Re-Wire Your Brain: 12 Weight Loss Hacks to Trick Your Body Into Craving Healthy Food

Re-Wire Your Brain: 12 Weight Loss Hacks to Trick Your Body Into Craving Healthy Food

 

So you want to lose weight, but you don’t want to be miserable in the process. I feel you! And I’ve got good news for you. It can be done, but it’s not necessarily going to be a cakewalk (pun totally intended). 

A dozen ways to trick your body into preferring healthy food

Here’s how you do it: you re-program your brain. You “re-wire” it so that it believes that it PREFERS the food you NEED to eat to lose weight. 

This means that you need to teach your body to WANT the foods you need to eat to get the healthy body you really desire.

But sometimes, that’s easier said than done, am I right?

Well, why is that? Let’s take a look at some recent statistics that might give us an idea. 

  • A recent study found that less than 10% of Americans are eating enough vegetables.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 14% of Americans are consuming the recommended 2 to 4 daily servings of fruit.
  •  The CDC also notes that less than than 9% consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables.

So how do you overcome those kinds of statistics? 

Now, don’t fall over when I say this, because it’s the truth, and if you are willing to make it happen, you CAN, despite how impossible it seems.

Here it is: If you’re going to beat the odds, you may need to rewire your brain so you crave broccoli more than bacon. Each time you choose healthier foods, you’re strengthening your desire for them.

I’m not going to lie to you. There are so many healthy foods I really love – but it’s not because they’re healthy (though, to be honest, that doesn’t hurt my opinion). The reason I love healthy food at all is the same reason I love unhealthy food – because it tastes good. 

In the course of losing 100 pounds and keeping it of for the last nearly 4 years (so far), I learned to sort of “trick” my body into actually preferring healthy good. So how’d I do that? Well, I’m glad you asked. 

The Mind-Body Trick to Make Your Body Beg for Healthy Foods

Take a look at these suggestions for changing the way you think and eat and let me know what you think in the comments. 

Weight Loss Hack: Change Your Mind

1. Remember your purpose. Focus on why you want to eat nutritious whole foods. Cutting down on empty calories can help you look and feel your best. You’ll have more energy, and you may even save on medical bills.

2. Plan ahead. Ask yourself if a few minutes of munching on corn chips is worth the consequences. Would your future self be better off if you snacked on baby carrots?

3. Study nutrition. The more you know about how your diet affects your health, the stronger your motivation will be. Schedule a session with a registered dietician or browse online to learn more about reading food labels and restaurant menus.

4. Form new habits. It’s easier to start a positive new habit than to break an old routine. If you’re used to eating a donut with your coffee, treat yourself to a few almonds instead of going hungry.

5. Focus on nonedible rewards. If emotional eating is a concern, you may need to seek gratification elsewhere. Reward yourself by watching a movie or spending time with friends.

6. Enlist support. Speaking of friends, social support is vital. Surround yourself with others who are trying to eat well so you can share encouragement and feedback.

Weight Loss Hack: Intentional Diet Tweaks to Reprogram Your Cravings

1. Add healthy fats. You may have noticed a recent shift in nutritional advice. Experts are now talking less about avoiding fats, and more about choosing healthy fats. Broccoli can be a lot more appealing when you drizzle on olive oil. Personally, I cannot say enough good things about coconut oil. 

2. Hunt for bargains. Maybe the high price of some superfoods is dampening your enthusiasm. Shop for seasonal produce or grow your own. Stock up on inexpensive staples like beans and lentils. Visit the bulk bins where you can save on packaging costs, and sample small quantities until you discover your favorite grains and seeds.

3. Beautify your place settings. Presentation makes a big difference. Sit down to eat. Create an attractive centerpiece or light candles. Use colorful dishes and bowls.

4. Branch out. If kale and iceberg are starting to bore you, experiment with other salad greens like oakleaf or mizuna.

5. Try new recipes. Get busy and Google it – or sign up for cooking classes or visit the library for more ideas about what to make for dinner. A lot of grocery stores offer cooking classes. 

6. Carry your own snacks. Bring hummus or yogurt to the office with you for your afternoon break. You’ll soon like your own fresh food better than the packaged goods in the vending machines.

