to be here. If you’re not going to do it for you, do it for those that you love or who depend on you.
3) The third step to convince your mind to change the habit is to P L A N!
- You have no choice but to plan. Without a plan, you end up back at Burger King or at your Wawa ordering a crappy sub sandwich with a soda and chips, so plan to prepare your food. Choose a block of time, 2-4 hours and go to the grocery store. Buy all of your protein, fruit and vegetables for the week and prepare them at home. Batch them up in appropriate portions and stick to them. I can imagine the eye rolls I received from asking you to take 2-4 hours to prepare. Don’t have the time? Google search a food service in your area and order your HEALTHY meals online for the week. No time, no money to do this? I call bullshit. Make your health and your family’s health a priority and go to the grocery store and shop! If you’re still lost, just message me and I’ll see what I can do to help.
- Disclaimer! While I’ve cited a couple sources for information here, Please understand this a synopsis of research backed information. For more details on any of this information, message me on Facebook @hoffmansfitness.
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