My battle with self control when it comes to food has been an arduous one, the main problem being I love sugar so much it hurts. One week, I feel I could say ‘no’ to someone waving three of my favorite flavor ice cream cones in my face. And the next, if I saw a shiny piece of candy on the ground I might just pick it up and eat it right there on the spot.
In other words, my self control seems to come in waves. While it’s here, I feel empowered. But when it’s outside of my grasp, I’m left feeling powerless.
But there may be reason behind my inability to pass up my favorite indulgences. According to a new study, we have a limited supply of self control and when it dries up, we’re practically defenseless in the face of temptation.
Researchers asked 16 people to perform a self-control test while being monitored by an fMRI scanner, and found that participants exuded much more self control during the first session than the second. (more…)
In a recent study found in Health Magazine, Vanessa Patrick, PhD associate professor of marketing at the University of Houston found that 80% of women who used the words, “I don’t eat that,” were able to hold to their good eating habits. On the other hand, only 10% of women who used the similar phrase, “I can’t eat that” stuck to their good eating habits.
“Saying ‘I can’t’ signals that you’re giving up something desirable, but saying ‘I don’t’ gives you a sense of empowerment,” said Patrick.
After reading this piece I couldn’t agree more. A couple years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, I had the pressure to look my best in my little-material cheerleading uniform while knowing I had gained about 10 pounds since making the squad. I used to look at the greasy box of fries my friends were eating and sadly say, “I can’t eat that.” What I didn’t realize was I was making it 10x harder on myself. Losing a few inches on my mid section was a huge goal of mine, but I was going about it the completely wrong way. Saying “I can’t eat that” felt like a slap in the face each time I said it, and it reminded me of the negative consequences and embarrassment I was facing. (more…)
Finally, a little comfort that our inability to refuse cheesecake at any given moment is more than just a ‘self control’ problem.
A new study from Dartmouth College has found that the things we crave – from decadent food to sex – depend on the way our brains are wired, thus suggesting that giving into temptation has more to do with genetics than sheer will power.
Researchers studied 58 Dartmouth freshman females, 48 of whom returned six months later for a follow-up behavioral session. Participants underwent an fMRI session within the first month of arriving at college. To ensure a pure state of mind, the women were asked to refrain from eating, consuming alcohol or caffeine, or smoking for two hours prior to their session. Before the scan began, the freshmen were weighed, had their BMIs calculated, and then asked a set of questions to assess their current state of hunger and activity level.
The participants’ brains were then scanned while they were shown a variety of images, including animals, food, people drinking alcohol, people in sexual scenes, and environmental scenes. (more…)
Today, The Doctors are covering some great topics. From new techniques to ending bad habits, an unexpected side-effect from a heart medicine, and how to lose weight without ever hitting the gym, you’ll walk away with some valuable information.
The cast will be digging deep into the idea of a “gluttony gene” and helping people discover if they have this so-called gene. Also, a medical explanation and reason for binge eating will be discussed. While the docs are on the subject, they will introduce the audience to a man who lost 160 pounds without ever going to the gym. This fantastic weight loss story will also include a “how-to” for those watching at home.
Since the good doctors are always trying to help the viewers look and feel their best, they will be describing an at-home miracle peel that can rejuvenate sun-damaged skin. The cast will discuss safe treatments for the skin as they welcome guest Renee Graziano, the star of the reality show Mob Wives. Together they will discuss her plastic surgery misfortune and how to avoid such mishaps. (more…)
By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com
There is a science behind food cravings, and I don’t use the word “science” lightly. It is an honest to goodness, white-lab-coat-Bunsen burner-protective-goggles science. Food “scientists” know exactly what it takes to create a food that is “crave-able.” They research and experiment and come up with specific addictive qualities or additives that food must contain in order to rank as a food that you will keep reaching for.
Salt, sugar, and fat, or chemical products that taste buds recognize as salt, sugar or fat, are key flavors that enhance a foods crave-ability.
When you eat, food residue or food particles can be left behind on your tongue. When those particles mix together with the bacteria in your mouth a coating or film is created. This coating “feeds” our craving mechanism. For instance, if you eat a fast food hamburger on a Monday, on Tuesday you may find yourself thinking about that burger again. This is not a sign of poor “willpower” or an “inability” to eat healthy food, rather it can literally be your tongue coating that is sending a signal to your brain that you want more of the food that has been left behind.