6. Make it convenient. The foods we crave are often the ones that require minimal effort like cookies and frozen dinners. You can make healthy substitutes just as handy. Keep a bowl of fruit on your dining room table. Buy whole-wheat pizza crusts you can top with cut vegetables and cheese for a hot meal in minutes.

Imagine looking forward to a bowl of beets with the same enthusiasm you usually reserve for double-fudge brownies. Some simple mental training, along with adjusting a few lifestyle habits, will have you craving food that’s good for you. You feel me? 

Need more help losing weight? Check out my book, Project Blissful – it’s the story of how I lost more than 100 pounds and have kept it off. See the ebook here and the paperback here, or visit BooksAngieWrote.com for a selection of all of my books. 

QB Body Talk: Your Complete Guide to Personalized Weight Loss

QB Body Talk: Your Complete Guide to Personalized Weight Loss

Body envy. I am not going to lie to you. It used to be a HUUUUUUUGE issue for me. Pun entirely intended. In fact, my research tells me I’m not alone. Luckily, I’ve found the cure and I’m happy to share it with you. 

Perfect Pictures Predicate Pouty People

It happens every single time when those infomercials featuring perfectly proportioned models pop onto the television screen promising an enviable body weight if you’ll just fork over enough cash to make you skinny forever.

weight loss motahyahEven though you know there’s no magic pill that guarantees overnight success, sometimes it’s tempting to dole out the money.

It’s enticing because losing weight is a struggle, and a vicious uphill battle that’s not always so easily fought.

The appeal to find a quick fix hits you every now and then – especially when you’ve worked hard to lose a little bit of weight and then you fall off the diet wagon and gain it all back (and then some).

We have all had the daunting thought, “There has to be an easier way to lose weight!”

Have you purchased every weight loss book ever published, forced down the diet bars, consumed the shakes, and attended the weight loss meetings so many times you could have paid for the entire building by the time you quit?

Have you done all of this and yet you still haven’t seen the long-term results that you crave more than food itself?

Are you sick and tired of trying, but you still know you need to lose weight so that you can have a healthier life?  Or maybe you only need to lose a few pounds to fit into that new outfit or look good for an upcoming class reunion.

 You know you want to lose weight, but you don’t want a gimmick and you certainly don’t want to keep going down a road that leads nowhere.

You just want to find a plan that really works for you without all of the empty promises. There’s something you might not know about the battle of the bulge – something that can help you gain the victory once and for all without having to resort to any costly plans or fancy gimmicks.

Best of all, the way you can lose weight can be found in your own refrigerator, in your pantry or at your grocery store. By the way, this little known method of losing weight won’t break your wallet. I guarantee it.  

Understanding the Basics of Weight Loss

To understand how weight loss works, you have to first understand how calories work. A calorie is energy given in the foods you eat. Your body uses this energy as fuel. Think of it as wood for a fireplace. If you put in too much wood, the fire gets too hot and there’s too much heat produced.

In the same manner, too much consumption of calories, especially those foods with empty calories, equals an overabundance of fuel. The same way you would store wood in stacked piles for your fireplace, the body stacks an overabundance of calories as fat.

It then takes that fat and adds it to the places you don’t want it put. Then you see results like a tummy that laps over the top of your jeans – often called a muffin top – or you discover the results are flabby thighs or a double chin.

To make the battle of weight loss even more discouraging, that fat, and its cellulite, can give you a lumpy, bumpy look.

Cellulite are pockets of that stored fat beneath the surface of your skin.  In other words, it’s the chocolate cake or donuts or the second helping of carbohydrates if those calories aren’t burned.  

Now, all of that’s the bad news. But the good news is, you don’t have to accept being overweight as your fate (no matter how many times you’ve fallen off the diet wagon in the past).

Because this weight loss technique is easy and inexpensive, so you can stick with it forever. Not only can you stay on the plan, but you’ll find you actually enjoy it!

Your Body’s Secret Workout

When you watch a movie, what you see is the finished product. All of the actors and actresses stand where they’re supposed to. They say their lines like a pro and they look good doing it.

What you don’t see happening is the chapped hands and runny noses from filming outside in below zero weather or the nights filming lasted until two in the morning. You didn’t see what went on behind the show.

