Neural Plasticity Vs. Overeating
Did you know that you can change your brain?
Likewise, you can actually change the way your brain thinks, sends signals, and more! This is called neural plasticity. Your brain surely isn’t plastic, but it can and does form and reform like a plastic! Although our brains constantly change without our knowing or purposeful doing, we can add to those changes with what we want. It is crazy to think this is possible, but it really is. Using your mind to rewire you brains neural pathways is something that can be accomplished by each and every one of us. Not only can it be done, but it is actually a really simple process!
Your brain remembers almost everything it comes into contact with. Most of what it comes into contact with is your thoughts. Now, how can we put these together and use them to our advantage? Well, its quite simple: We are going to focus on what we want to change, and then keep focusing on it. Rewording and reusing our thoughts on the same matter consistently, which will actually “train” our brain to think about it more often while we aren’t focused directly on it. Another way of looking at it – Muscle Memory. And what better muscle to use for memory! Below is an example of how we can use neural plasticity to our advantage.
Example #1 – Overeating
Overeating is something that many of us are guilty of. Three of the reasons that people overeat are as follows: Your body isn’t telling your brain that you are full quick enough, you are ordering and eating with your eyes, and you are actually not even hungry, but your brain is craving a certain nutrient. The last one can be confusing, but in actuality, your brain has a hard time differentiating between thirst, hunger, and other cravings, whilst making you believe you are hungry no matter which one you are actually feeling. By using neural plasticity, you are able to rewire your brain to tell you to stop eating when you are actually supposed to.
To do this, spend a few minutes each day thinking about how you want to stop overeating. Moreover, tell yourself how bad overeating is for you, and imagine the portion size you should actually be eating. Think about how much better you will feel if you eat exactly how much you really need at that moment. Try telling yourself that you should always drink a full cup of water before each and every meal and snack. If you continue to tell yourself these thoughts, your brain will hold onto them. Your neural pathways that transfer data regarding overeating with begin to strengthen and those thoughts will hang on. Then, out of nowhere, right before a meal, you will remember how you don’t want to overeat, and instead of ordering with your eyes, you will order with your brain. Your trained, rewired, plastic-like, all-learning brain.
Don’t underestimate the power of your brain. It is most definitely stronger than you even begin to know. Use that power and memory to your advantage and kick certain bad habits out, while bringing in new, updated, positive habits. You are capable, and I am sure of it. I hope you enjoyed reading this article; if so, don’t forget to Subscribe for more great info and content. Thanks and I hope you have a great day!
Kim Shapira MS, RD