Whole Brain Integration for Fast Effective Lifestyle Change
The Left Brain/Right Brain approach to weight loss
Weight loss - it should be just as simple as training hard and eating right, right? For some people, it IS just that simple! But, for most of us, weight loss is as complex as a Rubik's cube, with thousands of combinations, but only ONE winning combination per person. To further complicate it, our “winning combination” is constantly changing and adjusting based on many outside factors, such as age, stress, exercise, and your metabolism. But what about the other, not quite so obvious factors? While so many of us want to lose weight, or improve our health, many of us just can't seem to make the lifestyle changes. What is stopping us?
Let's take a second and look at our weight loss or health management from a different perspective. The answer could be as simple as joining together our thinking – combining the left brain and right brain thinking processes. The left and right hemispheres of our brain process information differently – and we tend to process information using our dominant side. The trick is to use BOTH sides of our brain, to enhance our thinking process by balancing the two sides. This is going to mean strengthening your less dominant side!
Which side of your brain is the dominant side?
Let's look at each sides strengths and weaknesses:
Logical, Structured, Reason oriented, Verbal, and Reality Based.
Overly left brained thinking tends to be too literal, logical, and analytical. This results in an inability to inspire or be inspired.
Creative, Imaginative, Intuitive, Random, Non-Verbal, and Fantasy Oriented
Overly right brained thinking tends to be very “All or Nothing” - undisciplined, and disconnected.
Let's take these one side at a time –
Here are 3 simple Left Brain steps to lose weight:
1. Establish your basal metabolic rate
- What is your bmr? It is the amount of daily energy expended at rest. The release of energy/or calories in this state is sufficient only for the functioning of the vital organs, the heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys, liver, intestine, sex organs, muscles, and skin. (My bmr based on my height, weight, and age is 1319 calories)
- There are many tools to help you determine your BMR- I will post these up on my facebook page for easy reference.
2. Determine total calorie needs for example:
- If you are sedentary, multiply your BMR (1745) by 1.2 = 2094. This is the total number of calories you need in order to maintain your current weight.
3. Creating a deficit for weight loss:
- Approximately 3500 calories make up a pound of stored body fat. So, if you create a 3500 calorie deficit through diet, exercise or a combination of both you will lose one pound of weight. The calorie deficit can be achieved through calorie-restriction alone, a combination of calorie-restriction plus physical exercise or additional energy expenditure.
Alternately, Here are 3 simple Right Brain steps to lose weight:
1. Create a long term vision of your health in fitness
- Create a vision board of goals and aspirations, to motivate you to stay on track. You can use magazine articles, pictures, even an online pinboard. I use Pinterest – you can not only create an online vision board with resources “pinned” from all over the internet, but you can connect with others that enjoy the same motivation that you do.
2. Think LIFESTYLE and not DIET
- Find JOY in the JOURNEY by committing to a LIFESTYLE change - not just a quick fix!
3. Gather your cheering section
- Your support system is important to your right brain. Gather up like-minded friends and family members, or even go to the internet and find forums and resources for connecting fitness minded people like yourself.
So, how do we get both sides of the brain to agree? The best advice I've heard is to lead with your Right, and execute with your Left.
Five Steps to Whole Brain Integration
1.Create your vision-Right Brain
2.Select the lifestyle that best suits you- Left Brain
a. Of course, I love the Southern Fried Fitness 80/20 lifestyle, as it gives me the structure that my left brain needs, while allowing my right brain to truly enjoy a great southern indulgence, too!
3.The next step is to choose a method of accountability-Left Brain
a. This can be the friends, family members, or online support we talked about earlier. Journaling is another great option, using the printable journal options here at robinshea.com, or online options like My Fitness Pal.
4.Identify your strengths and weaknesses (Objective) and know which side of your brain is going to need a bit more of a push!
5. Show up every day, ready to feed BOTH sides of your brain!
Being left or right brain dominant is not as important as balancing your thought process in order to gain the strength, conviction and mechanical skills to execute the desired result. Neither extreme is desirable, but by blending the best of right and left brain thinking you will fuse together the most productive combination for success. I hope this has helped you to balance your thinking, and will get you on the right food & fitness lifestyle track!
In conclusion, the key lies in BALANCE… Here are five exercises to help you stay in Left Brain/Right Brain Balance!
Tips to help you stay in Left Brain/Right Brain Balance
Work with the weak side
1. Spend some time doing everything from your non-dominant side, every time you break a dominant habit you create new neural pathways and that gives the brain more options. It becomes easier to think in new ways.
Get out of linear and B/W thinking- for overly left brain thinkers
1. If you generally write on ruled paper, your brain gets into linear mode to strengthen right brain thinking use unlined/unruled paper. Use colored pens or marker also to enhance neural connections- the right brain thinks in color.
Use all your senses
1. Read your goals out loud with emotion. This employs one’s auditory, visual, and kinesthetic senses. Visualize it, use music, 3-dimentional objects, and talk about it out loud as you are seeing it. The more senses you use simultaneously, the more the brain sides work in harmony and the information you receive.
Embody the experience
1. Become the project… and think from it’s point of view. Be objective and look at yourself (the project) from various parameters with regards to how you can evolve or reach your goals. Do this for five minutes a day- you will learn exponentially more about what additional things “The Project” needs for growth.
Set goals and a timeline with pictures
1. When you put deadlines for achieving your goals, your Left Brain gets convinced. However, to implant the goals in the Right Brain you need to use pictures of the goals.
(If you are uncertain, which is your dominant side, take the brain quiz)