Sounds great right? But what if you just can’t, you shut down, mentally, emotionally etc.
It is so ludicrous to say to someone that doesn’t exercise or has trouble getting consistent, “Just start exercising, what is so hard, start walking to lose weight…”
Yep absolutely, exercise has that effect of making you feel good;
There are some feel good hormones (also called neurotransmitters) proven to maintain healthy levels with regular exercise, dopamine, serotonin, GABA and endorphin’s
But what if you just don’t feel good enough to get started, what if you feel like, it is totally not worth it?
Then just exercise, right?
Seems silly doesn’t it?!
Recent research has shown, based on the increase in obesity and weight related issues, exercise is not the only solution. Dr. Daniel Amen, neuropsychiatrist, has spent 20 years researching this topic and has written two books on this very topic.
Dr. Daniel Amen has focused on weight loss and how our brain has a significant role in helping or hindering our efforts.
Dr. Amen has found through brain scans, that overeating in particular is caused by a chemical imbalance, (remember those feel good hormones?)
These chemical imbalances can be caused by, lack of exercise, high stress, lack of sleep and lack of proper nutrition.
In other words, overeating and emotional eating, is not just about will power.
It is about getting your brain hormonally balanced enough, to help you stop the cycle.
The idea that if you just control your calories and start exercising your body will change is flawed.
Although this behavior could help start the physical changes to your body, if your hormonal brain chemistry is not balanced, as discovered by Dr. Amen’s research, it only leads to failure.
Dr. Amen used his findings from his studies of brain images of individuals with depression, bipolar, ADD and people with addictions, to compare and conduct a study of an overweight population.
The images of the first population showed many different patterns of un-health. Clearly noting that each condition needed to be treated differently, however they were not.
Which lead Dr. Amen to also conclude after studying the brain scans of an overweight population, they also had unique brain chemistry imbalances that historically have not been taken into consideration.
So Dr. Amen was able to conclude clinically (proof of brain scans) that the one size fits all “diet” of today is flawed and rooted in failure.
In other words, each person’s overweight brain was showing a lack of one or several of the neurotransmitters.
Yet the brain scans clearly indicated that not everyone had the same deficit, showing their weight issue and weight loss solution needed to be more specific to them personally.
This is where I have done some study with Dr. Jade Teta and Metabolic Effect and how they have simplified finding some solutions to hormonal imbalance. As a Metabolic Effect Certified Coach, my teachings brought about my understanding of how to generalize but also to individualize each plan.
Here are a few things that I have learned, and put into practice for myself and my clientele in finding a better hormonal brain balance for sustainable weight (fat) loss.
Log your foods and how you feel after you eat. Log your Hunger, Energy and Cravings
This will tell you how your brain and body are reacting to the foods hormonally. This will help you narrow down the foods that are “healthy” for you. In order to reduce the swings in hormones it is important to note when you have a drastic swing in your Hunger, Energy and Cravings. That will tell you, even if the “diet” plan says it is healthy, it may not be healthy or right for you.
Reduce your consumption of simple sugars and refined carbohydrates
This is where I need to clarify, sugar is not the enemy, it is the over consumption of it that can cause the hormonal imbalance. It can also lead to diabetes, heart disease and many other inflammatory conditions.
However, a person who has dessert every night, that otherwise eats healthfully may not have these conditions and may actually be hormonally balanced enough to stop at one bite, small bites, or a few tastes.
Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night
There are many studies out there that clearly indicate lack of sleep can lead to disease. If our brains don’t get the necessary rest, it doesn’t recover, and doesn’t properly go through its proper reset of hormones.
Setting a specific bedtime ritual will help, this process, it may take a little work at first to set this habit, but in the long run it will become a positive healthy habit you can’t live without.
Reduce your stress
Now a little bit of stress is actually good, exercise is a stress or. However too much can lead to overkill and damage to how your body is functioning. Your brain will be in constant fight or flight mode. Raising your cortisol levels to overload.
So taking a Yoga class, get a massage, leisure walks every day, turn off the news, take breaks throughout the day.
Reduce or eliminate your intake of artificial sweeteners
As much as we want to believe artificial sweeteners are okay they are little devils that alter our brain to believe something is sweet. Sure it may not have the calories, but it still has the same effect on our brain’s as sugar. And we know too much of anything is really not in line with finding brain balance.
Now this is where I emphasize, lifting weights over cardio. I have found doing efficient, quick HIIT style workouts, that get your heartrate up, while using weights, to be the most effective. No need to spend hours in the gym, get in a total body workout, using your total body. Here is an example of the types of workouts I recommend http://jenniferbrango.com/free-simple-kettlebell-workout/
Include Healthy Fats
A low fat or nonfat diet can only lead to your brain starving. Our brains are made up mostly of fat, so it is important to include healthy Omega 3 fats into your daily meals. Eating salmon (wild caught), grass-fed beef, avocados, raw nuts, olive oil and some other options should be included in your daily intake of foods.
So think about this, it is not always about you having a lack of willpower or motivation. As Dr. Amen concluded, your hormonal brain chemistry may be a part of the problem. So if you put into practice some of the tips I suggest above, you may find more balance, with a little detective work on your part for some lasting results.
And if you are looking for more tips and tricks, join my email list. Every week I offer up tons of great tools I have learned over the years.