When it comes to weight loss, it’s very hard to know what to do. I mean, some things are very easy to figure out – eat vegetables, cut excess fat off of meats, reduce salt, increase water. There is a basic guideline in all of out heads that we intrinsically know we should be doing.
When it comes to meal time though, our tongues usually become king. I absolutely love The Awkward Yeti. The heart and brain series makes me so happy (in my heart and brain) because it is SO TRUE. There are so many things we tell ourselves to justify delaying a reward (in this case, health and weight maintenance).
The Simpsons even have a little jingle “You don’t win friends with salad!” Well, they have clearly never eaten some of the salads that I have!
Part of the issue here is that we have ourselves convinced that “healthy” foods are just not delicious. This is a problem. Our brains are king, and if we think that way, then it will BE that way. I remember a study I cited during my thesis on Food Addiction that talked about how we perceive healthy foods. The participants in the study were given two milkshakes. The milkshakes were EXACTLY THE SAME, but with different labels. One label was marked as something like “Indulgent Fantasies” and the other marks as something like “Health Habits” or something. Their brains were viewed as they drank the milkshakes, and it really is amazing how different the responses were.
Even though they were the same physical shake, the one labelled as Indulgent made a huge physiological change in ghrelin levels! The Indulgent one? Barely a blip in comparison. See the above video from NPR for a really good explaination. It’s basically the placebo effect.
So, to increase your metabolism, it’s time we start thinking about healthy foods the way we think of pizza. To help with this, don’t skimp on the fat! Have a full fat caesar dressing, put a whole avocado in your salad – just make sure the fats are healthier ones. They are still creamy and indulgent, so you can think of them that way, but they should make you feel fuller AND increase your digestive response.