Losing weight is a matter of the head

Losing weight starts in the head. The brain can be trained to suppress the desire for unhealthy food and instead increase the appetite for healthy food. Especially for people who urgently want to lose weight, this knowledge is an enormous relief, since it is usually the unhealthy things that show up on the scales.

Autor: Dr. med. W. Tönnes 

Addiction to unhealthy things prevents weight loss

If you are addicted, you can’t get away from cigarettes, sometimes not even from alcohol, and more and more often not from certain foods or food quantities.
Because what do you choose? A chocolate-filled double biscuit or the unsweetened wholemeal cracker? The ham noodles with cream sauce or the green salad plate? The ice cream sundae or an apple?

Usually the choice is not difficult – and losing weight is correspondingly problematic. Not only does the weight increase, but also the risk of all kinds of diseases.

Diseases that are already so widespread that hardly anyone is surprised when they finally set in: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, circulatory problems and much more.

But despite all the risks, for some people, the mere thought of unhealthy treats shuts down all their control mechanisms. The desire for sweets or salty treats is often reminiscent of an addiction, which often makes it impossible to lose weight.

Once the desired object has finally been consumed, a feeling of satisfaction sets in. This is called the brain’s reward system, which is now activated.

And it is precisely this good feeling after eating some foods that leads to the development of a kind of addiction and you simply can’t stop yourself once the desire for crisps or chocolate has set in.


One chocolate or the whole packet?

However, the reward effect occurs to different degrees in different people. People with a sweet tooth whose brain is less sensitive to such a reward tend to be overweight and obese – simply because they need more “stof” before the reward in the form of a good feeling kicks in.

People whose brains signal satisfaction much earlier, on the other hand, clearly have it easier. They have had enough after just one chocolate, while the less sensitive have to empty the whole box.

If our reward system would also react to uncomfortable tasks, that would be extremely practical. We would be much more motivated and would no longer have a problem with things like losing weight or exercising.

We would be able to do all the things that we so often lack the decisiveness to do, while the inner pig sits grinning next to us.

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