I read a lot of books on focus, systems, and how we respond to different things that happen in our life. These are the books that help me work better in an attempt to get more done each day so I can create more free time in my life.
One book that I am reading now is called 18 Minutes. It’s really go so far. It’s filled with little lessons that can be applied to life, not just business or building a website/blog.
One lesson I think has a direct application to dealing with comfort foods, eating out, and cheat meals. The foods that you know you shouldn’t eat, but not matter what, the excuse you come up with always convinces you it won’t hurt to have “just one more.”
Your Brain Is Can Be The Secret To Your Food Cravings
First, you have to realize that the majority of the food we have access to is addicting. Seriously. It’s addicting like that of a drug.
It’s a high calorie, low nutrient food source that keeps us coming back for more. Think about it like this… on two levels:
1. We eat to give our body nutrients so it can keep us alive and thriving. But the majority of the food we eat doesn’t have many nutrients in it’s high caloric loads. So we naturally go back for more looking for these nutrients while still not able to find them, but consuming to many calories.
2. We get a great emotional response from our foods which is why they are called comfort foods. The emotions they release make us happy right in the moment even though after we’re done, we usually regret our decision.
What Goes On In The Brain And How Can You Interrupt It?
Essentially, what’s happening is a part of your brain called the amygdala is responsible for this burst of emotional response. It’s the faster to respond.
It’s why when somebody cuts you off on the road, you’re first reaction is to flick them off and start yelling at them even though they can’t hear you.
It’s why you smell yummy food and want to eat. Or why you’re having a really hard day full of stress and you want to eat.
But by doing two things, you can introduce a different line of thought…
1. Take a Deep Breath
According to Dr. Joshua Gordon, a neuroscientist and assistant professor at Columbia University… a deep breath has a direct calming affect on your brain.
You can literally feel this relaxing happening when you breath deeply.
2. Delay Your Response
Rather than letting your emotions tell you what to do, stop and delay. According to Dr. Gordon, it takes about 2 seconds at least of a delay for this information to reach your frontal cortex of your brain.
Your frontal cortex is where you can actually reason out a decision based on facts, not emotions.
Breath Deep… Delay… Make A Smart Choice
Next time you’re tempted by food or any type of emotional response, try this very easy to use process. See if it brings in different thoughts that actually consider logic like…
- How will this make me feel?
- Do I really want this or do I just think I need it?
- What the real reason I think I need this comfort food?
If these questions start to pop into your head, you’ll consider them and make a better decision most of the time.
Try it out and see if it ends up helping you. I bet you’ll notice you feel better and at least when it comes to food, you won’t consume these meals that are terrible for your body.