Dr. Stephan Guyenet is an accomplished neuroscientist, speaker, writer, and author of the new book, The Hungry Brain. This fascinating book examines the complex science of the brain and breaks it down into simple concepts that everyone can understand.
Stephan explains that the brain is the control panel for our bodies, but specific parts and chemicals drive our behavior around how we eat. Part of the brain decides between competing options through a specific process. Throughout this process, the brain integrates many sources of information when making decisions, including conscious and non-conscious factors. In today’s environment, these circuits give us drives and instincts that are at odds with our healthy goals.
Stephan also speaks about the importance of sleep in relation to the brain. Insufficient sleep has been found to be influential in weight gain. Researchers have found that when people sleep less, they eat more. The brain is more responsive to higher calorie food cues compared to people who has slept sufficiently. This tricks the brain into thinking the body needs more calories than it actually does. An optimization bias is also at play in this scenario, where one will pay more attention to the potential benefits than the cons of eating seductive foods.
Stephan also mentions the Six Steps for a Slimming Lifestyle included in the book:
- Fix your food environment – Remove tempting foods that surround you.
- Manage your appetite – Use diet and lifestyle strategies to regulate the appetite.
- Be aware of food reward – Focus on simple, satisfying foods.
- Make sleep a priority – High quality sleep aligned with your Circadian rhythm.
- Move your body – Get regular physical activity.
- Manage stress appropriately – Shift perception of stressor from uncontrollable to controllable.
To connect with Stephan Guyenet, visit www.stephanguyenet.com or find him on Twitter as @whsource.
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