Are you wondering what it takes to reprogram your brain, so you won’t crave unhealthy foods like you do now? Well, we have some good news for you, and some bad news. The bad news is that reprogramming your brain is a myth. But, the good news is that you can certainly train your mind to enjoy healthy foods more, and you can change your habits so you can more easily stay on course when you’re trying to eat better for your health and weight.
The Changes That Occur When You Go on a Diet
When you begin a new diet to slim down, you’re probably really motivated and excited, and you end up getting rid of a lot of tempting, unhealthy foods in the first week of your new eating plan. And, if those foods are still around, it is likely easier for you to avoid giving in to the cravings as well.
By the second or third week of your diet, though, you will likely start to crave unhealthy foods like before. The newness of your diet, and your enthusiasm for it, aren’t what they were before. At this point, you might be thinking that it’s time to reprogram your brain.
Understanding How the Brain Works When You Crave Unhealthy Foods
Here’s the thing: your brain is complex, and it will store information in multiple ways. When you consume certain foods, your brain actually knows that the food will give you a lot of calories. And, because the body needs calories to survive, your brain remembers the flavor and texture of a delicious treat, as well as the calories that it contains for your survival. Plus, your brain will seek out those calories even if you don’t really need them because they can be stored for later use. For these reasons, it can be tough to ditch unhealthy cravings altogether.
If You Crave Unhealthy Foods, There’s Hope
Sure, your brain is wired a certain way that can make it hard to avoid the cravings for unhealthy foods, but you can still act against the temptation by making smarter, healthier choices.
Every time you resist an urge to indulge in an unhealthy food, you’ll develop a new pattern. And, over time, it will become easier to resist those cravings when they strike. Plus, your cravings for unhealthy foods will likely also diminish, even if you remember how good those foods were. It just takes time, and it takes consistent effort on your part.
According to Daily Burn, if you crave unhealthy foods, here are some steps you can take:
- Remind yourself of the long-term, negative consequences of giving in.
- Distract yourself by thinking about something else.
- Accept the feelings and thoughts, but tell yourself you don’t need to act on them.
Remember, Moderation Is the Key
When you’re working on dieting to slim down, or when you are hoping to curb unhealthy cravings for your well-being, remember that moderation is the key. Don’t deprive yourself. You might, for example, have a small treat daily, or just one big treat once a week. Of course, you’ll want to count those calories during meal planning to be sure you still remain on track, but this is a great way to fulfill your cravings in a controlled way.