There’s no doubt about it…
Your body and your mind are directly linked.
What you think about has a clear effect on your health and vice versa.
In fact, I’ve just come across a fascinating study that shows how strong this mind-body connection is.
Researchers at Yale University decided to see how your thoughts affect your body’s response to food.
The study, published in the online journal Health Psychology, focused on ghrelin levels in the body.
So we’re on the same page, ghrelin is also known as the “hunger” hormone. It sends a signal to your brain that makes you want to eat.
If your body’s ghrelin levels are high, you’ll tend to overeat… even if you are already feeling full.
Likewise, low ghrelin levels are associated with feelings of satiety and not needing to eat more. .
One more thing – ghrelin levels typically increase before meals and decrease after eating.
Back to the study…
The researchers recruited volunteers and divided them into two groups:
Group 1 – received a milkshake that they were told was a 620-calorie “indulgent” shake.
Group 2 – received a milkshake that they were told was a 140-calorie “sensible” shake.
In reality, both groups got the same exact shake, which came in at 380 calories.
So what happened?
After drinking the shake, both groups had their ghrelin levels measured.
The group that thought they were having the nice, fatty-shake had a dramatic and steep decline in their ghrelin levels.
The group that thought they were being healthy had a neutral ghrelin response.
“This study shows that mindset can affect feelings of physical satiety. The brain was tricked into either feeling full or feeling unsatisfied. That feeling depended on what people believed they were consuming, rather than what they actually were consuming,” said Alia J.Crum, the study’s lead author.
“What was most interesting,” Crum added, “is that the results were somewhat counterintuitive. Consuming the shake thinking it was ‘indulgent’ was healthier than thinking it was ‘sensible.’ It led to a sharper reduction in ghrelin.”
Pretty crazy, right!?
The mere perception of what you’re eating has a direct effect on your body.
How’s that for “food for thought?”
So next time you embark on a diet, try to see if you can get yourself to change the perception of what you’re eating… and then see how it makes you feel.
Imagine the possibilities… indulgent chicken salads… hearty protein shakes… and exquisite veggies.
The sky’s the limit on this one!
Well, that’s all for today. Keep up those good eating and exercise habits… and make sure to use this neat little Jedi “mind trick” this holiday season.
Oh, and a BIG happy early Thanksgiving! Thank YOU for being a loyal reader.
And by the way … if you’re serious about taking your overall health and fitness to the next level before the New Year, why not take advantage of your FREE Fitness Consultation? (an $87 value)
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 Crum, Alia J.; Corbin, William R.; Brownell, Kelly D.; Salovey, Peter, “Mind over milkshakes: Mindsets, not just nutrients, determine ghrelin response.” Health Psychology, May 16, 2011