Many people sit down to eat a meal or a snack and never give a second’s thought to what goes on behind the scenes once the food is finished.

Everyone knows how you gain weight and most of us are pros at the gaining. We gain by eating too much of the wrong kinds of food.

But what if I told you something about your own body that could help you lose weight?

Do you have more than 100 pounds to lose? You might need a bit of help – learn how to be unbreakable and succeed at weight loss, right here. 

Your body has to work to digest each bite of food you put into your mouth. What does that have to do with anything? 

It’s simple: Because your body is expending energy to digest the food, it’s actually sort of performing a silent workout.

Sounds great, right? Your body is working out without you having to lift a finger.

Picture this: your body is burning energy to digest the food while you watch television, while you talk on the phone, drive to work and even while you sleep. It sounds like a fantastic win-win situation doesn’t it?

If it’s so fantastic, then why are some people still overweight? Because you’re not eating the right kinds of foods. You’re still stuck measuring portions and counting carbs and assigning foods as good or bad.

Truth? There is no such thing. Food is simply fuel. All of it is. But how (and at what rate) the fuel is burned depends on the foods you eat because it correlates to how it makes your body work. Still follow me?

Negative Calorie Foods – Your Body’s Secret Weapon

What if you discovered you could lose weight simply with the foods you choose to eat?  Foods that help you work off calories simply by eating them. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

But it’s not.

There are foods that make your digestive system use more energy to consume them than the calories contained in the foods themselves.

When you use more energy to digest a food than the caloric value of a food, then those foods are called negative calorie foods. By eating these negative calorie foods, you will burn calories and you will lose weight effortlessly.before-and-after-weight-loss

See how I lost 100 pounds. 

This is a rough example of how it work:

Let’s say you have a slice of chocolate cheesecake from the store bakery and you consume roughly 350 calories (or more depending on the type of ingredients used). Once you’ve eaten that slice of cheesecake, your body goes to work breaking it down and beginning the digestion process.

Let’s say your body burns 150 calories digesting that cake (and that’s probably figuring the amount burned on the high end). You’re still left with a gain of 200 calories.

These calories will turn into unwanted fat and weight gain if not used as energy by the body. Now remember, the amount of calories you burn by eating negative calorie food will depend on the type of food it is.

Instead of the chocolate cheesecake, let’s say for example that you chose an apple instead. A medium sized apple has approximately 80 calories. You eat the apple and then the digestion process begins.

Because an apple is a negative calorie food, your body works harder to digest it than you gain in calories by eating it.

The difference in negative calorie foods is comparable to the difference between walking and running.

When you go for a low key walk, you don’t expend the same amount of energy you would if you were running.

Let’s Do the Math

Math was never my favorite subject in school, but this kind of math is the kind I love. So let’s go back to the foods.

If you eat that apple, you’ve ingested around 80 calories. Your body begins the digestion workout and without you having to do anything, burns calories.

Let’s say as an example, that your body burns around 100 to 110 calories. We’ll split that and say the body burned 105 calories. To eat that 80 calorie apple, you would have burned an extra 25 calories.

If you had the slice of chocolate cheesecake, but felt the urge to eat the apple afterward, you would then be 25 calories to the good on the cheesecake.

Feel me?

Boiled down, it means that 350 calorie cheesecake minus the 25 extra calories you burned by eating the apple leaves you with 175 calories charged against your caloric intake for the cheesecake rather than the entire calorie count for the cheesecake.

However, unlike math, there is no simple formula that can subtract months or years of eating the wrong way. But with a little addition of the right kind of foods – negative calorie ones, you can erase those pounds and keep them off.

There are a few things to keep in mind with any type of diet. The more involved a diet is, the less success most people achieve in the long run.

Studies have shown that the more elaborate a weight loss plan is, the less likely the person is to stick with it to the end because we like things basic and to the point.

None of us has the time to waste filling out complex charts and recording every single morsel we put into our mouths (but the truth is that it doesn’t hurt – and I personally recommend you do it for at least six months if you’re trying to really change your life!).

That’s why negative calorie foods are an ideal weight loss plan for people who want to lose weight, want to get healthy and want a simple method but need a little something extra working in their favor.  

