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Why Your Brain Craves Unhealthy Food?

If you think sweet tooth is the reason behind your unhealthy body, blame your brain for choosing junk foods. Many researches have proved that it is our brain that craves for calorie-dense foods. Hence, we tend to indulge in unhealthy eating.

According to Steven Witherly, a food scientist, in his detailed study on “Why humans like junk foods” explained that there are two factors why we like unhealthy food.

The first factor includes the taste of food, what it smells like, and how it feels in our mouth. This last quality, how it feels in mouth is known as “orosensation”. This is the most important factor that is responsible for craving junk foods. It creates the sensation that our brain associates with a particular food or drink. Mostly, junk foods have power to create that sensation in our brain that makes us crave for unhealthy foods.

The second factor depends on ingredients in the food. It is the blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains. In case of junk food, food manufacturers particularly emphasise on this perfect blend of salt, sugar, and fat. This excites our brain and we tend to eat junk food over and again.

Hence, controlling or training our mind to crave for healthy foods is definitely a trick of the trade. We have listed a few effective ways that can help you to indulge in healthy eating.

Keep unhealthy foods out of your sight: Try keeping unhealthy foods out of your sight. Whether it’s in your kitchen or in refrigerator, keep healthy foods in front and centre of your fridge. This way you will find yourself reaching out for healthy foods when you are hungry.

The five-ingredient rule: Avoid buying foods that contain five ingredients. Also, foods with red flag label should be avoided. These are processed foods and aggravate our inclination towards unhealthy foods.

21-day rule: It takes twenty-one days to break or make a habit. Take this challenge and eat healthy food for 21 days. You will realise that eventually, you will fall for healthy eating and automatically avoid junk foods.

Eat in portion: Don’t beat all your cravings. Eat small portions of your favourite food but mind your bites. You don’t have to be strict with your dietary regime. Cheat days are okay but should be eaten in appropriate quantities.

Eat craved foods in the middle of a meal: If a food craving is overpowering your mind, then it’s better to have it in the middle of your meal. For example, if you eat chocolate when hungry, your brain will see it as a meal and you will end up eating more of it. But eating one square of chocolate in middle of a meal will stop your craving.

Avoid eating in front of television: We tend to eat more with sub-conscious mind. This happens when our mind is diverted somewhere else. This way eating even healthy foods can add to weight gain.

Shop grocery after eating: It has been observed that when our stomach is full, we tend to buy healthy foods instead of unhealthy ones. It drastically cuts down on the food impulse buys and we avoid buying junk foods.

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