Something wrong! Not enough!

Image: Andros Island ground iguana, from  The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands , Mark Catesby, 1729-1747. License:  Creative Commons 2.0 .

Image: Andros Island ground iguana, from The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, Mark Catesby, 1729-1747. License: Creative Commons 2.0.

Nope, not enough yet!

Here's something we're talking about in this round of my workshop (Become a Normal Eater by Bedtime): the legendary lizard brain, and its archenemy the pre-frontal cortex, aka the human, evolved brain, aka You.

(To be clear: This is all one very complicated brain we're talking about, and terms like "lizard brain" are simplifications.

Also I'm not a neurologist, which means that I'm partial to simplifications.)

Anyway, we're talking about ways of working around the lizard brain and its concerns of MORE MORE MORE!, since we can't afford a lizardectomy and that's not a thing anyway.

Neither can we negotiate with that part of the brain. It's impervious to facts. Much like your great-uncle with the opposing political views, reasoning has no sway. AT ALL.

The lizard brain is only really concerned with survival, and is usually broadcasting two pieces of information: Something wrong! Not enough! Which of course you're supposed to act on, pronto!

It doesn't really relax and decide nothing's wrong until there's wayyyy more than enough.

Obviously, this setup serves to keep lizards alive, and it probably worked pretty well back in the day for us, too. Especially when we lived in a calorie-restricted environment, and something like a honeycomb, shared amongst the whole group, would blow everyone's mind and be talked about for months, if not years.

But that's a long time ago now. The energy equivalent of a honeycomb is available at all hours, all over the planet, for next to nothing. Lizard, happy!

Energy-dense food is SUCH good news to the ancient brain, that it will never choose anything else. Honeycomb? Or bitter greens? Hmmmmm... Nope, that's not a hard one. Lizard wants the honeycomb, every time. The more the sweeter, the fattier, the more concentrated → the better. Always.

And that's why we can't let the lizard decide what's for lunch.

We have to make a plan for lunch with our evolved, adult, present-day brain. The brain that can read a nutrition facts label. That brain that observes how you always think better with vegetables on board. The brain that can use tools to measure grams of protein. That brain.

We're all familiar with this brain, even if it seems like it disappears when we're in the buffet line. You can promake contact with your evolved brain right now. This brain can probably come up with a solid plan for your next meal in minutes, and help you set up the environment to make it happen.

All of us have enough information to make a good plan. That's not the hard part. If you're having trouble implementing a plan, make contact and let me know, because we could be working together to make this a whole lot easier for you. 

Max Daniels