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Brain Envy: Be Thinner, Smarter & Happier

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

We just got back from the annual IDEA international fitness convention and found all kinds of interesting stuff to share with you. Dr. Daniel Amen, author of “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” and 27 other books gave a lecture called “The Secrets to Being Thinner, Smarter and Happier.” Want to know those secrets?

Dr Amen at IDEA Convention with K and A

Dr. Amen is amazed at our brains!

Alexandra: The brain is linked so strongly to what you eat and how much you move that its size, shape and function actually change. As your weight goes up, your brain size goes down. You do NOT want to become a victim of Dinosaur Syndrome – big body, little brain = extinct! Sadly, the brains of obese people look 16 years older in scans than they are. And Dr. Amen showed a picture of a very healthy 82 year-old brain, so age does not guarantee brain deterioration.

Dinosaurs had tiny brains

Dino Syndrome: Big Body / Little Brain = Extinct

Kymberly: However, having a birthday this weekend guarantees age! Only 6 more shopping days until twinnie’s birthday. I hope she gets some new dendrites, ganglia, and neurotransmitters for her big day.

Having read 6 of Dr. Amen’s books, I developed serious brain envy, so for my birthday I plan to work out and eat healthfully. Right after the small piece of chocolate cake. I want to do what it takes to stave off any mental decline and have the heaviest, most active brain possible into my 90s and beyond!  My real birthday wish is for you all to have the same!

A: The mind controls the body, not the other way round. It’s your brain that tells you it’s okay to eat a second helping of ice cream, and it’s also your brain that tells you to push away from the table. So here are some tips to help you put your brain consciously in control:

  • Get rid of as much sugar in your diet as possible. Research has shown sugar to be more addictive than cocaine. And guess where sugar is usually found – in high-fat junk food!
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. When you get less than 7 hours, you have lower blood flow to the brain.
  • Say no to liquid poison. Alcohol is not your friend. If you drink every day, your brain gets smaller. Alcohol penetrates the blood/ brain barrier and literally acts like a poison within your brain.
  • When making decisions about food and movement, ask yourself, “Does this hurt or help my brain?” When you are making these choices consciously, it’s hard to believe you’d choose to hurt yourself.
  • Move more. Sit less.
  • Meditate, do yoga, go for a walk–anything that calms your mind. When you are troubled, you are more likely to have a troubled brain and body.
  • Avoid eating excess fat, which has exactly the same effect as eating toxins. Do you want toxins?
  • Keep a food journal.
  • Engage in new learning.
  • Make yourself aware of which friends or relatives help you, and which ones sabotage you. Plan accordingly.
  • Write down your motivation and look at it every day.

K: So, does your lifestyle enhance your brain power or detract from it? Remember, the choices you make today affect your brain TODAY and into the future. Hey, if my brain is the ultimate controller, why does Alexandra keep saying she’s in charge?

Dear readers: This seems like a perfect moment to direct you to our e-book/quotes that help you stay motivated and on track.

Dino photo: Creative Commons

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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6 Responses to Brain Envy: Be Thinner, Smarter & Happier

  1. Kathleen August 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Cool. I am a fan of Dr.Amen’s. Have 2 of his books!

    But sitting calms my brain–usually. Unless I am sitting AND watching AJ Burnett pitch (Yankees fan here).
    Kathleen recently posted..Work your WHOLE bodyMy Profile

  2. Calla Gold August 24, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    It’s really interesting how big a role the brain plays in our health, and how big a role our food intake and exercise output affects the health of our brain. It’s a nice little circle, one that we need to nurture to keep everything in balance.
    Calla Gold recently posted..Top Ten Reasons To Restring Your PearlsMy Profile

  3. Nellie August 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm #


    I agree with the PP, the brain can get you into soo much trouble healthwise, but it can also be the catalyst for really awesome change. During my weightloss I pushed to go to workouts, when I truly did not want to, it was more mental than anything.

  4. Tamara May 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Well, I’m off to a good start; low sugar (mainly….), little alcohol, knitting and exercise. Wouldn’t it be fun to see a scan of your own brain?

  5. KymberlyFunFit May 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I am with you in that I’d love to see a scan of my brain… as long as it showed total intelligence and a brain younger for its age. You know how that goes. Something tells me getting a brain scan is totally possible for the right price through Dr Amen’s clinics. If you want to enhance your brain feel free to knit me a really cute and complex bathing suit.


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    […] to start your day with the potential to boost your brain! We go into more detail in our post “Brain Envy” that talks about the link between your brain, your nutrition and your movement […]

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