If you’re trying to figure out why you’re exercising and sticking to your diet, and yet you STILL aren’t losing weight, it looks like you could have your basal ganglia to blame! Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, while decisions are made in a completely different part of the brain. When your basal ganglia kicks in, the decision-making part of your brain goes into sleep mode… and congratulations, you are officially on autopilot! Unfortunately, we can often be on autopilot when it comes to bad eating habits, habits that can seriously sabotage our efforts when it comes to health and weight loss.
Habits are a natural part of our daily process, but let’s face it… we have good habits and we have bad ones. There are a number of habits that we engage in every day that can actually slow or even counteract our progress when it comes to our weight loss goals. Many people often attribute bad eating habits simply to low motivation or lack of self-control. But don’t feel bad… in actuality, science supports the fact that our brains are hardwired to routinize and habitualize behaviors so that we have more mental space to do other things. Those pesky, multi-tasking brains of ours!
Fortunately, when we become aware of what our bad habits are and how they may be slowing our progress toward weight loss, we can begin working to change them. Habits can be pretty hard to change because by their very nature, our brains cling stubbornly to routine. But with some awareness, commitment, and new tools, we can work to develop new habits that will better support our weight loss goals.
Check out the slideshow below for 5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain. At the end of the slideshow is a link to a great resource on the mechanics of creating a new habit, and how you can start new, healthier habits that actually stick.
Shoot us a comment on Facebook and let us know your worst habit and what you plan to do to change it!
Sources: NPR, James Clear (Behavioral Psychology)
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? How do you feel? If you were given a magic wand that enabled you to change anything about your body, would your body weight, size, or shape be high on the list? If you find yourself being extra critical of your body in your reflection, you’re not alone.
It never fails. You’re two weeks into your new healthy eating diet, determined to lose some pounds and get ready for beach season. You did your meal planning. You stocked up three to five days’ worth of chicken breast, salad, and quinoa for lunch. Then hump day rolls around in your busy work week, and what rears its ugly head? CRAVINGS.
And you’re not craving that apple in your lunch bag. You’re craving a red velvet cupcake. With a pile of sweet cream cheese frosting, and (gasp!) chocolate sprinkles, this delicious, decadent, mouth-watering dessert will set you back 300-400 calories and cramp all your healthy eating progress this week. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
In a study published in the journal Appetite, 97 percent of women and 68 percent of men who participated reported experiencing cravings. Cravings are motivational states that give us the urge to seek out and consume a particular food, and generally that food is not broccoli.
Professor Susan Roberts, director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts, has researched the kinds of foods that people crave most often. Not surprisingly, the most commonly craved foods tended to be salty snacks, sweets with high sugar and fat content, and all high in calories.
Though the exact cause of food cravings is difficult to pinpoint, many doctors and nutritionists alike believe that they develop as a result of a complex medley of biochemical processes and a variety of hormonal and emotional factors. Cravings can be strong and persuasive, and when we give in to them, they can leave us feeling like we failed at our diet, not to mention with a sugar crash.
So what can you do when the craving hits? Luckily, there are things we can do to control the urge to binge on our favorite forbidden snacks. Follow these 5 tips to beat the cravings and get you back on track with your diet or weight loss program:
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