Great news! Something I’ve long suspected has now been scientifically verified!
HUMANS CAN BE TRAINED TO LIKE HEALTHY FOOD 😀
Our tastes are formed early in our lives – in those first few months. The bad news is that a recent study found that 53% of processed baby foods have an excessive number of calories from simple sugars, and 12 percent have too much sodium.
And before you say that dietary fat is a problem, many of these same baby foods are low in fat; the manufacturers know that it’s good for marketing. However, in nature’s intended baby food – breast milk – most of the calories come from fat. So fat is not the problem here.
Gary Beauchamp, a biopsychologist, has collected data over the last 40 years, and suggests that…
“…if parents introduce healthful tastes and flavors, such as carrots or broccoli, early on, an infant will not only rapidly adapt, but will also develop a preference for these flavors that could persist for a lifetime.”
In my opinion, and I’ve seen this in real life, this does not just apply to babies.
Just as many years ago when scientists thought that adult brains were pretty much fixed and incapable of lasting change, we discovered “neuroplasticity” and now know that we can change at any age.
Taste preferences can also change at any age! And it just takes a few weeks from my experience.
The first week or so is sheer will power. You do not let yourself eat sweet/sugary foods and you stick to REAL food.
TIP: Don’t buy the damn stuff in the first place! I can’t believe how many people want to give up junk food, but keep a big stash of this crap in their cupboards! Look, just don’t buy any when you go grocery shopping – none! No chocolate, no chips, sweets, nothing. That way, if you really feel tempted, you’d have to leave the house to go and get it. Just get this stuff out of your house!
After a couple weeks, it becomes rather easy to stick to the new way of eating and you begin to form new tastes. I promise.
On top of this, you decide what 2 nights of the week you are going to have a cheat meal. That’s what I do. So you can still have those “bad” foods if you really want them. Now they are just compartmentalized into 2 meals. So if you’re tempted, you think, “Cool, I’ll have that on Saturday night”. Simple.
Now, check this out…
A Psychological Hack For Better Eating Habits
All humans are motivated by the desire to AVOID PAIN and the desire to GAIN PLEASURE.
In the moment when you “wreck” your diet and eat something you aren’t supposed to, the perceived pleasure from the food in question is higher than the pain you know you will experience afterwards.
What can we do?
Well we simply need to reverse things and make sure the pleasure of staying on track (or the pain of falling off) remains higher than the pleasure you would derive from eating the chocolate, the pizza…whatever it is.
So in these moments, you need to bring an image to mind of your body exactly how you’d like it to be and make it real. Now, how do you feel looking at this image? Can you picture in situations that feel great with this new dream body?
Let’s say you’re cutting to get a six-pack and you’re sitting across from your buddy munching into a quarter pounder with cheese….and you’re not! You should never look at his food and think of how pleasurable it would be to have it; that’s just going to end badly. You need to take control of your own mind and:
(1) (PAIN) Think of the negatives that would come from eating this – no six-pack, a fat belly, never reaching your goals.
(2) (PLEASURE) Think of how good it feels to have a six-pack and be under 10% body fat. Think of certain situations that feel good – perhaps you’re on vacation with your significant other. Anything you can think of that is pleasuable to you. And make the feeling real.
By doing this we can change our “neuro-associations” to food – associating healthy food with pleasurable emotions, and unhealthy food with painful emotions (effectively flipping your current mindset into reverse).
Check this out, here’s an old clip of Tony Robbins “ruining” pizza for a guy who normally can’t resist it. Notice how he flips this guys’s associations to this particular food.
So, 2 take-home points:
(1) By simply starting to eat in a new way your tastes WILL change – just give it some time.
(2) To help you can also change your neuro-associations to particular foods that usually wreck your diet. Make it PAINFUL to eat it, and PLEASURABLE not to. You can do this, it’s YOUR brain after all.
If you have experienced your taste in food changing, I’d love to hear about it below. Or if you have any questions, go ahead and ask me – I like to help.
NOTE: You may also want to check out my recent podcast, ‘7 ways to diet without feeling hungry’.
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