Do You Use Food As A Reward? (How To Break The Cycle)

Nutrition, Weight Loss Add comments

Do you ever hear things like this?

“Comfort food”

“Special treats”

“Reward meals”

What exactly is “comfort food”?

According to Wikipedia: “food consumed to improve emotional status, whether to relieve negative psychological affect or to increase positive feeling.

Comfort foods “improve emotional status” by turning on the reward centers of your brain.  You feel more like a winner after you eat your comfort food.

And, as Charlie Sheen will tell you, winning is addictive.

But the problem with comfort foods is that they lead to comfort bodies:

What if there was a way to turn OFF the food reward centers of your brain?

A way to turn down the need for the emotional lift that comfort foods can bring?

Turns out you can turn down your “neural response to visual food stimuli”:

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 May 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli After a Normal vs. Higher Protein Breakfast in Breakfast-Skipping Teens: A Pilot fMRI Study.
Leidy HJ, Lepping RJ, Savage CR, Harris CT.

This study used brain imaging scans to see if breakfast would alter brain activity in overweight girls and to see if additional protein would produce more alterations.

It did.

The group that ate a higher protein breakfast (50 grams of protein) had a much reduced food motivation and reward response.

What does this mean for you?

Eating a higher protein breakfast will help you stop viewing food as a reward.

Now, fifty grams of protein may seem like a huge amount (especially if you’ve been skipping breakfast)…

So I want to give you a simple plan that WORKS: It’s called 30/30/300.

  • Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up
  • Eat at least 30 grams of protein in your breakfast
  • Eat at least 300 Calories at breakfast

Simple :)

Following the 30/30/300 plan will raise your metabolism, help you lose weight, and cut down on comfort food cravings.

For more info on food cravings and brain chemistry, check out these other articles from Wold Fitness:

Sugar Cravings Taking Over Your Brain

Are You An Emotional Eater? (Quiz)

End Emotional Eating

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