Monday, July 20, 2015

Guest Blog: Better Brain Strategies to Lose Weight

Guest blog:

If you want to consciously lose weight it is critical to understand that our brains have been wired to seek out high-calorie, fatty foods for thousands of years. It is up to us to use our higher brain and to learn how to control those primitive parts of our lower brain to resist overeating. Over the past 30 years in private practice I have seen dramatic results in releasing weight if you just know the "how" and attach a bigger "why" to changing habits.

In this blog , I will to teach you the three steps you can do to preprogram your meals and resist using the primitive part of your brain that keeps you seeking out high sugar ,high calorie, empty nutrient foods. It is important to remember that our brain’s biological software was developed as a protective response in the first place.

Calories Meant Survival

Our brain’s desire to over eat rich ,high caloric food is a genetic factor still present from the days of our early ancestors. Imagine if you could only eat what you caught or picked that day. The variety of foods hunter gatherers had available was extremely different in comparison to the 30,000 food choices we can buy in the average grocery store today.

We also have easy access to food 24 hours a day with fast food drive thru meals and grocery stores. Our ancestors also expended a lot more calories acquiring their food so they needed to eat higher calorie foods for energy.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate up to 60 percent of their calories in the form of animal muscle meat, fat and organ meat, and the other 40 percent from fruits ,seeds and vegetables. That balance between protein and carbohydrates in the diet was different than our present diet.

Carbohydrates have received a bad rap but they are the single most important nutrient for long-term health and weight loss. Now, Im not talking about donuts and pasta I'm talking about plant foods that more closely resemble what our ancestors ate. These whole foods are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and weight-busting nutrients. Whole foods have all the right energy and information to turn on all the right genes.

Over the past 10,000 years with the advent of both agriculture and industrialization the human diet has been turned upside down. Today, 60 percent of our calories come from things that our ancestors wouldn’tt even recognize as food.

The bulk of those items are processed cereal grains, sugary soft drinks and high concentrated juice, refined oils and dressings filled with simple carbohydrates. The primitive brain sees this as an endless supply of food for easy energy. The result is an epidemic of obesity and diabetes in our country that leads to many health and brain disorders.

The Blood Sugar Overload

When you eat simple sugars they pass almost instantaneously through the gut into the bloodstream. Within seconds blood sugar levels start to rise and the body releases insulin that unlocks the cells to allow sugar inside. As sugar enters the cells the blood sugar lowers and the body restores to homeostasis.

The abundance of simple sugars will eventually wear down the cell receptors from overuse. Like a key thats lost its teeth, insulin loses its ability to easily open the cell membranes door. The cells then become numb to the effects of insulin. The body then pumps out more and more of the hormone to keep its blood sugar levels in check. Eventually this cycle will lead to a dangerous condition called insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance has been shown to cause you to gain belly fat ,raise your cholesterol, lead to high blood pressure, make you depressed, tired, and demented, and can even lead to forms of cancer.

Three Ways to Reprogram your Brains Hunger Centers

These are the three ways to get started today

1) Balance your blood sugar. Blood sugar highs and lows drive primitive food cravings. If you get famished between meals, thats a sign that your blood sugar is dropping. One of the best ways  to regulate blood sugar is to eat a small meal or snack that includes healthy protein, like seeds or nuts every 3 to 4 hours .Planning a higher protein snack at 10am and 3 pm is a great first step in your conscious plan of eating.

2) Eliminate liquid calories and artificial sweeteners. Early humans didnt reach for soda or fruit juices when they got thirsty. Sodas are full of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. Processed fruit juices are a vey dense form of sugar. Try sticking with water or green tea. Green tea contains plant chemicals that are good for your health. A bad decision is to succumb to the diet food or diet drink trap. The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks and foods fool the body into thinking it is ingesting sugar, which creates the same insulin spike as regular sugar.

3) Eat protein at breakfast. Studies show that starting the day eating a healthy protein, such as eggs, seeds, nuts or a protein shake helps to lose weight, reduce cravings, and burn calories.
Ideally you may not be able to control your genes but you do have control over what and how you eat. When you follow this plan consciously the brain lowers its cravings and urge for sugary food and suppress the lower reptilian brain cravings.

One of the most powerful ways to reduce stress is to use your higher conscious mind and to plan ahead. If you want to transform your health make a conscious decision to preplan what you eat !

Better Brain Strategy of the Week

Ø  Plan your higher protein snacks for 10am and 3pm for the next 7 days

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