This is a reprint from Dr. Amen of The Amen Clinic. I hope you enjoy it!
“It’s not magic, it’s simple mathematics getting thinner, smarter, and happier is not hard if you do it by the numbers. One of the biggest lies professionals tell you is that you don’t need to count your calories to lose weight and get healthy. Of course you do. Not counting your calories is like not knowing how much money you have in the bank, and yet you continue to spend, spend, spend and wonder why you’re bankrupt.
It is not as simple as calories-in versus calories- out. You want high-quality calories in and high-quality energy out. A 250-calorie candy bar is not the same thing as a bowl of lentil soup, a piece of wild salmon or a walnut and blueberry salad. Demand high-quality calories from your food and, be careful with how many calories you eat and drink. The average 50-year-old man needs about 2,200 calories a day to maintain his weight, while the average 50-year-old woman needs about 1,800 calories. To lose a pound a week eat 500 calories a day less than you burn. Women on average are consuming 335 calories a day more than they did 30 years ago. That equates to an extra 35 pounds of fat a year on your body. Men are consuming more calories as well. No wonder you are always on a diet! You have to get your calories under control, not for 10 weeks but for the rest of your life!
If you are having trouble with your weight, order a copy of the Change Your Brain, Change Your Body Daily Journal and write down everything you eat and drink. If you do this, I promise that you will stop wasting your calories. For example, I was in a chain restaurant recently and thought I would order a “healthy salad.” When I looked online I was horrified to discover that it was 1,400 calories, so I ordered something else. Like high-quality calories in, I also want you to think of high-quality energy out, which refers to exercise and new learning. Low-quality energy out is using cigarettes, caffeine, or diet pills to rev your metabolism. Exercise is the fountain of youth and boosts blood flow to your brain and chemicals that help your mood and your memory. And, you don’t have to go crazy with exercise; you just have to be consistent. Regular exercise has been found to help you lose weight, treats depression and decreases your chances of Alzheimer’s disease. I tell my patients walk like you’re late for 45 minutes 4 times a week. Strength training is also important. A simple, but highly effective workout regimen that also boosts brain function is found in the book, The Amen Solution. “