Does mind over matter really work when it comes to eating right and exercising? Can you think yourself thin?
Lumosity, a company that develops programs for mind training, was approached by the HuffPost and asked how the latest neuroscience breakthroughs could be applied to helping people make better lifestyle choices.
When you exercise new brain cells are generated – a process called neurogenesis. When you exercise your brain it leads to increased will power. So if you do both – exercise body and mind – you will find it easier to attain your health and fitness goals .
The more you exercise, the less your brain will respond to food cues, says Dr Srini Pillay, author of Life Unlocked and The Science Behind the Law of Attraction.
What kind of exercise can give the mind as much of a workout as the body? One example is a dance classes where you have to remember steps and sequences.
"Scientific research shows us that there are two kinds of intentions: 'goal' intentions which are broad ('I need to eat better') and 'implementation' intentions that are more specific ('I need to only eat meals that I cook myself')," Dr. Pillay says. "When you are too general, the brain is less likely to change its behavior, however, when you are more specific, it has to do less work on its own to help you achieve your goal. This is especially true of weight-loss strategies," he adds. So from this we learn that one’s willpower is key.
Lumosity says that regular brain training programs can help strengthen willpower. Dr Pillay says that having positive affirmations helps in this regard too. Be positive – instead of saying you will NOT eat a certain food, tell yourself you will eat this healthy food at a certain time. Positivity plays a large role in living a healthful lifestyle.