How to Train Your Brain to Crave Healthy Food

learn to crave healthy foods

It’s one thing to eat healthy because you feel you must. However, it’s something else to actually crave healthy food. I mean… who does that? If thinking about healthy food brings up visions of stringy boiled chicken with raw broccoli, you’re not alone.

Many who seek help at our California weight loss clinic have the same feelings.

It’s ok.

But what if we told you could not only learn to like healthy food but actually learn to crave it? We have some clever tricks and tips to help.

Duh! Make Healthy Food Taste Good

Why does healthy food have to taste bad? The truth is, it’s doesn’t! Processed junk food tastes so good because manufacturers know how well fat, sugar, and salt blend together to be delicious and addictive.

However, you can take your favorite junk food and create a healthy, delicious variation. The internet is full of recipe hacks to turn your favorite junk food into healthier versions. Sometimes it’s as simple as removing an unhealthy fat and substituting a heart-healthy fat like olive or coconut oil, or cutting down the sugar or salt.

Once you experiment with the newer versions, your taste buds will adjust, and your old food will taste overly salty and heavy. Nowadays, there is no excuse for having a bland, boring, or dull diet food. With the internet, the world is literally at your fingertips—use it.

Don’t use junk food to satisfy your cravings, instead make the healthy food you purchase taste good enough to want more.

Know Your Triggers and Make New Ones

Can you eat one Pringle? Of course not. If you could, our weight loss clinic in California would go out of business.  Most people have foods that once eaten cause a binge, hence the saying, “Once you pop, the fun don’t stop.”

For you, it could be Pringles, chocolate chips, ice cream, or bread. It’s different for everyone, and only you know what sets you off. Whatever your trigger may be, toss it aside. Do not have it in your house.

Instead, substitute a similar food that will not set you off. Many people will binge on milk chocolate. It has the perfect fat and sugar ratio that makes it easy to do. But most people will not binge on dark chocolate. It’s not sweet enough. Substitute your milk chocolate for dark and see if that eases your cravings without sending you into a binge.

Reward Rather Than Punish Yourself

Last, learn to reward yourself for eating well. Don’t punish yourself for straying from your diet.  Reward every positive step you take. Humans are wired to love rewards. Our brains release the neurotransmitter dopamine when we feel rewarded.

When you reward yourself for eating healthy, you will automatically start associating eating well with that great feeling of dopamine being released. Dopamine makes you “addicted” to things, both good things and bad (cigarettes, for example).  Use it for good.

New Year, New You

That seems like a trite little saying—but it’s not. This is the time of year for new beginnings and new choices. Make 2020 your year to not only eat well but make it your year to learn how to crave the foods that make you feel healthy, happy, and trim.

As you navigate your diet, remember to use your personal preferences as a guide.  If you are unsure about what to choose, talk to your support team at Healthy Steps. The trained professionals at our weight loss clinic can help you make better choices.

If you are not already a member of Healthy Steps, and are ready to lose weight, stop into one of our clinics today to get started or contact us to learn more.

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