Rewire your brain to crave healthy food

Scientists at Tufts University Massachusetts have demonstrated that we can rewire our brains to desire healthy food and not miss fast food. How?

Allow yourself to get really hungry and then eat a high fibre, nutritious meal that is low in both sugar and salt. The amount of pleasure we derive from what we eat increases as hunger increases. If you eat junk food when you’re ravenous you will create a strong neurological link between pleasure and the taste of junk food. If you eat healthy food when you’re famished, you will create circuits in your brain that link pleasure to healthy food.

Functional MRI brain scans have shown that these circuits can reconfigure when we change what we eat on a regular basis. When obese people ate healthy, low calorie foods every time they felt strong hunger for three weeks, the reward centres in their brains became more sensitive to images of healthy food and their enjoyment of healthy food increased. Conversely, the brain’s reward centres showed less activation in response to images of sugary and unhealthy foods. After practising their new eating habits for six months, their fast food cravings disappeared and their body fat percentage substantially decreased.

You don’t have to wait until you’re starving to eat healthy food but eating on an empty stomach leads to faster formation of new food preferences.

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