Every lent, I give up carbonated soft drinks for my lenten sacrifice, and every year, I lose 5-10 pounds by drinking water instead of soft drinks. I also gave up cheese and spices on everything. For the first few weeks, my brain craved the pleasure of the tastier food that I previously ate to the point that it was almost painful. Eventually, the brain pain decreased.
It's no wonder that diets and diet soft drinks don't work. If we have just ONE or more very tasty foods per day, it seems that our brains REMEMBER the high pleasure center stimulation, the more we "miss" it when it's not there. Why drink diet soft drinks over water if both have no calories? Answer : taste (pleasure). A stronger case can be made for water since it's free. Diet soft drinks = high pleasure = positive reinforcement = want more taste at dinner. Water = no pleasure stimulation = not "missing out" on a potential high next time = don't care to have another non-stimulation episode = intake less calories because there's no reward. It seems many people reward themselves for choosing diet soft drinks by indulging at dinner because their brains "miss" and crave the pleasure. It's no wonder that diets don't work. People basically crave pleasure and want to avoid pain. The brain doesn't like to be teased by ups and downs. The brain wants to avoid the downs at all costs. Avoiding the ups altogether (very tasty) is the key. Healthy food is still possible this way.
I think the key to weight loss is to eat blander food ALL the time, once weaned. The Govt. telling people to exercise more is a help, but few people have the time nor the motivation to run the mini-marathon needed to burn 10,000 calories per day! What say you? :thumbsup: