I wonder if there is online course that helps me to reprogram my brain to think of a juicy hamburger and fries as eating road kill? I would pay a lot of money for that course. All kidding aside, A recent study suggests that we may be able to overcome the power of wanting high caloric foods that seem to be rule our minds. The study had a six months weight-loss program that the subjects had to follow. The study was done by researchers from the Harvard Medical School and Tufts University. The findings were published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes.
More studies similar to this are needed, but this particular study suggests that the brain might be reprogrammed to eat healthier foods. All participants had functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans before and after the six-month weight-loss program. One group was put the 6-month diet plan while the other group eats in whatever they wanted. By the end of the study, the results showed that subjects that followed the 6-month diet plan lost on average about 12 pounds. Another interesting finding was that the brain scans revealed that these subjects were less interested in high caloric foods after being on a diet plan.
I know what you are thinking, what was the diet plan and where do I sign up? The diet plan administered a high fiber and protein program. The plan made sure that subjects were not hungry because that’s when the junk food snack companies win. When I experience hunger pangs is usually when I might break down and head for the vending machine at work. The chocolate bars and potato chip bags begin to speak to me as if they were meant to “chewed” up and digested into my stomach. What if we were to eat this way and allowed ourselves time to stay full throughout the day? Would this create less urge to race to the fast food drive-thru or vending machine? What about just creating a reward system where we would reward ourselves for eating right? These are interesting questions and things that need to be explored further. If I had to venture a guess though I would say to use a reward system and not allowing yourself to go hungry on a high fiber and protein diet would probably yield positive results in losing weight. Would these techniques reprogram your brain and help you stop craving junk or high caloric food? Like I said, more studies need to be done on this because this study raises even more questions than it is trying to answer.
Dr. Shah, MD