Cravings are fueled by dopamine, says Shah, versus nourishing your physique. That mentioned, you possibly can “hack” these cravings by giving your self a giant burst of dopamine in a barely altered approach. Enter, intermittent rewards.
“Intermittent, sudden rewards have the largest burst of dopamine and the very best probability of getting embedded in that pathway,” says Shah. If you expertise an sudden reward, think about your physique receiving a giant explosion of dopamine. So attempt giving your self an intermittent reward, say, 3 times every week—however this time, you select a more healthy reward. Should you’re attempting to kick a refined sugar behavior, maybe you reward your self with darkish chocolate unexpectedly.
When the reward pops up—perhaps it’s a reminder in your telephone—take a break and actually get pleasure from that darkish chocolate. “Perform a little little bit of cognitive behavioral remedy,” says Shah. “Say, ‘I’m so wonderful that I am selecting this darkish chocolate. That is going to be so scrumptious. That is the very best high quality darkish chocolate.’”
The one caveat: Be sure that your intermittent rewards are actually random. “It might’t be Monday, Wednesday, Friday at midday—it needs to be intermittent,” Shah says. “And that may be a approach that you may truly retrain your mind to like that chocolate and really feel a giant burst of dopamine.”