Your own digestive system can give you that boost you need to keep going until you’ve reached your goal weight. By using your body’s own digestive system, you can actually change the equation.

Stealing From the Store

If you’re a junk food junkie, you probably have more than your share of fat stored – fat you would love to see disappear.

Remember the apple math?

If you have fat stored from junk food and you start eating negative calorie foods, what’s going to happen is those negative calorie foods are going to begin stealing from you.

These foods are going to take the fat your body put in store and they’re going to begin using it. Why? Because it took more energy to consume that negative food than the negative food had to give.

That energy deficit had to be made up somehow and your body knows just where to get it.

When you eat negative calorie foods, your body works hard enough to pull the nutrients and energy from the foods to the point that the food calories don’t count.

If there’s not enough energy in the foods your body digests to perform the job, like a car putting in more gas, your body will pull up to the pump – in this case the fat stores – and get whatever it needs to finish the task.

I know what you’re thinking!

“This is one thief I wouldn’t mind having around!”

But Are These Negative Calorie Foods Good For You?

Are you thinking there must be a catch? That negative calorie foods are some type of exotic food with names you can’t pronounce?  With all the benefits we’ve talked about that come from eating negative calorie foods, they can’t possibly be good for you, right?

Wrong!

In fact, negative calorie foods are exactly the kinds of foods doctors not only recommend that you eat, but also encourage patients to do so for weight loss and disease prevention.

What are these mystery foods? They’re certain fruits and vegetables. Since experts agree that more fruits and vegetables are a good thing for everyone, negative calorie foods are a great weight loss plan.

A Brief List of Negative-Calorie Foods

This isn’t a complete list, but for an easy reference, I’ll mention some of those foods for you.

  • Veggies: turnips, cucumbers, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, radishes, cabbage, celery, spinach, carrots, leeks and cauliflower.
  • Fruits: watermelon, apricot, tomato, apple, blackberry, tangerine, cranberry, cantaloupe, peaches, lime, grapefruit, lemon, papaya, honeydew melon, strawberries, pineapple, plums, mandarin orange, raspberry, rhubarb and honeydew melon.

There’s nothing odd about that list of vegetables or fruits. They’re just ordinary foods with the power to create negative calories upon consumption.  

Now don’t get confused thinking that the phrase ‘negative calorie foods’ means that the foods don’t have any calories, because that isn’t the case at all.

The food you eat does contain calories – your body just has to work so hard to digest them that you wind up with a caloric deficit once it’s all said and done.

Is it safe to eat negative calorie foods?

Yes, it’s safe. You can’t overdose on negative calorie foods. Unlike heavily advertised pills and gimmicks, there are no ill effects to eating negative calorie foods because they’re healthy for your body – working to keep it naturally lean and strong enough to produce the energy you need throughout the day.

 

Starving Ain’t Sexy: 10 Simple Ways to Never Go Hangry Again

Starving Ain’t Sexy: 10 Simple Ways to Never Go Hangry Again

“When I get hangry, anything within arms reach could be part of my number 20. Mmm, this is potpourri. Smells good, in my mouth. That’s not food. Hehe don’t tweet this.” ~Tina Fey in an American Express commercialhow to stop being hangry on a diet

Ever get hangry? That’s when you get so hungry that you get kinda pissed. That feels awful, if you ask me.

And I don’t know about you, but I am really into being comfortable. And that’s why when I lost 100 pounds, I did it without starving, sweating or surgery – but everyone wants to know: how’d I manage to keep the hunger pangs under control?

As we all know, that feeling in the pit of our stomach that makes us feel like we’re starving can be pretty lethal to our weight loss efforts. 

Let’s get real for a minute here: sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on work, family, or anything else because of the cravings. Luckily, there are several ways to alleviate this situation. I have covered a TON of them in Project Blissful, as well as the following:

 

Anyhoo…you should totally read those – but in the meantime, try these weight loss hacks to control hunger pangs and stick to your diet at the same time:

2. BREAK THE FAST! Get back into the habit of eating breakfast. It’s easier to prevent the pangs than to treat them, so eating breakfast is important.

  • Breakfast can help you control blood sugar levels throughout the day and stop hunger pangs from ruining your diet. It’s important to eat a complete breakfast that combines carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats into one meal.

