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There's A Brain In Your Belly

By Nancy Hill

The belly is much more intelligent than we've been taught to believe. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "Follow your gut." In fact, we have lots of terms like that in our language:

*a gutsy person

*gut-level feeling

*gut it out

*have the guts

*trust your gut

It turns out that these slang phrases actually have a solid, scientific basis. Medical research has proven that there is a second brain in the body and it's located in the belly.

This brain is made up of nerve cells lining the digestive tract. Scientists call it the enteric nervous system. It's an extensive and highly complicated structure that actually consists of more neurons than are contained in the entire spine.

Dr. Michael Gershon, Professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, has done extensive research demonstrating that the enteric nervous system operates as an independent, second brain within the body.

This belly brain is just as complex as the one in our heads. The enteric nervous system and the frontal lobe of the skull brain are actually formed from the same group of cells in the developing fetus. This brain in the digestive system knows exactly what nutrients are coming in, what it needs, and how best to use the fuel.

The nerves in the belly are wise. If asked they will tell you exactly what foods are needed, and in what amounts, to create optimum health. Just as we trust our bodies to breathe perfectly, we can also trust them to guide our eating.

Follow your belly's wisdom when you eat.

1) Every few bites"take a pause. Put your hand on your belly and breathe.

2) Ask if it has had enough. Is it full? Would it like more?

3) Would it prefer some other food right now?

5) Practice following what your belly tells you. It will easily and happily guide you to your perfect weight.

What an idea"we can trust our bodies. We can let our bellies guide us in what is best for our individual bodies to achieve the peak of health.

Moment-by-moment we have our own personal guide to help us make the very best decisions. We don't need diet gurus. We don't need menus. We don't need rules and regulations. We already have all the guidance we could possible wish for.

About The Author
©2006 Nancy Hill has helped thousands break free from the nightmare of dieting with her ebook, "Undieting - 11 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Body and Your Life." Get your free Undieting Newsletter subscription at and discover how intuitive eating makes it easy to live at your ideal weight without ever dieting again.

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