I have a relative who loves drinking pop (or soda for all of you non-Midwesterners). She drinks this bubbly beverage at least once a day and absolutely has to have it. After recently re-evaluating her health and weight loss goals, she decided to completely eliminate this caffeinated concoction from her daily diet and her cravings were gone. Well, it was not instantaneously. But after about three weeks her cravings disappeared entirely.
Not long after that she tried drinking a pop again and could not stand the taste of it. Since that time, she has not had one sugary sip.
You may be thinking that changing your eating habits takes a lot of work, willpower and may be nearly impossible for you to do, but I am here to tell you that it can be easier than you think!
Food preferences CAN change
The journal Nutrition & Diabetes recently released a study suggesting that it is possible to reverse the addictive power of unhealthy food while increasing preference for healthy foods. A craving for unhealthy and high caloric foods happens over time in response to eating the items repeatedly.
According to scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and at Massachusetts General Hospital, a newly designed weight loss program can change how people react to different foods.
The study showed that participants of the program had a decreased desire for unhealthy foods and an increased preference for healthy foods. These combined effects indicate people can shift their food preferences without undergoing surgery. It also highlights the importance of the brain’s role in food cues.
Bottom line: Sustainable weight control may be possible for individuals with a lifetime of unhealthy food cravings.
To learn more about this study, please visit the journal of Nutrition & Diabetes by clicking here. (http://www.nature.com/nutd/index.html)
Written with assistance by future RDN Ashley Martens