Reboot your brain = suddenly slim! Groundbreaking research reveals it’s possible to reprogram your brain to break free of cravings and drop 30 times more weight—and keep it off. Here, 3 proven strategies to help you lose effortlessly!
With the new year comes new resolve to finally lose weight, so many of us dutifully cut back on comfort foods like brownies, chips and mac-and-cheese. But within a few weeks, our resolve to resist our cravings typically crumbles like a stale chocolate chip cookie. Why? Research in the field of neuroscience has proven that the comfort-food combo of salt, sugar and fat fires up pleasure centers in the brain, making it all but impossible not to cave into temptation. “Brain cells that fire together wire together, which means our food habits form pathways that are like traffic patterns on a carpet,” explains Rena Greenberg, a health and weight-loss expert in Bradenton, Florida. “We follow them even when they’re not in our best interests.”
But exciting research proves the same neural pathways that lead to cravings can be retrained to resist them. And doctors, faith leaders and mindbody experts are increasingly turning to three mind-body techniques to help women speed slimming. The key to all three lies in boosting a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex, says neuropsychiatrist Daniel Amen, M.D., author of Feel Better Fast. “The prefrontal cortex is like the CEO of the brain; it’s involved
has been proven to help women lose 30x
more weight —Journal of Consulting and
with processes like decision-making, forethought and impulse control. And with the right strategies, you can reprogram your brain in ways that boost willpower, break unhealthy eating patterns and make fat loss faster and easier.”
(1) Since the prefrontal cortex is involved in goal-setting and planning, setting a daily intention activates it. Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., and author of Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God encourages people who are struggling with cravings to set a positive intention every day, like “I will ask God for the strength to nourish my body with only healthy foods today.” So simple, so effective! In a study in the European Journal of Social Psychology, those who set such intentions increased their intake of healthy snacks and consumed an average of 1,125 fewer calories daily.
(2) Prayer and meditation are also proven to calm the amygdala, the fight-or-flight center in your brain, notes psychologist Sidney Cohen, Ph.D., author of Inner Blocks to Losing Weight. “When this area becomes hyper-aroused by stress and negative thoughts, it hijacks the prefrontal
cortex,” says Cohen. But research shows that people who pray or meditate have 47% fewer cravings than their less-mindful counterparts, and lose 41% more weight.
(3) Despite its New Agey reputation, hypnosis is a surprisingly effective way to train your brain for weight loss. “Hypnosis reprograms the brain to break out of old habits and form new ones that optimize weight loss,” explains Greenberg. Indeed, in a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, a hypnotherapy group lost 30 times more weight than those who didn’t receive the therapy. And women who received hypnotherapy kept the pounds off for at least two years, according to research at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
Julie Evans, 40, of Macomb, Michigan, is proof of the power of hypnosis. She attended one of Greenberg’s weight-loss hypnosis seminars with her mom. “No joke, after we got out, all I wanted was a salad,” she says. “That was the last day I had fast food. Not having cravings was lifealtering.” And she lost 142 pounds! Read on for proven ways to reset your brain to slim without struggle!
Linda lost43 lbs!THEN: SIZE 16 Linda Garvey, 58, Irvine, CA Height: 5'9"NOW: Size 10