Monday, July 12, 2010

Diet on the Tip of Your Tongue

Overeating doesn't come from hunger but from cravings.  Cravings come from emotional needs.  They are satified by the release of endorphins generated by the taste buds at the back of the tongue, which feels like the back of the throat.

You can train yourself to taste with the tip of your tongue, rather than the back.  Move your flavor sensation away from the place in your throat where you gargle, and instead focus on the tip of your tongue as being where sensation is.

How to do it.  As an analogy, try this.  Stare at a fixed point in the room.  Now, without moving your eyes, move your attention around that fixed view so that you focus your mind on items around the edges of your field of view, not just in the center.

Then, try this with a flavor.  Though you will always taste things over the full extent of your tongue, you can choose where to put your attention.  No matter where the flavor "centers" on your tongue, put the center of your attention on the tip.

When you do this, it shuts down the production of endorphins by the back of your tongue the same way a monk can lower his heart beat.

It may take a bit of practice or it may come quickly.  Either way, as soon as you have mastered this technique, the brain rewires and learns that food will no longer provide the comfort endorphins to swath emotional problems.  Therefore, it looks elsewhere.

This will create a new habit, so you may want to choose where you refocus - on house cleaning, hiking, going to movies, emailing friends - whatever alternative you find pleasureable and positive in your life that you which you did more of.

Often some sort of physical activity can be a good choice as that automatically released the feel-good endorphins as well and has the added benefit of improving your health in a second way in addition to losing weight.

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