You knew your brain was busy—but did you know it was this busy? With all that it does during the day, your brain is using 20 percent of your caloric intake every day. But it's picky about the kinds of food it wants, opting for glucose—mostly from carbohydrates that you've recently eaten.
Crazy, right? But that's not even the beginning of the brain-weight relationship, according to Lifehacker, which has an interesting article about focusing more on your brain and less on your diet if you want to lose weight.
According to the article, willpower—what your brain uses to help you make (and not make) certain decisions—is like a muscle, which becomes fatigued after too much exercise. At the end of the day, if you've been exercising your willpower to not eat the box of cookies, your brain is tired. It just wants the darn cookies.
So to deal with the exhaustion of willpower, your brain tries to automate decision-making—by creating habits because once they're in place, the brain doesn't have to mess around with willpower anymore. Experts say that up to 90 percent of what we decide to eat every day is because of established habits. (For proof: Think about what you usually eat every morning for breakfast!)
Building healthy new habits means creating rewards for your brain—and not overwhelming it with too much change at once. Like switching out your daily whole-milk lattes for ones made with almond milk, for example—setting a small goal like that and actually attaining is a great reward for your brain. It's so proud of itself! And the new change should be a healthy habit anywhere between two weeks and six months, setting the stage for your brain to take on another one.