Your brain’s reaction to environment

The brain is an incredibly complex organ in the body. We obviously couldn’t function without it! The brain is responsible for all functions in the body and also has the ability to learn from the environment. In response, the brain reacts to conditions in the environment accordingly. The brain learns what it is taught and we can always change the environment so that our brain learns better, healthier habits. Through practicing the Quality, Quantity, and Timing method, we can actually retrain our brains to improve our impulse control to maintain a healthier lifestyle!

True satisfaction comes from a well-balanced meal

Research shows that when we eat a meal that is low in carbohydrates, our brain produces a sensation that leaves you satisfied longer. When you eat a meal of garlic bread and creamy pasta you immediately feel full and satisfied, but only for a couple of hours. A healthier meal would consist of balanced carbohydrates, protein and vegetables. A sandwich packed with veggies and leftover chicken breast on grain bread is an easy, healthy lunch!

Break the sugar habit

If a child is given a sweet drink when he or she is thirsty, the child will associate sugar with thirst. Sugar is not essential to hydration. A child will remain hydrated if he or she is given water without the extra sugar. If the sugar habit continues, the child will quench thirst with soda and sport drinks later in life. This all adds up to extra calories and extra weight.

Live a well balanced life with Quality and Quantity

Keep quality and quantity in mind! If we create a habit of eating and drinking every hour our brain learns to expect food and fluid in the stomach. When the stomach is empty for a short period of time, the person feels hungry and eats. This translates to a pattern of overeating because the brain tells us we are constantly hungry. By not snacking throughout the day, we can rid ourselves of constant hunger!

 

In my book, The Step Up Diet, I provide a step-by-step plan to help families experience what it is like to eat the right way, the Step Up Diet teaches the body and the brain to recognize what types of food are healthy to eat, and to establish a healthy eating schedule. By focusing on one step—one segment of the day—at a time, the ultimate goal becomes less overwhelming and more manageable, helping us stay on target with our goals of eating healthier in 2013.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.