If you’re pregnant you really should watch your diet and avoid junk food. That’s what recent research ((J. R. Gugusheff, Z. Y. Ong, B. S. Muhlhausler. A maternal “junk-food” diet reduces sensitivity to the opioid antagonist naloxone in offspring postweaning. The FASEB Journal, 2012; DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-217653)) has (yet again) confirmed. Because mothers who eat junk food during pregnancy change the neurological hardwiring of their babies. In your brain, there is a thing called opioid signalling pathway. This part of your brain is involved in making you derive pleasure from any given activity. Now what happens when you eat fast food during pregnancy is that you permanently alter the opioid signalling pathway that builds in your developing baby, causing your baby to be more likely to overeat, especially on junk food.
When the researchers talk about junk food, they usually mean foods which are high in fat and sugar – because these are the foods that our opioid signalling pathway reacts most strongly to (both are excellent sources of energy, but they aren’t meant to be consumed in the amounts in which they are available today).
But this of course doesn’t really change things – because you probably already knew that eating junk food is not a good thing. The problem always has been: how to stop eating it, and instead eat healthier foods?
This is a very difficult pattern to break, and it might feel like a fight between food and yourself. Also, if you always have to rely on your willpower, it’s very difficult and exhausting – and will ultimately cause a “rebellious reaction” of overeating on those “forbidden foods”.
Fortunately, there are several self-hypnosis downloads that can help you to make healthy eating during pregnancy easier.