The core belief of my medical practice is that every illness has a complex brain component that is affected by the delicate balance of brain chemicals and hormones. Obesity and its related diseases are no different, because weight gain and weight loss are governed by the brain. Anyone who has polished off a pint of ice cream in one sitting knows that certain foods can over-ride our body’s physical fullness signals. Even when we do not stimulate the sensory pathways in the mouth, we still can experience a reward signal-or craving-that comes from the brain.
That is why my Younger, Thinner You Diet is based on restoring your brain to optimum functioning.
By increasing dopamine, you’ll ramp up your metabolism effortlessly; by increasing acetylcholine, you forego fat cravings; by increasing GABA, you can get off the obsessive/anxiety related eating patterns and develop portion control; by increasing serotonin, you can give yourself and your brain a rest so you will no longer crave carbs and salty foods. The key to dieting success is then to feed yourself what your brain truly craves in order to create the optimum levels of these brain chemicals: nutrients.
When you follow a restricted diet that chooses one nutrient group over another, success might be apparent at first, but doesn’t last. When you restrict certain macronutrients, like carbs or fat, your brain isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs, so the body sends out a hunger signal that results in overeating. The key to weight management is not found in counting carbohydrates, fat grams, or calories, but in balancing brain chemistry through nutrition-something anyone can do easily and effectively. It is an eating plan you can follow for life.
One way to increase your nutrient content is through the foods you choose to eat. I advocate a diet that is high in nutrient-dense foods, like fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, teas, and spices. However, modern farming techniques have significantly depleted our food sources of their nutrients. Organic choices are certainly better, but they are not always available, and frankly, it may take years for an organic apple to be significantly more nutrient rich than a conventionally grown one. So even when we are eating lots of fruits and vegetables, we are only getting a fraction of the nutrients these foods should contain. That’s why supplementation is becoming more important than ever.
In my book, Younger, Thinner You Diet, I offer a test to see which brain chemicals you may be deficient in, and then you can choose which supplements to take. This test is also available by clicking here.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.