I found out something really cool and interesting that has really helped me to change the way I think about food…
The attitude we have towards a meal can change the way we metabolize it.
The limbic system regulates emotions, rewards and thoughts. Within the limbic system is the hypothalamus which integrates the processes of the mind and body. The hypothalamus also alters metabolic activity, and takes into account our emotional states when doing so.
If you are super excited about eating that pizza you’ve been craving all day and eat it with delight, the hypothalamus with increase activity to the digestive system, helping you to burn calories quickly and efficiently. However, if you are feeling really guilty about eating the pizza and are already working out how long you’ll have to spend in the gym to burn it off, the hypothalamus dampens its activity to the digestive system, inhibiting caloric breakdown and causing more to be stored as body fat.
In other words, our attitude towards food can be as important its nutritional value. I think it is’ so cool that your thoughts and emotions toward a meal can actually change the physical response you have to it.
Knowing this really motivates me to try and change the way I feel before I eat food that I know is bad for me. I am finding it really difficult to kick my chocolate addiction and always feel so guilty before I eat anything sweet. With this new information in mind, I am going to try and embrace the fact that I am going to eat it and let myself enjoy the deliciousness. Firstly, it is a much nicer experience actually enjoying the food you secretly want but know you shouldn’t eat. Secondly, being happy about my choice may actually make me digest it faster it…it’s a win-win situation!
Check out my new recipes for Cinnamon roasted butternut squash with leeks, pecans and cranberries and Tomato and mushroom dhaal (pictured above)…These are some recipes you know you’ll be happy about eating!