In this series of articles, we have seen that our brain makes constant trade-offs between rewards and pain. It also trades off one reward and against another and old reward pathways against new ones. You have more power over these trade-offs when you understand them. Food choices can help you recognize your thought habits because the rewards are tangible instead of being abstract. Food seeking interrupts negative thought patterns, and that’s a valuable tool in some situations. But if you rely on this tool too often, you do yourself harm. You must keep assessing the trade-offs to get what you want.
The Reward Value of Food
You can enjoy the reward value of food without overindulging. You can stop seeing food as a threat. When you understand the reward value of food, you can enjoy the rewards without adding to your anxiety. You are always doing this with the circuits you have, but with effort, you can build some new circuits.