If you’re trying to figure out why you’re exercising and sticking to your diet, and yet you STILL aren’t losing weight, it looks like you could have your basal ganglia to blame! Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, while decisions are made in a completely different part of the brain. When your basal ganglia kicks in, the decision-making part of your brain goes into sleep mode… and congratulations, you are officially on autopilot! Unfortunately, we can often be on autopilot when it comes to bad eating habits, habits that can seriously sabotage our efforts when it comes to health and weight loss.
Habits are a natural part of our daily process, but let’s face it… we have good habits and we have bad ones. There are a number of habits that we engage in every day that can actually slow or even counteract our progress when it comes to our weight loss goals. Many people often attribute bad eating habits simply to low motivation or lack of self-control. But don’t feel bad… in actuality, science supports the fact that our brains are hardwired to routinize and habitualize behaviors so that we have more mental space to do other things. Those pesky, multi-tasking brains of ours!
Fortunately, when we become aware of what our bad habits are and how they may be slowing our progress toward weight loss, we can begin working to change them. Habits can be pretty hard to change because by their very nature, our brains cling stubbornly to routine. But with some awareness, commitment, and new tools, we can work to develop new habits that will better support our weight loss goals.
- Ignoring Hunger Cues
- Weekend Cheating
- Sipping on Sugar (cola)
- Over consuming Alcohol
- Overfilling your plate