It’s time to get into better shape again – with science!

Even if it’s a corny New Year’s resolution, I want to lose some weight again, like so many others around me as well. You might be one of them. On top, I want to make sure I eat healthier again. That sounds like it’s the same, but as I saw in my little ketogenic diet experiment last year, it’s possible to eat bacon and cheese every day and still lose weight. That’s NOT a healthy approach!

I want to lose weight -like everyone else- but I have science and psychology on my side

As already mentioned in the last post, I have put on 18 pounds in recent months. Unfortunately, it’s not muscle but mostly belly blob. I have been feeding my love-handles with lots of love – but mostly pizza. So my goal is to lose weight by focusing on a healthier diet and working out regularly – just like everyone else. With one exception!! I have science and psychology on my side!

University told me a lot about human psychology and how our brains are wired, as I studied marketing as well as consumer psychology. In my spare time, I read up a lot on nutrition, habit building, and subconscious persuasion.

The deck is stacked against you when it comes to losing weight!

Our bodies are built to FIGHT WEIGHT-LOSS AT ALL COSTS. Your body wants you to be FAT –evolutionary speaking. It increased our chances of survival a lot when we were on the hunt for mammoths and collecting berries. Fat is the same for your body, as a power bank is to your phone – it’s really handy when you are running low and makes sure you’ll make it back home safely. This is the reason why we loooove fat, sugar, and salt.

Andrew Zimmern -my favorite celebrity chef- once said: “When in doubt, use a touch of fat, sugar and salt. These ingredients have become the sex lube of our culinary generation. It’s kind of awful. But I’m not entirely opposed to the sugar-fat-salt trick; I just think it needs to be used very, very prudently”. Andrew is one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to culinary adventures. When I first read his quote, I felt guilty! I used this little cheap shortcut quite often without even realizing it.

We are all evolutionary simply hardwired to love this combination. Back in the past, these three distinct taste elements were almost a guarantee for energy and filling nutrition that would sustain us in the times of need to come. But now supermarkets became our main hunting grounds. Food is abundant and available to us pretty much at all times. Whenever a dish tastes bland, add a dash of sugar, a sprinkle of salt and a generous amount of butter – or simply cut out the middle man and add bacon! Voilà, your dish tastes better than ever before! The reason is that your lizard brain just tells your body “yes, this is exactly what we should be eating so we won’t starve to death in the near future”. What your lizard brain does not realize is the fact that you’ll probably eat again in an hour, because it’s your co-worker Karen’s birthday and she brought a cake to the office.

So the recipes on InJohnnysKitchen will move towards a somewhat healthier diet. Nooooo – that does not mean I’ll completely avoid fat, sugar and salt. Of course not! And you will still find crazy pizzas and burgers here again. I’ll just try to match the recipes that I write with my current lifestyle.

For me, this means focusing more on nutritional value. It’s not about cutting out something. It’s about adding healthier elements into my diet. Instead of trying to avoid junk food, I’ll just try to increase the nutritional content of it.

Including more vegetables, more nutritional dense elements and trying to use less salt and (unnecessary) animal products. I recently learned a lot of other ways of getting big umami oomph into dishes, without always needing to rely on animals. So it’s going to be all the good stuff, with somewhat less of the guilt!
In the next days, I will share a few more tricks here on how to trick your brain allowing you to lose weight on auto-pilot! Turn on post notifications if you haven’t done so already!

If you are up for an absolutely delicious velvety tomato salad now, here you go!

Sweet little cherry tomatoes covered by a healthy summery low-fat dressing! The chives give them a little zing!

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