If you don’t understand that evolution has wired you to eat sugary carbohydrates in order to self-soothe and calm you, then you will never be able to control your appetite. Find out how to spot the triggers before you have a Snickers bar in your mouth, because — you’re not really you, when you’re that kind of hungry!
Stop hating yourself — It was only a doughnut
So you walk past the snack room at the office and see a delicious piece of chocolate cake that a deviant co-worker brought in to share. At first you walk away, proudly reminding yourself of the steady diet path you have been on. However, only 45 minutes later you’re suddenly overcome with the urge to have a piece of that delicious…whatever. Why now? Did you change your mind or your diet goal? Did you decide to self-sabotage? This is the type of psychological gymnastics one does to find an answer, assuming it will help fight the urge. But as you search for clues it feels more and more like a no-win situation, and your frustration grows.
Neuroscience tells us these urges have little to do with craving food and controlling our appetite, and more to do with another type of craving, “comfort.” A wonderful feeling, comfort is the result of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your brain that rewards you with security, confidence and pleasure. Serotonin is our “well-being” drug. It evolved to tell us that our needs have been met — when we eat something we love, go on a shopping spree, feel adored by others, receive a compliment, or believe we are superior than others. You could say that Hollywood is the epitome of a serotonin junkie.
If you want to make a change in your life, at some point you actually have to do something not just contemplate it. But your amygdala will hit the sirens and warn you to stay put. It is how it kept you alive thousands of years ago, but in present day it is causing us to die of boredom, monotony, and a lack of purpose. Ignore those fears that say, “Not now, I’ll do it later, I have too many other things on my plate, I have to think about it” That s all contrived crap we come up with because our brains are screaming, “STOP! DONT EVEN THINK OF TRYING SOMETHING NEW” and we have no idea why it is doing that. Start a new habit today to do one new thing a day and in 2 weeks you will unstoppable!
If any part of your body bothers you can assume that your belief is subtly affecting your mood. Most hate to admit this because it seems a bit shallow, but that is our reality. Evolution has hardwired it into our brain that to be desired ensures our survival, and to be desired means to have the right looks, money and sex appeal. Hence, our obsession with the rich and famous. By addressing any subtle beliefs about your looks under the scrutiny of facts, you can alleviate the cringe factor.
The Power of Our Physical Insecurity
Subtle beliefs such as “my hair looks so bad today,” “I look so much older being bald,” or “I wish my teeth weren’t so crooked” can leave us with an underlying insecurity. If you are over 45 and are beginning to feel that your body is really showing it, you might be hearing more of these thoughts than ever before. It is like a problem that you can’t put your finger on. For me, I have to remind myself to adjust my perspective to the facts. Another way to remedy these relentless thoughts is to allow nice compliments about your looks or body to really soak in. Don’t play it down or dismiss it. Remind yourself that people are not saying something nice to you out of pity, even though your stupid amygdala may be telling you that.
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My blog in Psychology Today
If you have ever been frustrated with breaking your diet protocols with something unhealthy you will finally understand why after reading this.