Is Your Brain Wired to Make You Overeat?

We are all pretty familiar with that Thanksgiving ritual of stuffing yourself like the proverbial holiday turkey and having it feel oh-so-good. Even if you know you’re stuffed to full with dinner, you still keep stuffing your face, knowing you will regret it later. Well, take heart. Your brain may be at least partially to blame for your desire to keep eating.

Wired for Survival

According to a professor at Vanderbilt University, human brains are hardwired to eat at every opportunity as a matter of survival. Neurochemically speaking, the brain rewards you if you eat a very large meal. Pleasure chemicals are sent throughout the body and as a result, you feel really good when you eat large meals. This neurological reward system ensured the survival of the human species when food was in short supply and high calorie foods were not abundant.

Better Choices

Try not to eat when you are ravenously hungry. Instead, eat when you are a little hungry and have an appetite. Also try stopping from time to time while you are eating and rate how hungry you are really feeling in that moment (1 means you’re extremely hungry and 10 means you can’t eat another bite). When you reach a level 5 on the scale, it’s time to stop eating.

With a little discipline and self awareness, you can control that inner drive to stuff yourself at every opportunity. In today’s world, humans are no longer struggling to get enough food for survival of the species, so don’t eat like it’s your last opportunity for a meal.

– The Alternative Daily


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