Weight loss starts with brain health. Everything your body does depends on it. You might be surprised how good life can be, even in the face of major diseases, by following a few simple suggestions on how to eat right for your brain.
How to Lose Weight
Hundreds of weight loss diets and exercise programs have been successful for someone, somewhere. Almost all of them have major flaws that lead to rebound weight gain in the long run. In my opinion, those with the fewest flaws, and therefore the greatest chance for success, are the Slow Carb Diet and the Paleo (Caveman) Diet.
It strikes me, however, that focusing on weight or fat is of secondary importance to the role of the brain. Ignoring brain health is like considering the body as a mindless blob that responds to chemical stimuli from food all by itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. The brain is the Great Wizard behind the curtain, in control of everything from the get-go.
A Not So Radical Suggestion
Our brains shrink and lose function as we age, probably faster than they should. Indeed, the growing incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and similar brain failures is a good indicator of sped-up brain degeneration in modern times. This is NOT normal. Indeed, these disorders are completely unknown in some societies, even in the face of aging beyond 90 or even 100 years old.
It is abundantly clear that brain health has to do with diet. Our local PBS station made a big deal of that point during a membership drive recently, by hosting the brain expert, Dr. Daniel G. Amen, not too long ago. Although his purpose for appearing was mainly promotional, what he had to say about brain health was spot on.
The not so radical suggestion, based on all the information that I could gather about brain health, is that diet is the key. Gee, where have you heard that before?
The question is, which diet?
The Doctor Who Would Not Die
As dramatic as that sounds, it reflects the experience of Dr. Terry Wahls. She suffered from multiple sclerosis that was accelerating to total debilitation and an early death. She not only stopped the progress of her MS, she reversed it — by eating right for her brain.
The reason that Dr. Wahls’ story caught my attention, and why I thought it appropriate to tell you about it here on this particular blog, is that it provides the clearest evidence that I have ever seen for what we should all be eating (and not eating) every day of our lives. Eating for brain health is the key to everything.
Dr. Wahls’ story is summarized in a video that is nothing short of phenomenal. It is longer than the usual public video (almost 18 minutes), although it is worth watching in its entirety — for inspiration and for crucial advice about diet. Take a look for yourself and see what I mean. I have a few comments for you below that may also be of interest.
It’s All Paleo
Eating right for your brain IS eating right for your body. And what Dr. Wahls discovered is essentially the power of a Paleo Diet, starting with the brain.
There is really not much else that I can add to her experience and advice. Oh, I might quibble with some of her explanations about mitochondria and her focus on them. That’s what we scientists do. The bottom line, however, is results. Specifically, health results. Real health results – not trumped up biochemical results like cholesterol levels, hormone balance, or blood glucose spikes. These have limited applications. The only results of any importance are good health, and Dr. Wahls makes a clear case for what it takes to achieve it.
Tying weight loss to brain health,