Varying levels of activity in areas of the brain related to reward and self-control may help predict who can resist that candy at the end of the aisle and who’s bound to give in. Thirty-one female participants took part in a recent study. Women with higher activity in the “reward center” of their brains, the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), had stronger food desires. They also gave in to their cravings more often, as did women with low IFG (the “parental control” center) activity, who were eight times more likely to cave than their high-IFG counterparts. Not only were the high-IFG group better equipped to resist their cravings, but they also managed to eat less when they did indulge. No matter which type you are – the important part is not beating yourself up when you do reach for the ice cream or the Snickers. No matter how active your mental reward center, we all deserve one sometimes!
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