There are studies that show that thinking does indeed burn calories. Actually ALL metabolic functions (breathing, heart beating, digesting etc.) burns calories.
There are ways to make your brain burn even more calories too.
Check out this picture of what a brain looks like after only a 20 minute walk.
Imagine now (imagining is thinking too!) how much more effectively your brain is going to work after you come back to the office from your walk.
The down side is – thinking alone probably won’t burn the number of calories you would like it to if your goal is to lose a few pounds.
To put your calorie burning brain to good use in helping you drop those pounds there are several things you can do.
Steps to Optimize Your Calorie Burning Brain
There is enough evidence to suggest that stress can be partially blamed for difficulty in losing weight. To help alleviate some of the stress try meditation. Meditation can take a few trials to get good at it. With all the head noise of our days, including replaying negative events, it can take a while to learn how to really still your brain. Keep at it though.
Meditation has been around for thousands of years so you CAN learn to do it.
Meditating has shown to actually strengthen the brain – meaning you will be able to process information quicker than before. One of the more recent studies in this field was done by the UCLA Neuroimaging Laboratory.
Other benefits include the reduction of cortisol – which is that nasty chemical created by stress and believed to be responsible for weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
In short, your brain can help you lose weight.
Improving your imagination you can focus on positive goals too.
If you have a better functioning brain you will get more done at work, feel more alert after work, and feel more energetic to stop at the gym on the way home from work.
So get your brain burning those calories and start your own snowball effect of fitness of the brain.
Another positive effect of having a clear head is to help wade through the confusion of new diet and exercise programs. Trying to design a new lifestyle can be overwhelming at first. With a relaxed brain you can approach this task with excitement and anticipation.
Here are some steps you can take to use your brain to burn calories.
1. Decide on the problem you need to solve. It could be trying to organize your workouts, or planning out new meal plans. Maybe you need a little more motivation to workout or looking for a way to solve a conflict at work that is affecting your life.
1. Regardless what it is, just write it on a piece of paper and then write this “If I knew the answer to what I am looking for, what would it be?”
For the remainder of this exercise – forget about dwelling on the problem. Whenever it pops up in your mind just repeat the phrase “If I knew the answer to what I am looking for, what would it be?” and push it out of your head.
2. Take a walk for 20 minutes. This will feed your brain oxygen and nutrients to bring it to a point of alertness and higher cognitive functioning.
2. Meditate for 10 – 20 minutes. There are several types and styles of meditation you can choose from.
3. After mediation your mind will be clear and capable of higher thinking functions. Begin working on your problem. If it is a scheduling problem, pull out your schedule and you will be able to see it more clearly. If it is a work conflict, begin to list the individual parts of the issue.
Sometimes meditation takes a little while to get accustomed to. I find a particularly challenging problem can take a week or two to solve.
I’ll be doing something completely different and BOOM – an epiphany! Problem Solved!
No time in the day? Soon you will see you are getting extraordinary amounts of work done in less time, freeing up the time you needed.
Don’t feel like working out? Soon you will be sitting on the couch (from old habit) actually thinking about getting up and going. When you get this feeling – get up and GO!
So there it is – that’s one way that your brain burns calories.