Posted Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM
VEG DIET MYTH OF THE DAY:
I don't have the willpower to be a vegetarian.
BUSTED: That lack of willpower might actually be rooted in something biochemical, but there's still hope for us all. "Studies suggest that cheese, chocolate, sugar, and meat all spark the release of opiate-like substances that trigger the brain's pleasure center and seduce us into eating them again and again," says Neal Barnard, MD, VT's Ask the Doc columnist and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. "These foods stimulate the same opiate receptors in your brain as heroin or morphine, albeit to a lesser degree. Luckily, there are many healthy dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to break food addictions." To break from these addictive foods, the doctor suggests focusing on what you're eating today instead of thinking of your diet change as a "forever" decision. "Focus on the short term. A three-week break will be enough to get you started."