You know how hard it is to keep your hands to yourself and walk on by. And once you walk on by, the battle isn’t over. Even if you are in a different room and down the hall, you can’t stop thinking about those donuts.
Why is it so hard to resist something as small and seemingly innocent as a doughnut? It has to do with habit—and mind set.
The draw you feel from that donut can go way beyond just a mild interest. If this sounds like you, probably past donut indulgence has you wired to want it, so do you give in and approach that donut box? Why can’t you just say no and refuse?
The answer is a brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for motivating you to seek out the donut so you can get an opioid release where your brain remembers how good it tasted and how great it made you feel from past experience. Dopamine wants you to work for that doughnut. It causes you to concentrate on it and drives you to seek it out.
Once this process happens a few times, the whole cycle becomes a habit that is very reward focused, very ingrained and very hard to break. Your brain’s circuitry has become mapped and wired to want the doughnut. And you don’t even have to be near it for this process to start. The dopamine can kick in even when there are none in sight. Have you ever made a run to the store for a treat that you just had to have right then?
The deeply ingrained habit of eating unhealthy food and too much of it is widespread. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded not only with unhealthy food, but also with a neural circuitry that drives us to pursue that unhealthy food.
And now the good news is, you can rewire your brain and begin reducing the power those opioid-producing foods have over you. The secret is mindset. You must want something else more than you want those fleeting moments of pleasure the donuts bring you. What is it? What do want? Maybe you want to drop a couple of jeans sizes. Maybe you want to be off your blood pressure medication. Maybe you want to be known as an ‘athletic’ type person. Maybe you want to keep disease at bay. Or maybe you just want the immense satisfaction of being in control of yourself.