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food cravings and your brain

Food Cravings, Addictions and Your Brain

Why food cravings can be hard-wired

Do you wonder why sometimes, despite trying to maintain iron willpower, you still end up craving and eating things that you shouldn’t? It could be that you are addicted to certain foods.

21 day sugar detoxA recent press release from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology describes a study that looked at brain function and addiction. This site can help treating drug and alcohol addiction in a rehab setting. A team of scientists from two universities: the University of Grenada (Spain) and Monash University (Australia) analysed 39 obese people and 42 normal weight people.  They were given a buffet-style meal and told to help themselves.

Afterwards, they were shown photos of the food from the buffet to stimulate cravings while their brains were scanned via MRI. The MRI scans showed different brain connectivity for food cravings depending on whether the individual was normal weight or overweight.

The scientists found far greater connectivity in the areas of the brain associated with reward in the overweight. They also found in the obese individuals that their average 11% weight gain three months later, was predicted by the increased activity in the brain that registered reward. These parts of the brain are stimulated in a similar way to substance abuse.

This means that breaking bad habits such as sugary foods (and drinks) may not come easily, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try. It just means that you will have to be patient with yourself and find lots of healthy alternatives to unhealthy foods that you may be hard-wired to crave.

Why not try the 21-day Sugar Detox?


Are Food Issues Really About Food

Are Food Issues Really About Food?

Do you think you have ‘food issues’? Do you find yourself wondering why you just can’t keep away from the Nutella pot?

You know you’re not really ‘meant’ to eat too many carbs or too much sugar… but what the heck? Are you always eating more than you ‘should’? If so, you’re not alone…

And, most of the time, we blame it on our lack of willpower, or on the food itself. But are food issues about food?

“If Nutella wasn’t so yummy, I’d be able to stop… If I had more willpower, I wouldn’t have eaten four slices of cake at the office party” … and so on… and on… and on…

Are food issues about food? Well, I’ve got news for you. News that may completely change your perspective.

Food Issues Aren’t Really About Food

And it’s not about eating, or the fact that you need more willpower around the office cakes. It’s something else. I know that can be hard to hear. But if it was about food, then you could just find the perfect diet, and everything would be fixed.

But your food problem isn’t really about food. And until you work out what is going on with the Everything Else that’s causing you to have a Food Issue, you will always have a food issue.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is going on with my relationships? With my career?
  • With my feelings around ambition, authenticity, success?
  • Who do I think I ‘should’ be in the world, and who actually am I?
  • What about your family and their expectations, and your friends and their needs?
  • What is going on with how you spend your day and how you’d like to spend your morning, evening, and night?

CBT for weight lossLet me put this another way:

Are you dressing, moving, talking, laughing, loving, walking, sleeping, working, thinking and striving in a way that expresses your deepest, most truthful self?

Most of us generally find that our food issue isn’t really about food at all. It is much more a sign that our lives are not in balance.

Of course there are things that we need to do to look at our eating in more detail (like eating when we’re hungry, stopping when we’re full, and eating without distractions), but often, the point of those practices is that they are the warning sign.

  • If you’re eating when you’re not hungry, something else is going on.
  • If you’re still eating when you’re full, something else is going on.
  • If you always need to be distracted, something else is going on.

So, if you find it uncomfortable to even contemplate not reading or fiddling with your phone while you eat lunch, you might want to work out what’s up.

  • Is it uncomfortable to think about eating without distractions because you never get any time to yourself and this is your time to relax and have fun?
  • Or maybe when you write down your distractions, all kinds of thoughts and feelings come up that are completely overwhelming?
  • Or perhaps you feel rather awkward eating without distractions because nobody else at your office does?

Whatever your answer, it gives you a whole insight about how you spend your day, how you deal with feelings and thoughts, and what your relationship to your job is.

  • You may need more time to relax.
  • You may need to deeply investigate your thoughts.
  • You may need to re-evaluate what you want out of your job.

What I’m interested in is your ‘deepest’ truth, your wants and needs and desires and everything you hate but think you should love.

I’m not particularly interested in dieting, although metabolic typing and healthy eating can be an extremely useful. What I am interested in is helping you understand core, essential insights about what you do and do not want from life.

And if you seize that opportunity — if you truly look deeply into what is driving your behavior around food — you have the potential to make peace with your food, and radically improve your life as a whole.

And who doesn’t want that? If you need some help, the next 8-week CBT for Weight Loss Programme starts Monday. Or if you feel you need one-to-one help and can set aside 30 minutes each week for a Skype or phone consultation drop me a line on the contact page and we can have a chat and work out an individual plan for you.

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