Mind Over Food

This week started my 10 day #sugarshake program. It’s 10 days spent reducing added sugars from your diet. One of the daily tasks I presented to the women was to work on changing the language they use around sugar. (This certainly could apply to any food though.) 

For example, “I can’t eat sugar…”, becomes, “I choose not to eat sugar…” 

Or, “I’m so tired, I need some sugar…” to “My body needs some natural energy right now.” 

I know, it seems silly, BUT it puts us back in control. Which is absolutely necessary when dealing with food cravings. 

A few days ago I read an article, somewhat related to this idea, that kinda blew my mind. The article is called, “Mind Over Food”, by Marc David. It was featured in the Institute For The Psychology Of Eating. You can read the whole thing here.

Marc writes, “…what you think and feel about a food can be as important a determinant of its nutritional value and its effect on body weight as the actual nutrients themselves.” 

AND this, 

“You could eat the healthiest meal on the planet, but if you’re thinking toxic thoughts the digestion of your food goes down and your fat storage metabolism can go up. Likewise, you could be eating a nutritionally challenged meal, but if your head and heart are in the right place, the nutritive power of your food will be increased.”

Okay, whoa, what? Basically how we view food before we eat it, positively or negatively, will effect how we digest and store it later. Crazy, right? Think of how many times you’ve eaten a dessert and felt a huge amount of guilt as you ate it. Or all the times you ate a salad, thinking how gross/bland/boring it was. Those very thoughts, that language you used about the food had an impact on how you’re body handled and stored it. 

The whole mind-body connection is fascinating. Neurological pathways connect part of the brain that handles emotions with the spinal cord and digestive tract. This explains why when we are nervous, we feel butterflies in our stomach. Or why we have a “gut feeling” about something. So really, it’s no wonder that our thoughts about food would translate to our digestion.

Now this doesn’t mean you can eat all the processed shit you want as long as you are thinking happy, healthy thoughts the whole time. Instead, we should start being aware of the language we are using for food. While ice cream may make you inherently fat if you eat too much of it, thinking, “this is going to make me fat”, may actually enhance that possibility.

What do you think? A bunch of B.S.? Maybe, but that connection between the gut and brain is a real thing. So next time you sit down to eat something, pay attention to how you are thinking about the food. And enjoy what you are eating! #nonnegotiable #noguilt

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