Freshly Baked Science

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A Matter Of Self-Control

7th June 2018

How often have you found yourself trying to start eating healthily, but then been lured in by the smell of McDonald's or just had to eat that cake so it 'didn't go mouldy'? Yes, we are also guilty as charged! So how come there are some people who can say no to the second bar of chocolate or a big jammy doughnut? Have you ever thought that this difference may just be the way our brains are wired?


Brand new research has shown that people with more grey matter (the most active component in the brain) in two areas of the prefrontal cortex (the part of your brain behind your forehead) actually have more self-control when it comes to tempting treats! 


The prefrontal cortex is known to be involved in planning and decision making, so it would make sense that choosing between a carrot and a carrot cake would take place here. But we are almost certain we have a very small amount of grey matter in these areas, as we would definitely dive into the carrot cake 9 times out of 10!


Having said this, we can't start using grey matter as an excuse to keep breaking our diet. It's a well-known fact that our brains are 'plastic', which means it is easily reshaped and trained. Over time, and with a lot of commitment, we could exercise our brains to become more densely packed with grey matter in the self-control areas and become the health goddess we've always dreamed of being!


Do you think you have a lot of grey matter in your prefrontal cortex, or are you someone with little self-control, who loves a regular pint of ice cream? Tweet us (@magazinewonk) with the hashtag #amatterofselfcontrol

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