How to train your brain to crave healthy foods

You want to eat more healthy foods, but the cravings for snacks and junk food seem overwhelming. We’ve all been there, trying to better our lives and our health with so many temptations calling our names.

It seems easier to give in to our addictions in modern society, but these bring only temporary happiness. Long-term satisfaction comes from self-control and discipline, which doesn’t sound very attractive to many people.

However, by eating healthy foods and taking care of yourself, you will feel a more subtle and permanent kind of happiness. The pleasures of the senses, such as food, drink, TV shows, and even relationships, are fleeting by nature. The only permanence is in the soul; Believe it or not, eating well brings you closer to your inner self.

As spiritual beings having a human experience, we owe it to ourselves to take care of our temporal vessels. Eating light, fresh foods like fruits and vegetables will make your inner light shine brighter. Even if you don’t care about spirituality, nutritious eating also improves mental and physical health.

If you’re having trouble following a balanced eating plan, don’t give up. Below are some tips on how to rewire your brain to crave healthy foods.

How to rewire your brain to eat healthy food

Whether you realize it or not, your brain requires immense energy to function properly. In fact, the brain uses more energy than any other organ, accounting for approximately 20% of the body’s total energy consumption. This works out to about 400-500 calories a day, although it varies from activity to activity. Simply put, it takes a lot of energy to think! That’s why most people crave high-calorie foods after a long day of mental exertion.

Unfortunately, these high-calorie, fatty foods carbohydrates they do not promote optimal long-term health. While they provide a quick burst of energy, they come with many downsides, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. The mind and body need balanced energy sources of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to function properly. Most Americans eat too much of the first two and not enough of the last.

However, protein helps with many critical body functions and promotes weight loss. Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, so your body will have a stable, long-lasting source of energy. Not to mention, a high protein intake boosts metabolism and reduces hunger signals. So one way to curb cravings and train your brain to eat healthy is to increase your protein intake.

Foods that contain more protein:

  • Eggs (6 grams per large egg)
  • Almonds (one ounce = 6 grams of protein)
  • Chicken breast (26g per 1/2 breast)
  • Cottage cheese (one cup provides 28g of protein)
  • Greek Yogurt (7 oz provides almost 20 g of protein)
  • Cow’s milk (a glass contains more than 8 g)
  • Lentils (about 1/2 cup of cooked lentils contains 9 g of protein)
  • Lean meat (a 3-ounce serving provides about 25 g)
  • Salmon (1/2 fillet provides 30g of protein)
  • Cod (A whole fillet provides 41g)
  • Turkey breast (a 3-ounce serving contains 25 g of protein)

Learn to associate healthy food with positive outcomes

Another way to rewire your brain for healthy eating is to change your perception of nutrition. Matching nutritious food with rewards like weight loss, praise from friends, and increased energy will motivate you to adopt healthier habits. AN to study confirmed that we can train our brain to crave nutritious food with this simple trick.

For the study, researchers showed obese and overweight adults photos of healthy and unhealthy foods. Healthy foods included lean meats, fruits and vegetables, while unhealthy items included hamburgers, fries and candy. The research team then analyzed their brain activity using an fMRI machine.

As expected, the brain areas associated with rewards lit up when participants looked at pictures of unhealthy foods. Participants also said they craved these foods more than nutrient-dense options.

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For the next part of the study, some participants followed a low-fat, high-fiber diet for six months. Participants also had counseling sessions to help them practice positive lifestyle habits. After the follow-up period, many participants lost weight compared to the control group.

The researchers scanned their brains again to see how they would react to images of food. This time, when participants viewed pictures of unhealthy food, the reward centers in their brains were less active. However, seeing healthy foods activated their reward regions more than before starting the diet.

Scientists believe that once participants experienced positive changes associated with healthy foods, they didn’t crave for anything else. They saw firsthand how fatty and fattening options created illness in the mind and body. Therefore, burgers and fries seemed less appealing when they noticed the benefits of eating salads, fruits and other nutrient-dense foods.

Conclusions of the study:

Participants began to attribute unhealthy foods to adverse outcomes such as weight gain, energy loss, and low self-esteem. Healthy foods became more appealing as people associated them with positivity, praise from friends, and looser clothing. So this study offers several important lessons to keep in mind if you want to rewire your brain for good health.

  • Change the way you think about natural foods. Most people think that fruits and vegetables are tasteless or unappealing. However, offering gratitude to the universe for providing food to sustain your body puts things in perspective. It will also make unhealthy foods less desirable over time.
  • Remember that small changes lead to significant results. In the age of instant gratification, it’s good to remember that nothing worthwhile comes easy. It takes consistent effort over a long period of time to see results, which puts many people off healthy lifestyles. They want rewards quickly, not realizing that they won’t gain anything if they give up before they start. So make sacrifices now if you want to reap the benefits in the future. Your hard work will finally pay off!

Final thoughts on the desire for healthier foods

Unfortunately, many people abandon their diets and exercise routines before seeing results. The modern age has ruined the idea of ​​willpower because we are obsessed with instant gratification. However, if you want to rewire your brain for health, you need to consider the long-term results. By sacrificing destructive habits and staying persistent, you can achieve greater well-being.


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