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The Reward Based Eating Pathway

a simple method to change cravings

The Problem

There are two pathways to craving food: the Hedonic Pathway and the Homeostatic Pathway. The Hedonic Pathway is a rewards based eating habit that doesn’t have a biological purpose, we eat because it’s lunch and because we are conditioned to eat at lunch, whether we are hungry or not.

On the flip side, the Homeostatic Pathway is a balanced desire to eat for energy in. For example, you have expended 1100 calories over the course of your morning so by noon you crave 1100 calories in food. This is balance, homeostasis.

How did we get here?

You’ll notice fast food chains like Burger King, McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger, Wendy’s and so on feature yellow and red heavily in their marketing and logos as well as on and in their buildings. This is not a coincidence as those colors inspire hunger. Add the scent of burgers grilling and you have a hard-to-pass-up marketing combination that overrides our natural drive to eat when we need to eat and causes us to eat because we want to, as a little reward in a way, a trophy for your taste buds.

Now it may sound unbelievable to you but to my taste buds those tactics no longer work. My cravings are driven by how many calories I have expended, and when My body tells me to eat I generally crave healthy foods. It doesn’t mean that I can’t overeat but it does mean that I am in control of when and what I will eat rather than the marketing geniuses behind Ben and Jerry’s.

The solution

Throughout history you can find fasting apart of nearly all cultures and major religions. For religious purposes fasting is described as a way to find your spiritual self but as a trainer I  have found that fasting reveals yourself. Fasting in the appropriate way will remove the layers of inflammation, abdominal pain, irritable bowels, bloating and digestive discomfort that are largely associated with a common western diet.

If you follow the fast with an elimination diet protocol that eliminates inflammatory foods, foods with common allergens and processed foods, you will reveal even more about your digestion and subsequently reveal a flatter tummy as well.

Most of us walk around having just eaten foods that cause inflammation, i.e. redness, pain, swelling or heat. Inflammation is a natural response that is the body protecting itself so it is safe to say that if a food causes any one of these responses in you then your body is rejecting it as toxic. The typical western diet leaves us numb to these signals so most of us don’t know that our immune system is constantly protecting us from the foods that we eat…that isn’t healthy.

Once you have fasted and are participating in an elimination type diet, your body is no longer numb to the foods that your immune system is reacting to, it is actually very aware and screaming at you “Don’t Eat That!” By food journaling you can easily identify the foods your body is in sync with and the ones that it isn’t.

Follow up your elimination diet with an intuitive eat plan and you are on your way to enjoying all those foods that your body desires and rejecting the foods that you thought you wanted but you really didn’t.

The ReCode Diet isn’t the only diet that accomplishes this, some do it on purpose, others by accident, our way is just one of the ways to achieving this effect and we hope it is effective for you as it has been for so many in the past.

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