The Things Your Brain Does To Make You Overeat
How is that possible?
The reason is simple, your brain resists change and whether you want to lose ten pounds by changing your eating habits, starting an exercise routine, or even something seemingly easy like learning a new hobby, your subconscious mind will sabotage your goals.
As if that was not enough, we have our holidays, events, parties and celebrations with food and junk galore, plus all the sneaky things your brain does to get you to overindulge, celebrations or not, and even when you are NOT hungry.
The bad part is, sometimes you don’t even have to overeat to gain weight, your brain manages to make you gain weight even when you eat less!
It’s almost like some kind of conspiracy
OK- You are laughing, but think about it:
You start eating healthier and smaller portions and even hit the gym three times a week. You follow this routine for a month or two with little results in the form of weight loss. What??
And there’s more bad news, your body hurts, you start to feel deprived and discouraged…next thing you know there goes your new healthy habits and goals.
It all comes down to this:
Brain conditioning. Evolution. Old -fashion brain physiology. Your genes. Modern lifestyle. Indigestible food (junk). Yeah, conspiracies.
But don’t get me wrong, before you quit your gym or go back to stuffing your pantry with all those ‘undesirables’ thinking there’s no hope or need to try to form new habits…believe me, there IS hope and you’ll see what I mean in a minute.
What if you could use those ‘conspiracies’ to your advantage?
The fact is, it’s all those conspiracies -especially evolution-that your brain has been using for years to sabotage your new habits will help you control your eating patterns from now on, even during the holidays.
This is what your brain does to make you overeat:
For starters, your brain has been programmed (by you) to perform certain tasks repeatedly, like eating three times a day at a certain time and certain types of food. That’s why sometimes you look at the clock and think wow, it’s one o’cock! I’d better eat something.
Your brain does this on autopilot everyday. It tricks you into eating even when you’re not really hungry.
The reason being is that during evolutionary times the finicky eaters did not survive long when food was scarce, while those who tended to gorge themselves when food was available were able to make it through famine.
Furthermore, this anti-starvation mechanism is the result of two hormones, ghrelin and leptin working in synergy to either stimulate or reduce appetite (respectively).
Trouble is, as smart as your brain is, it often misunderstands the message sent by these hormones and it thinks you are starving, when in fact you are just eating smaller, low calorie, healthier meals!
The result? You eat more.
It gets worse.
Your body has its own internal regulator whose job is to bring your body to a normal weight and fat level.
This is called the set point, and your brain monitors this ideal, genetically -programmed level so that the more you diet, the more it wants to bring your body to this set point!
Your brain is like an outdated computer, but still…
- Create a new set point by repeating new activities, like exercise and eating lower cal meals.
- The key is to introduce them slowly, but consistently and to not start them during stressful times. Your brain is highly pliable, but repetition is crucial, therefore this is the most important step to reset your set point.
- Plan, plan plan. Out of sight, out of mind. If it’s not in your pantry you won’t eat it.
- Plan more. Prepare meals BEFORE you are hungry to avoid giving in to fast, easy to cook (or buy) junk food.
- Eat like people did in the old days and beat your genes by eating home-made, natural, unprocessed meals that include the basic sources of food- healthy carbs, lean meats and poultry, and fat-