This is one of the key reasons fast food restaurants advertise to children. They know when a child “develops a taste” for their food at a young age they become life long customers.
Furthermore, when your diet is full of processed “food-like” products that are loaded with extra fat, sugar, and salt your taste buds suffer and become desensitized. Desensitized taste buds are greedy little buggers, requiring more and more food for you to feel satisfied, as satiety is signaled by flavor.
Enter the tongue scraper. (more…)
The results of an experiment conducted by a team of researchers at UC San Francisco suggest mindful eating and meditation are factors in helping people control their junk food cravings and lose weight. “By recognizing what you are feeling before you act [eat] you have a greater chance of making a wiser decision,” claims researcher Jennifer Daubenmier.
Dr. Catherine Kerr, a meditation expert at Brown University responded to the findings of this study by saying it was consistent with several other brain studies that suggest mindfulness brings about changes to the part of the brain responsible for food cravings. She further explained that mindful eating and meditation actually rewire the brain to tune into the body in a healthier way.
If you are skeptical because you find it hard to believe that just sitting quietly in meditation is going to melt the pounds from your hips, why don’t you give it a try?
Before a meal, take at least 10 minutes to sit in a comfortable position, free from distractions like the computer or telephone. Close your eyes and pay attention to sensations throughout your body. Perhaps you are very hungry, and you feel your stomach growling as it pines for nourishment. Be present with the sensations that you are feeling and resist the temptation to give in to any one of them. If you find yourself craving a heaping bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy, instead of going for it, get familiar with how it feels to crave them, without trying to change those feelings. Accepting how you feel without resistance is very important. This will help you avoid succumbing to your cravings so you can realize your weight loss goals.
See more Empty Calories right here in the blog each week, or receive one each month when you subscribe to our free newsletter. (more…)
It’s nothing new in the scientific community that there is more than just lifestyle choices that come into play when determining who is fat and who is thin. There are various biological factors that often play a significant role in people’s weight.
While the most commonly known biological factor for one’s weight is varying resting metabolisms, there are also neurological factors. The latest findings assert that obese people have a tendency to lack impulse control when it comes to food.
Researchers compared the brain scans of thin people to obese people when both looked at pictures of high-calorie foods. What they found was that there was an increased activity in a region of the brain used for impulse control with thin people, but there wasn’t so much activity in the region of the obese people.
“I think there may be biological reasons why people can’t necessarily control their desire for food,” said Robert Sherwin of Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut, who worked on the study. (more…)
By Lisa Turner for Care2.com
As obsessed as we are with food and diets, you’d think we’d be thin and healthy by now. So why are we Americans still universally less-than-fit and soft around the middle?
The fact is, diet tips, rules and tricks won’t work if we’re ignoring the mental and emotional side of eating. Why do we still overeat—or eat the wrong things? Most of the time, when we’re craving cookies, we’re really hungry for love, sex, friendship, peace, a sense of purpose and meaning. And when you’re gripped by that kind of hunger, all the tips and tricks in the world won’t save you.
Next time you’re ready to embark on the next fix-me-fast diet, try something different: instead of focusing on the food, tune in to address the emotions that make you stray. Here’s how to start: (more…)
From chocolate to chips, cravings can sometimes get the best of us. Although cravings typically get a bad rap, knowing more about them can actually help you eat more nutritiously.
How is this possible? It’s simple. Not all cravings are created equal. Although some result from straight up hunger, other cravings arise because you smell something wonderful cooking in the kitchen or see a delicious looking meal. Other times cravings may exist because of a nutritional deficiency or because of a hormonal shift. Therefore, knowing which type of craving you are experiencing is key and can actually help you make good food choices if you are able to identify which craving you are experiencing and why.
Know Your Craving
Cravings can be described in two different ways: physiological or psychological. Physiological cravings are the result of actual hunger and mean that your body needs nourishment. If the body is well nourished overall, it probably won’t be a specific craving. These types of cravings don’t go away and instead often get worse over time. Psychological cravings, on the other hand, do pass as time goes on. A psychological food craving happens when you see something tasty online, on television, or even just smell the aroma of a food. Sometimes even boredom can cause these types of cravings and it’s important to not let these types take control of your eating decisions.