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Train your brain to lose weight

Discussion in 'Dietetics' started by Egyptian Doctor, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    We’ve all been there. A colleague offers us a chocolate biscuit, and our diet unravels faster than you can say ”˜HobNobs’.


    What to do? Well, the latest trick from New York is to train your brain not to give in to snacks — before you start any weight-loss regime.


    Eileen Daspin, author of The Manhattan Diet, says: ”˜Dieting takes mental power, not just willpower. Runners train for a marathon. Yet when it comes to dieting, people just start. Don’t do this.’


    Her advice is to prepare yourself in the same way a sportsperson would train physically and mentally to undergo a gruelling event — by training your brain to give up your favourite foods.


    Daspin says that before you even attempt to tackle a diet, you should pscyhe yourself up for three weeks beforehand by focusing on removing one treat at a time.


    Scientists say it takes 21 days to break a habit, so take this time to get yourself ready and give yourself a higher chance of success.


    To start this process, define your ”˜trigger foods’ — the unhealthy snacks you just can’t seem to walk away from. Eileen says: ”˜When you have isolated one food, make a commitment not to eat it for ten days. If you can go without for that time, you can go for another ten. And another. By then you’ll have broken the cycle. You might eat the food again, but the craving will be gone.’


    Then, when the proper diet starts, you’ll find it a lot easier.


    Your motivation should be to prepare yourself for the diet rather than preparing to lose weight.

    As Eileen says: ”˜You can train yourself not to want certain foods. For instance, even though I’m no longer a vegetarian, I rarely eat meat. I just lost the taste for it. You can re-engineer your taste buds this way.’


    Another brain training tip is to find a simple, healthy food you love that you can eat in the place of your favourite naughty foods. That could be sushi, hummus, carrots, or fresh fruit.


    Then when you feel a craving coming on, eat this snack first to fill yourself up. This will psychologically train you to seek something healthy when you start to get hungry.


    However, if you do slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself — simply refocus and remember tomorrow is a new day. Eileen says: ”˜A little cheat can go a long way as a psychological reward.’

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