Food & Eating / August 15, 2013

Diet Hero Issues

By Charles Platkin, PhD

Don’t Be a – Toss the Unhealthy

I’ve said it again and again, and now there is research to support it – “DO NOT BE A HERO!” What’s a “Diet Hero”? Someone who thinks sheer willpower alone is enough to conquer those sweet and savory snack attacks. A study on self-control by researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Dusseldorf published in the journal Neuron compared “the effectiveness of willpower versus voluntarily restricting access to temptations, called ‘precommitment’ … and the mechanisms in the brain that play a role in precommitment.”

They found that “the most effective way to beat temptations is to avoid facing them in the first place.”

Additionally, the researchers found that precommitment activates the frontopolar cortex, the brain region that is involved in thinking about the future. And when the frontopolar cortex is engaged during precommitment, “It increases its communication with a region that plays an important role in willpower, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.”

Best advice: Toss out the unhealthy food from your house and don’t rely on willpower alone.

Tags:  diet diet hero food healthy eating

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