How often do you get BLASTed?
B.L.A.S.T. is an acronym that stands for:
If you eat when you are stressed, chances are you have been BLASTed. But you are not alone. This is in fact the way our brains are wired. When you are under stress, the limbic center of your brain, sometimes known as your “lizard brain,” takes over, and it seeks to protect you from your emotional distress.
Our brains are always making connections and your brain has simply made the connection that when you are stressed, a quick way to feel better is to eat food. So it’s not a matter of willpower. You are being overwhelmed by your biochemistry.
But in our modern world with stress being an all too common daily occurrence what can we do about it without having to fight a losing battle using willpower?
The other part of our brain called the prefrontal cortex is where you make decisions based on morals, logic, and rationality. This is the part of your brain that is focused on achieving what you want for your life, such as weight loss. Imagine the angel and devil on your shoulders arguing – the angel is your prefrontal cortex, the devil is your brain’s limbic center.
The only problem is that when your lizard brain has taken over, you don’t want to listen to the messages being sent from your prefrontal cortex. You want the instant pleasure, and release from the emotional distress that the piece of chocolate cake is going to provide you.
So how do we change this pattern? There is something that we all have in common and that we have immediate access to 24/7. It’s our breath. That’s right. It may sound simple, but consciously taking advantage of your breath is one of the only tools you need to break this vicious cycle of stress eating.
This is how it works. The next time you feel stress in your life, any stress, take five deep breaths. Take in as much air as you can and slowly exhale. Do this five times. This doesn’t mean that you won’t still have the piece of chocolate cake. Maybe you will. But if every time you get stressed from now on you make a conscious decision to take five deep breaths, before you make any other decisions, your brain will start making a new connection. Soon, this will become an automatic behavior. And over time, you will begin to enjoy the instant pleasure you get from the deep breathing more than you will crave the pleasure of the chocolate cake. Go ahead and try it. This one technique might just change your waistline, and your life.
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