3. No “meat,” no eat! Eat your protein. Protein can make you feel satisfied after a meal or snack, so you’re less likely to crave other foods.

  • You can select food that has protein and still fits your diet. For example, nuts and seeds are a healthy source of protein. Peanut butter and other butters, such as almond butter, also pack a healthy serving of protein.
  • A handful of cashews will stave off depression!
  • A few dark-chocolate covered almonds and a cup of coffee makes for a nice mid-morning pick-me-up – especially when you follow tip #10 along with it!

4. Slow the freak down! Chew well and eat slowly. If you swallow your food without chewing it enough, then it becomes more difficult to feel full. The rate at which you eat affects your stomach hormones and how you feel.

  • A study, titled “Eating slowly increases the postprandial response of the anorexigenic gut hormones, peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1,” found that eating slowly was better. The researchers discovered eating too quickly affected the release of stomach hormones related to feeling full. (That’s why I’ve got that 20-minute rule!)
  • Researchers recommend eating slowly, so the stomach hormones that make you feel full have a chance to become active.

5. Chew through the “pangs.” Chew gum in between meals. Researchers have found that gum can help you avoid temptation and stay on your diet. A study from the University of Rhode Island found that chewing gum encouraged people to eat less during the day. (It’s true! But so can brushing your teeth – and you’ll get less gas that way – just saying.)

6. Low-Carb is so 2010. Eat potatoes. Potatoes can be a useful tool for fighting hunger pangs. They have a resistant starch that takes longer to digest, so you feel full for a greater length of time. You won’t feel hungry while you’re still trying to digest the potato you had for lunch.

  • It’s important to eat healthy preparations of potatoes, so potato chips and French fries shouldn’t be on the menu. Baked or steamed potatoes can help you stay on your diet.

6. Add more grapefruit to your diet! If you like it, these citrus fruits can help you control hunger while providing more vitamin C. Grapefruits can help control blood sugar levels, so you avoid the dangerous spikes that lead to hunger pangs.

  • Fresh grapefruits are easy to add to your diet. They can be part of a fruit salad or smoothie for breakfast. They can also be cut into small pieces for a quick snack.

7. Aroma-therapy anyone? Did you know that smelling certain foods without eating them can help you control hunger pangs? Researchers have found that different aromas can be used to feel full.

  • A study, titled “Food aroma affects bite size,” revealed that aroma could be used to control hunger. Researchers discovered that people took smaller bites of food with different aromas. They noticed that controlling the scent of the food affected how much people ate.

8. Start adding coconut oil to your coffee or tea in the morning. This stuff has seriously changed my life, people. Not only does it reduce hunger, but it also helps your skin look better and can help you lose weight – especially around your midsection. I can’t say enough about the stuff – and you can get a month’s supply for under ten bucks.

  • Don’t forget to count the calories. Coconut oil has around 130 per tablespoon – but they’re worth it, trust me. 
  • If you don’t drink coffee or tea, you can add coconut oil to your diet by using it in your cooking .
  • Be sure to get the unrefined, organic coconut oil for maximum benefit.
  • Remember that a little fat in your diet is necessary, and coconut oil offers one of the best sources of it.

9. Drink a glass of water before you eat – a full 16 ounces. A lot of times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty. So drink some water and wait a few minutes before you eat anything.

  • Ice water is best as it will cause your body to heat up and burn a few extra calories, but any water will do.

10. Try my 20 minute rule! Remember that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to signal your tummy it’s full – so anytime you want to have seconds or even eat something that isn’t on your plan for the day, wait 20 minutes before you do it. This deal works for me almost 100 percent of the time – and I totally use it still today. Give it a shot.

Hunger pangs don’t have to destroy your diet – just beat them with these diet hacks instead. By planning ahead and using these strategies, you can stay on your diet and subdue your cravings.

Bonus tip: Check out the MYBFF all-natural weight-loss supplements – not only have they recently launched a new Power Points program that gives you an instant $5 discount (and there are so many free ways to earn those points – you could save more than half of the cost and then some), but they’re insanely useful for getting off the extra weight and they’ll also cleanse your body in the process. I find they give me plenty of energy too. 

Now it’s your turn! Tell me what works best for YOU to stave off hunger – leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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