Is Your Brain Sabotaging Your Diet?

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    Post Is Your Brain Sabotaging Your Diet?


    Seems like tasty flavored protein shakes or healty cookies would get around this problem.
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    Is Your Brain Sabotaging Your Diet?

    Crash dieting can turn your brain into your worst enemy. The brain's response to extreme, low-calorie diets or all-protein or all-carbohydrate diets is to increase the brain's natural chemicals that cause hunger, according to psychologist Mary Boggiano of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    You diet. Your brain says, "No! Eat!" It's hard to resist that command.

    "Two kinds of appetite exist: metabolic and hedonic," Boggiano said. "Metabolic appetite is a need for energy or calories. If we restrict calories too severely, the brain's hunger mechanism kicks in, and it's hard to stick with a diet when you are hungry.

    Hedonic appetite occurs if we restrict ourselves to only certain kinds of foods, or bland foods, or foods we don't like--like a lot of people do when they're dieting. Our brain's reward system kicks in and causes us to crave yummy tasting foods," Boggiano explained. "It involves changes in dopamine and endorphins in the brain, the two kinds of chemicals also involved in drug addiction. These changes can cause cravings for very tasty foods, especially when we are stressed."

    So how do you get your brain to cooperate when you're dieting? Boggiano advises the following:

    * If you are an adult, eat no fewer than 1,200 calories a day. This is an amount that is safe and will allow for steady weight loss of up to two pounds a week.

    * Eat from all four major food groups.

    * Don't skip your favorite foods, but limit the amount you eat so you don't go over the daily calories allowed to lose weight.

    * Exercise to raise your metabolism and decrease hunger. However, especially in women, exercise without lowering one's caloric intake is virtually ineffective for losing weight.

    * Certain foods can trigger the hedonic appetite in a way that makes it difficult to stop yourself from overeating. For some people it's chocolate. For others it's peanut butter or potato chips. Avoid all trigger foods until you reach your goal weight.
    Last edited by yeahright; 06-25-2006 at 04:23 PM.

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    My trigger food is *****, makes really hard for me to stop eating it.

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