The Pleasure Is Yours: How Your Brain Interprets Food As Love

food love brain
Self, Sex

...and how to harness the power of neurochemistry to get "high" on love.

But let's look on the bright side: Knowing how your brain chemicals work, especially when it comes to the overlapping effects of food and love, can actually make your cravings easier to handle. And as anyone who's ever gone on a diet or quit smoking or drinking (or gambling or shopping) knows, cravings don't have to control you—not if you control them first.

Control. Now there's a word that carries a lot of weight (no pun intended) in the food/sex arena. If you exercise control, for example, by eating a sensible, balanced diet and refrain from bingeing (on food, drugs or anything), not only will your body and brain benefit, but so will your sex life. Because soon after you modify your behavior in this way, your brain's pleasure centers begin to regain sensitivity and become more receptive to stimuli.

Think of what that could mean. With your newly sensitized brain, just the tiniest taste of Godiva will send you over the moon; every kiss, every caress, every orgasm will seem that much better. Sound unbelievable? Maybe so, but reconditioning the brain in this manner is a common medical practice for addiction specialists. And many former addicts report that after going through a period of withdrawal, their sexual responsiveness returned, bigger and better than ever.

Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun
Of course, changes to the brain, both good and bad, don't happen overnight. But consider this: If you already maintain your weight by eating a balanced diet and making sensible life choices, you're that much ahead of the game. You've already figured out that moderation is the key to a happy brain — and a happy life.

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If you're not so lucky and have been overindulging on a regular basis, you might want to think about turning off the dopamine drip for a bit and letting your brain's pleasure centers "dry out." Don’t think of it as rehab, per se, but rather a short trip to Moderationville, during which you may experience a return of the Technicolor tastes and sexual sensations you haven't felt in awhile. Who knows? When your sluggish pleasure centers begin to snap back to life, you might find you really like being among the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. And we'll be glad you're here.