Would you have thought that gratitude improves eating habits? Well, according to Susan Peirce Thompson, a psychology professor, a brain and cognitive scientist, and an expert in the psychology of eating, it’s quite likely that gratitude improves eating habits.
Gratitude is about paying attention and relishing something good in your life. It is about affirming that which you may otherwise take for granted. Gratitude is a state of mind that can be cultivated simply by practicing it. In my own life I have been trying to be more mindful of gratitude, though until now I hadn’t considered how it could be associated with better eating habits.
Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., is President of the Institute for Sustainable Weight Loss and CEO of Bright Line Eating Solutions, a company dedicated to sharing the psychology and neurology of sustainable weight loss and helping people achieve it. As millions of people have trepidations about overeating. She is also the author of the newly released book, Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin and Free.
Susan offers this timeless wisdom regarding the power of being grateful:
How Gratitude Improves Eating Habits
Messages of gratitude, can help, not hinder, willpower around food. In fact, says Susan, when incorporated into the scaffolding of your life, giving thanks before EVERY meal has immeasurable health and weight control benefits.
Gratitude reinforces the routine of eating meals on a regular schedule.
Eating regular meals at consistent times is crucial in that it lengthens the body’s fasting window, which increases fat loss and strengthens the process by which cells recycle and repair. It also improves insulin sensitivity and lowers cholesterol. Gratitude improves eating habits by reinforcing rituals.
Gratitude takes the burden off of willpower.
Willpower depletion is a very real phenomenon. In fact, research shows we may have as little as 15 minutes of willpower at our disposal before it runs dry. However, research also shows that something as simple as making a gratitude list can replenish its stores. Hence, practicing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the best ways to harness the brain’s ability to resist unwanted and unneeded extra food.
Turning thoughts toward gratitude eases temptations themselves.
No matter where you are in the world, no matter what party or occasion, no matter what restaurant, you can always turn your mind toward gratitude. Doing so shifts the focus from what you want (or crave) to what you already have. Gratitude improves eating habits by reinforcing mindfulness, which helps sharpen awareness of your actions and can lead to making better choices.
Gratitude improves eating habits. What are you grateful for?
Susan Peirce Thompson’s newly released book, Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin and Free, is available at Amazon.com.
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