I used to think, weight loss and staying lean and healthy is all about diet.
I used to think, it's about exercise.
I used to think, it's about healthy balanced lifestyle.
And it is.
And it is not.
In the books Dr. Amen explores the health of our brain – how it affects our body, our life, our age and youthfulness.
A lot of studies, pictures of actual brain scans (more than anyone ever did), stories of amazing transformations.
What is the most important lesson we need to learn from them?
If we want to be healthy, stay young, fit and happy, we got to make sure, our brain is healthy.
Because willpower is a VERY limited resource. We can force ourselves to follow a restrictive diet to lose weight, diet that compromises our health, but we are not going to last long. Few days, few weeks and we are be back where we started sooner or later.
No amount of willpower is enough for weight loss, unless we improve our health, our brain health.
Who controls how much we want to eat and how often?
Who controls what emotions we have and what foods we crave?
Who controls how much physical and mental energy we have?
Who controls our choice between evening in the gym and evening in front of the TV with a bag of Oreos or a bucket of Ben & Jerry's Ice-Cream?
Who tells us to eat a healthy salad or binge on candies?
You think it's YOU who runs the show?
You think it's some mysterious force, that you have no control of, that makes you overeat?
You think something is wrong with you, and that's why you are destined to be fat, ugly and unhappy?
Our brain makes all the decisions.
Good or bad "“ it's all our brain. Brain, that changes our body chemistry, controls productions of different hormones that affect our mood, hunger, energy levels, motivation to stick with our best intentions "“ it's all our brain. Science now proves it.
"Your brain is involved in everything you do, including how you think, how you feel, how you act, and how you get along with other people. Your brain is the organ of personality, character, intelligence, and every decision you make. And, as we will see, it is the quality of your decisions that help you live a long time or kill you early.
It's your brain that tells you to stop eating when you've had enough "¦or lets you dive into that second bowl of ice cream so that you end up feeling bloated, groggy, and depressed." ~ "Change Your Brain Change Your Body", Dr. Amen
Why does brain make us do all the unhealthy stuff?
Because we let it get sick.
And when our brain is sick, neurons are damaged, signals between neurons don't run properly, some connections are destroyed, our PFC (Prefrontal Cortex) doesn't work properly "“ part of our brain in charge of decision-making.
How does our brain get sick?
Junk food, sugar, trans-fats, inflammation, stress "“ all these factors contribute to increased brain toxicity, number of free radicals that kill our brain cells (neurons) and disrupt proper communication between different regions of our brain, contribute to decreased blood flow to our brain with so much needed oxygen, supply of energy, nutrients. As a result we get a sick brain that makes poor decisions. The biggest hit takes our PFC, in charge of decision making, especially the ones with long-term results.
No wonder, we choose to enjoy cookies NOW instead of salads to look better in the future.
"Lousy diets, chronic stress, health problems, a lack of sleep, too much alcohol, illegal drugs, high-risk behavior, being around environmental toxins "¦ contribute to our brain's early demise." ~ "Use Your Brain to Change Your Age", Dr. Amen
Want to look fit?
Want to have abundant energy?
Want to feel and look sexy, healthy and young?
Want to be happy?
Keep your brain happy.
Keep your brain healthy.
There are many lifestyle factors that affect health of our brain, but it's proven that nutrition has the most (at least 80%) effect on brain health.
"Putting toxic fuel in a car will definitely decrease its performance. Putting toxic fuel in your body will definitely hurt your brain, no matter how much exercise you do." ~ "Use Your Brain to Change Your Age", Dr. Amen
That's why also, if we don't change our diet, no amount of exercise will have long term effects. Our brain will still make bad decisions that will lead to pounds of fat and poor health.
Let's crack brain nutrition for our sexy, fit and healthy body!
7 Ways to unleash OUR ultimate weapon of FAT destruction aka HEALTHY BRAIN WARRIOR:
Eat high quality calories and not too many of them.
If you lost connection with your true hunger counting calories is necessary.
Too much food is a lot of work for our body that leaves no energy or recovery time for our brain to heal and get healthy. To start, take an average number (somewhere around 2000-2500 calories) and stick with it. Make every calorie go towards betterment of your health. Eat the most nutritious foods (greens, fruits and vegetables, berries, mushrooms, beans, fish, high quality meat and dairy, mostly plants (volume wise).
Drink plenty of water and avoid liquid calories.
Our brain is 80% water and it needs proper hydration to stay healthy. Make sure you give your brain plenty of water.
Most liquid calories come from processed sugar that is toxic for the brain. Healthy brain needs slowly released healthy carbs "“ another reason to stay away from any kind of liquid calories.
Eat high-quality lean protein.
Get the best quality you can find: good quality fatty fish (better wild) with as many omega-3s as possible, grass-fed meats (again more omega-3s), good quality dairy, if you digest it well (especially fermented dairy to add healthy bacteria to heal our gut).
Eat "smart" (low-glycemic, high-fiber) carbohydrates.
Google tables with glycemic index and choose foods with number 50 or less.
The slower the sugar is released into our blood (that what glycemic index shows), the better it is for our brain as it means constant supply of energy.
Fiber is essential to keep us full longer. It helps the body to absorb the fuel gradually.
We need fiber for proper function of digestive tract and good life for our gut microbiome (good bacteria in our gut).
Limit fat consumption to healthy fats, especially those containing omega-3-s.
60 % of solid mass of our brain is fat and it needs lots of it to function properly. But not all fats will do. Omega-3s are super important. Than we need some omega-6s, some saturated fats to create healthy cholesterol, produce proper amount of vital hormones, build some cell structures.
Eat your fats.
Fats are much more important for health, than carbs and even than proteins. Especially when it comes to brain health.
Many diets make us sick and fail us exactly because they limit essential for health fats.
Eat natural foods of many different colors to boost anti-oxidants.
Anti-oxidants keep our brain healthy protecting them from free-radicals.
So eat lots of them: greens, vegetables, berries are especially high in anti-oxidants.
Cook with brain healthy herbs and spices.
Spices not only add flavor to our food in a healthy way but a lot of them promote brain and whole body health!
Some of the champions: Tumeric, Saffron, Sage, Cinnamon, Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Garlic Ginger, Rosemary.
Spice it up!
Want to get rid of fat forever?
Feed your brain healthy. It's as easy as that. The only way people ever lose weight permanently "“ they do things to keep the brain happy.