Dr. Daniel Amen has studied the human brain enhancement, blood flow and activity patterns using a special scanner. From his experience in this field, Dr. Amen has concluded that any physical changes must come from first healing the brain. He’s also found that no one plan works for everyone and an individualized plan needs to be created based on a person’s brain scan, which he describes in his book, Change Your Brain Change Your Body.
Risks Associated with Obesity
Obesity is linked to inflammation, hormonal problems, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, diabetes and more. Amen believes that brain function plays a large role in creating or healing these health conditions.
In addition to the common problems associated with obesity, research detailed in the Human Brain Mapping journal suggests that obese and overweight people have smaller brains than thinner people. This loss of brain tissue puts obese and overweight people at risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia.
10 Principles for Changing the Brain
Amen goes into great detail about the steps for changing the brain to change the body, He includes action steps throughout this section of the book. He also describes different types of eaters, from compulsive to emotional eaters. He goes on to explain the reasons for the behavior and ways to deal with it.
Habits that Negatively Effect the Brain
The first step in healing the brain is to recognize what we do to damage it. Trauma, stress, drugs, sleep deprivation, malnutrition, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, dehydration and lack of exercise all contribute to problems with the brain. This translates into obesity, poor circulation, poor heart health and an overall unhealthy feeling about one’s self.
How to Fix the Brain to Lose Weight
Cutting out many of the stressors mentioned above is the first step to changing the brain. Replace bad habits with healthy ones. Adopt a healthy diet, increase exercise, increase sleep, take vitamins, learn to relax, meditate and balance your hormones to produce change. Amen also dedicates a portion of his book to supplements and which ones you should take based on your current health and habits.
Brain foods, or superfoods, make a big difference in a healthy brain and a healthy body. Eat almonds, yogurt, berries, chicken, turkey, lentils, tuna and tomatoes, for example, to promote brain and heart health.
Losing Weight with Change Your Brain Change Your Body
Following the general advice by Dr. Amen can help you lose weight. Certainly, controlling negative thinking patterns, reducing stress, eating smart and exercising are good practices for losing weight. Most dieters, however, don’t have access to a brain scanner or can’t afford to have such testing done. Change Your Brain Change Your Body isn’t your typical weight loss book. It doesn’t offer recipes or a meal plan, nor does it give you a written plan for losing weight. That being said, Dr. Amen shares valuable information that can help in your weight loss journey.