If your New Year’s resolution is that perennial favorite – weight loss – you may want to read further.
As someone interested in the connection between our thinking and our health, I was intrigued by the title of an online interview – Mind over Milkshake – describing a study conducted by Dr. Alia Crum and her colleagues of Yale University to determine if food labels affect metabolism.
Half the participants in the study were given milkshakes labeled Sensishake , zero fat, no sugar and 140 calories. The milkshakes for the remaining group were labeled Indulgence,with sugar and fat adding up to 620 calories. In actual fact, both milkshakes were exactly the same – 300 calories each.
Measuring the ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels of participants before and after consuming the milkshakes showed rather surprising results. Participants who believed they had consumed the “indulgent” shake felt more full and satisfied than their counterparts who thought they had consumed the “sensible” milkshake. The study showed that beliefs about food have a more significant impact on lowering appetite and increasing metabolism than actual calories.
To put it simply, your mindset can fool your stomach.
If thought affects the metabolism, then wouldn’t it be more helpful if diet plans focused more on our thinking and beliefs rather than on food itself?
I’ve found just such a diet plan through studying Mary Baker Eddy’s treatise Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It requires disciplining thought and is based on this advice from the Bible: “stop worrying about what you will eat or wear. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes.”
In other words, don’t let food or body shape and size determine your life and wellbeing. You are so much more than molecules! You have individual, spiritual substance!
So instead of giving undue importance to nutritional labels, watching your calorie intake, or giving up certain foods, why not keep a closer watch on how spiritual your thinking is?
This last and most important point has helped me to realize that food – too much or too little – cannot control me. Spiritual thinking and practice alert me to make right practical decisions as to a balanced intake of food. I’m defining myself less by body image or weight and feeling freer to express the inner beauty and goodness. This in turn blesses everyone around me.
So go ahead – try this spiritual diet plan today – the new you will not only feel better yourself but also change the world around you!
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