The connection between your brain and weight management has been researched in a new study in the journal Health Education and Behavior. Essentially researchers concluded that those of us who think our weight is predetermined by genetics are far more likely to engage in behaviors that lead to unhealthy weight gain. Those of us that believe that the power lies between our ears are more successful reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
It is true, your weight is determined in large part by gene activity; but the behavior of those genes is determined primarily by food and lifestyle choices.
Here are a few tips from the Zero Belly Cookbook, to help rewire your brain to your benefit.
- To keep your belly bacteria healthy, feed it fiber and healthy starches like sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, yams, butternut squash, bananas, mango, and dates.
- One of the easiest ways to eat healthier and manage calorie intake is to stop eating in front of the TV, says Carolyn Brown, MS RD at Foodtrainers in New York City.
- If you can change the way you react to stress, you can dramatically reduce its impact on your health. A proven way to maintain control: Brew yourself a nice cup of tea. Research shows that a compound in rooibos tea called aspalathin can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage.
- Eat on red plates and dishes. Researchers suggest the color red reduces the amount we’re likely to eat by subtly telling the mind to stop gobbling down your food.
- Cravings usually last between 5 and 10 minutes, and sometimes pass within just 3 minutes. So if you feel a random craving, find something to do for 10 minutes. If you’re still hungry after 10 minutes, then go ahead and eat – wisely :-).
- Follow the 80/20 rule. It’s difficult to eat “perfect” 100% of the time, so give yourself a break. Indulge in a few of your favorites on occasion but keep it at 20% of your calories. If you eat 1800 calories a day, that’s 360 calories.
- Try to consume most of your calories when you’re most active. It will not only help regulate your metabolism, but keep you from eating mindlessly.