“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”~Richard Dawkins
Are you struggling to change your eating habits? You are already on the path of healthy eating, but you often fell off the wagon?
It’s not you, it’s your biology! Therefore you are not alone.
You just need to understand how human biology works in order to understand why it is so difficult to change your eating patterns.
And do not worry, we are not going to get into medical terms here.
We are going to go back to the basics. If I would have known what I’m about to tell you when I started implementing healthy eating and habits into my life, my journey would have been much easier and maybe I would not have put that much pressure on myself.
In this article you will learn:
- How our ancestors used to live
- The Motivational Triad that runs us
- How the mind works so we can use it in our favour
Ready to learn more about your body and mind?
Back in the days when humans used to search and hunt for their food, there were days of course when they were not able to find anything. Therefore, when they found food, they ate it all even when they were no longer hungry.
The body made energy reserves in the form of fat in order to manage starvation times while continuing the food search.
The hunting process will keep them in constant movement and shape. Besides they had to migrate during seasons to get the food.
In our modern world, we have food available 24/7. And it can get as easy as going to a drive-through or picking up the phone for delivery. Therefore, there is no effort at all and no energy spent to consume food.
Besides humans have created processed foods and fast foods to make their lives more practical, the problem is these kinds of foods are full of sugars, fat, chemicals and many more ingredients that we are not even able to pronounce.
Without forgetting to mention the fact that our lives have become lethargic with all the technology we have around, and even more nowadays if you are working from home.
But the reality is our body has not changed its essence. The body still needs to move and to eat whole natural foods because they are the ones it can process.
Why do you think obesity and type 2 diabetes have become epidemics?
Our bodies need to go back to what its biology requires: whole natural foods, movement, proper sleep, low levels or no stress at all, interact with nature, self-care and much more.
“Fast food is popular because it’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it tastes good. But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu.”~Eric Schlosser
The Motivational Triad
“I’m on a seafood diet. I see food and I eat it”~Unknown
I heard about the motivational triad not a long time ago in the docuseries of Jon McMahon named iThrive, rising from the depths of diabetes and obesity.
His psychologist Dr. Douglas Lisle explained the following. Which I think is essential to understand in the process of healthy eating, so when you get out of track you will know the reasons already, sometimes it is not willpower, it’s the way our beautiful biology has been created.
Animals (including humans) have a motivational triad, and I’m going to explain it focused on our topic about healthy eating.
First: Pleasure seeking
We want food rich in flavours. And we crave it even when we’re not hungry. Processed foods have a lot of ingredients whose purpose is to make us addicted to them so we consume more and the corporations make more money.
Healthy food does not have such an effect on us, have you noticed? After a few weeks of eating healthily, your polluted taste glands will clean and you’ll be able to savour the real taste of real food. That doesn’t mean the pleasure-seeking will go away, but at least you know how it works so you can manage it.
Second: Pain avoidance
Eating is a social activity, if we change our eating habits we don’t want to be rejected or in conflict with other people. They might criticize you and comment, or whatever. You must stay strong, if you have already started your healthy eating journey, remember that you are investing in your health, and people (whoever they might be) should respect your decision even when they might not agree with it.
Third: Energy conservation
Food provides the energy our body requires to achieve its functions. That’s why sometimes we even go against our instincts and keep eating. The body thinks it might get into a starvation mood soon so it wants to keep eating to save more fuel. Any excess is not good, even if it’s healthy food. The problem is that processed foods, besides the fact that their nutritious value is almost non-existent, they are full of sugars, salts and fat, and when we go over our limits the body will protect itself by storing fat around our vital organs to maintain us as healthy as possible. Yeah, our bellies are protecting us!
“ Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.”~Earl Nightingale
The mind plays a great role in everything. It can become our master if we don’t learn to master it. And that’s one of the reasons I love meditation.
The mind is really powerful, it doesn’t matter what its focus is, it can harm you or benefit you depending on how you let it.
As you might know, we have a conscious and unconscious mind. According to Joanna Naughton, my Mindset Coach, the conscious mind can pay attention to about 7 things at a time, while our unconscious mind has a very broad focus.
The conscious mind it’s like the captain of the ship and we spend 5-10% of the time here. While our unconscious mind is the crew of the ship and we spend between 90-95% of the time there.
In our unconscious mind are our beliefs, emotions, habits, patterns and memories.
And what it’s amazing about the unconscious mind is that it loves familiarity, it moves us towards whatever it is we put attention on, it understands clear commands, likes to follow instructions and it has the maturity of a 5-year-old kid.
Therefore if we learn to give it clear commands and instructions with attention and intention, and we talk to it like a 5-year-old, the “crew” of the ship will know exactly where the captain is heading.
So, I recommend to get your journal and get to write your beliefs and habits related to healthy eating and whatever you might be struggling with.
Understand what is deep down in your mind so you can start giving new commands to the crew that will help you make healthy eating part of your lifestyle.
You can also create mantras that you can repeat during the day to help you stay on track. Like “I enjoy eating healthy” or “It’s easy and fun to change my eating habits”. Something that will resonate and will motivate you to stay focused and strong.
Human beings, the beautiful you and me, we act based on our biology, the way we were designed.
By comprehending these key elements: how our ancestors used to live, the motivational triad and the mind you should be able to implement healthy eating with ease in your journey.
Do you understand now why we must feed our bodies with whole natural foods?
Did you realize why cravings and overeating are part of our biology? Have you planned how to manage them now?
Are you ready to give clear commands to your unconscious mind to make healthy eating an easy journey?
“Your biography becomes your biology. This biography includes the totality of your choices, the things you feed your body – your thoughts, your actions, your food – the thing you feed your life.”~Caroline Myss
Call to Action
If this resonated with you, most likely this course is for you!
This article is part of the content I’m teaching on my Mini-course: Essential Strategies to Jump-start Yourself into Sustainable Healthy Eating with Ease. Click on the link to get more details.