Losing weight is a challenge, partially because there are so many high-calorie foods competing for your attention. One key to successful weight loss is to learn to say no to foods high in fat and calories, until, over time, your body no longer craves them – and you no longer salivate when you see them.
Researchers recently found that people who are unsuccessful at losing weight have a more pronounced brain and body response to foods high in fat and calories. When they see tasty foods that are high in fat, they salivate, and their pancreas releases more insulin – whereas successful dieters don’t experience the same degree of salivation or rise in insulin levels.
The good news is this response to foods high in fat and calories can be diminished. How? By not allowing yourself to indulge in foods high in fat when they’re placed in front of you. By doing this consistently over time, your body’s response to high-fat foods is extinguished and you’ll no longer salivate when you see them – or experience the same urge to eat them. You essentially train your body not to react to the sights and smells of foods high in fat and calories.
Researchers tested this hypothesis by showing successful and not so successful dieters pictures of tempting, high-calorie foods and measuring their salivary responses. What did they find? Unsuccessful dieters salivated more than successful dieters when they viewed photos of tasty foods. On the positive side, the salivation that many unsuccessful dieters experience when they see foods high in fat and calories decreases when they consistently turn these foods down.
Of course, resisting mouth-watering, high-fat foods is easier said than done – and it may be harder for men than women. When researchers scanned the brains of both sexes after showing them their favorite foods, women had more brain activity in areas of the brain that control hunger and appetite – even after they had been taught techniques to suppress hunger and appetite. Studies also show that women are more likely to indulge in foods high in fat and calories when they’re under stress.
The bottom line? If you consistently say “no” to foods high in fat and calories, your body reacts less to them over time – and it’s easier not to eat them. How can you use this in your own life? When they pass around the doughnut box at work, look at them, enjoy how they look and smell – but don’t eat one.
Train yourself to appreciate the sights and smells of foods high in fat and calories without putting them in your mouth. In this way, you re-program your body to be less responsive to the sights and smells of these foods – and it becomes easier not to eat them. Use this technique to take control over your food cravings – and watch those pounds melt away.
Medical News Today. “Stress Before Cancer Therapy Could Help Deadly Cells Survive Treatment”
MSNBC.com. “Women less able to combat hunger, study says.”