Dopamine And Food Cravings

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced in a deep middle region in the brain known as the substantia nigra.

This neurotransmitter influences learning, mood, alertness, concentration and pleasurable reward. Dopamine production leads to the activation of the reward and pleasure centers in the brain.

Food consumption was found to be a behavior that can regulate the mood. Under some psychological conditions, people may prefer certain types of foods due to their effect on the reward and pleasure centers. This positive result leads to changed food choices and finally could be the cause of obesity.

Medical researchers have found that women who demonstrate addictive behavior towards food have the same brain activity as that of chronic drug abusers.

When we eat, we enjoy the rewarding feeling of dopamine production. Therefore, it is recommended to have several small meals than to have a few larger meals that are spaced out. This is to enjoy the effect of higher levels of dopamine in the brain.

The number of dopamine receptors is also believed to affect the psychological reward mechanism. Those who have a lower number of dopamine receptors tend to eat more due to the smaller effect of dopamine on their mind. But those who have more dopamine receptors can control their food intake much more easily. Therefore, our genetic makeup affects our food consumption quite directly.

Unhealthy hyper-palatable foods tend to stimulate the brain reward system more than the healthier food alternatives. Sugary and starchy foods can promote the brain reward centers potently. Also, the more we eat in one sitting, the more dopamine is released and the better we feel. However over the long term, these high-calories foods cause the desensitization of the dopamine system and so we have to eat more to enjoy the same rewarding effects.

At first, our bodies used to crave for what we needed to survive. However over time, they started to crave for what we are used to consuming. Thus we can crave for unhealthy food that we don’t really need. Cravings take place as follows.

The brain reward system determines a target and causes the dopamine release. This proves to the body that this food is rewarding. But the body also releases stress hormones that cause us to feel discomfort. Therefore our bodies trick us to give in to our craving and forget about the long-term consequences.

It is an essential step to learn to control our cravings. We should all follow a healthy lifestyle. Try to consider your craving and what happens as you eat what you crave. You will start to enjoy only the first few bites, but then the rewarding feeling subsides.

Although you may feel sick afterwards, you will still feel the same urge to eat more of the food you were craving. Therefore when we feel we crave certain foods, we should stop and think of the effect of these foods on our health on the long term. Resisting the urge to consume these unhealthy foods will train our bodies to do better. The cravings will decrease over time and we will follow a healthier lifestyle and consume a healthier diet.

We can also re-program our brains to crave healthier options. Think of the outcomes of the healthier cravings. Always think of the beautiful figure you want to achieve or the energy you feel as you consume healthy food or how young you will always look as you live a healthy life. This will enable you to hold stronger to your target foods and by time, you may crave healthy foods instead of junk. By understanding how our cravings work, we can control them and learn how to use them to our advantage.

The dopamine rush helps us beat fatigue and so we find the food we crave to produce dopamine to be addictive. However there are better ways to enjoy the desirable effects of dopamine without having such an addictive attitude towards bad food. It is recommended to never skip a meal and to eat frequent small meals throughout the day to enjoy a steady production of dopamine. Also, exercise is a natural way to provide the body with additional dopamine.

Tyrosine is an amino acid that acts as a building block of dopamine. Therefore, make sure you get sufficient amount of tyrosine from food or supplements to help our bodies later make the needed dopamine. Tyrosine is found in various foods such as bananas, avocados, coffee, green tea, and milk.

Boosting your dopamine levels will increase your productivity and efficiency, but do it the smart way, not the addictive way!

Is It Better To Lose Weight Fast Or Slowly

Being overweight or obese is a no laughing matter!

It negatively impacts our quality of life and can cause serious health conditions. Since obesity is on the rise, the need to lose weight has become more common in the population and many individuals start different weight loss plans. Some of these diet plans promise slow weight loss, while some strict plans aim at losing weight fast.

So which type is best?

If it is recommended to lose from one to two pounds per week, that can be considered slow weight loss. In this case it can take several months and even years to lose considerable weight.

On the other hand, stricter weight loss programs only last for a shorter period of time during which one can lose a reasonable amount of weight.

It is better to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both choices to try to make up our minds.

Slow weight loss programs help you lose weight safely.

You need to follow the plan for a long period of time. This can help you establish healthy habits that may last long such as exercising and an healthy diet.

By knowing the healthy alternatives to your current more unhealthy habits, you can start following a healthier life style. The result is often a weight loss that can be sustained for a long time since you’ve made the choice to live a healthy life, presumably for your entire life.

Fast weight loss can be motivational and encouraging to keep going if you don’t have the persistence needed for the slower options. You will lose enough weight in a short time and so people can quickly notice the difference in your appearance.

This will encourage you as what you are doing is worth it and you can keep doing it. Also fast weight loss programs can be more tolerable since they last for a shorter period of time, so you don’t have to follow the changes for so long. In many cases, people were found to comply more with a faster plan that with a slower one.

However, a fast weight loss diet can have many drawbacks.

If you have decreased your food intake to a large extent, you may face health problems such as dehydration or nutrients deficiency. Also fast programs usually include a very strict diet and strenuous workouts that are so hard to keep doing for a long time. Hence the experts suggest that you are more likely to regain the weight you lost quickly and even put on more weight later.

Fast weight loss can also lead to a loss in the muscle tissue. That is because our bodies can only burn so much fat in a day or week, and thus they may resort to using muscle tissue for energy. Losing such muscle tissue can in turn cause the body to burn fewer calories on a daily basis, and thus make further weight loss even harder.

A fast weight loss may cause your skin to get loose and lagging in some areas and you get that extra skin, especially if you’ve been obese for a long time. Your skin won’t have enough time to get stretched once again.

Faster weight loss still has its advantages. Some clinics offer a faster regimen plan in the first few weeks of the diet plan then shift to a slower pace. This can ensure that you feel the difference and feel motivated to go on with your diet plan. More people can comply when they see how they look better and when others start to compliment them.

Fast weight loss can also be life-saving in conditions where obesity has led to fatal risks. However in such situations these programs have to be carried out under medical supervision. The patient needs to follow the instructions and to receive some medical care when needed.

Slow weight loss can help you live a healthy lifestyle whereas the changes with a faster alternative could be more temporary. Also a slow weight loss does not cause a decrease in muscle tissue and the skin can look firmer.

Some practical studies have shown that both ways brought about similar results where the obese individuals lost similar weight and regained also a nearly similar amount of weight after some time. However more people have followed their plan in case of a quick weight loss program while more people have quit in case of a slow weight loss program.

There are different factors to assess when determining the program that suits an overweight person. The patient’s health condition and compliance are key elements in choosing a suitable regimen.