Hey this is Dr. Angela Zechmann.
Do you feel like maybe food is pretty much the only thing that makes you happy? Do you really look forward to your next meal with delicious anticipation? And what about the snacks later in the evening? How are you supposed to give all of that up? That’s what I want to talk to you about today.
If you don’t know me, I’m a board certified weight loss physician, and I’m also the creator of Journey Beyond Weight Loss, an online program where I help people lose weight and keep it off!
So I’ve been talking a lot about sugar and flour and how dangerous they are for your health. And maybe that makes you twitch a little, because really, the sweets…. The flavored coffees… the chips…and the bread… it might feel like these may be one of your only pleasures in life.BUT they don’t have to be.
There’s something going on in the brain that you need to know about. The technical word is “dopamine down-regulation.” I want you to imagine a huge block of ice on a hot driveway. Even though it’s pretty hot on that driveway, that block of ice is going to melt slowly. Now let’s take that block of ice and turn it into ice chips. Now we have lots of little pieces sitting on that hot driveway and now guess what–it’s going to melt fast, and before we know it, we’ve got a flood on our hands!
Well, this is the same thing that happens with processed foods containing sugar and flour. The block of ice–that’s like an apple. It’s going to digest slowly, releasing sugar into your bloodstream and dopamine into your brain in slow manageable bits. But your candy bar and flavored coffees and white bread…the sugar and flour has been processed into tiny little bits which act like the ice chips…. Flooding the brain with massive amounts of dopamine, fast. By the way, this is the same kind of rush that occurs with addictive street drugs.
This is way more dopamine than the brain was designed for. The brain can’t handle it, and so it defends itself by reducing the number of dopamine receptors. Stick with me here, because understanding this is a key to understanding why food becomes so compelling and why it’s so hard to stay away from the junk.
If you have fewer dopamine receptors, you need MORE dopamine stimulus just to feel normal. Which means you need MORE junk food just to feel normal. One cookie isn’t enough. Once slice of pizza isn’t enough. You need a Lot more than that to adequately stimulate the dopamine receptors. And if you don’t get any of it – well, you don’t feel like yourself. You feel depleted. You feel irritable and anxious. Without the proper balance of dopamine, you can’t be yourself.
Can you see how this is creating a pattern that causes so much weight gain?
The idea of NOT getting the junk that just keeps you feeling stable becomes VERY SCARY. But here’s the deal.
Stop eating sugar and flour and yes, you might feel like crap for a few days. You might. You will probably have cravings for the junk that keeps your brain flooded with dopamine. BUT, once you are on the other side of this, once you stop flooding the dopamine receptors with all that sugar and flour, they will actually regenerate. It takes a few weeks, but the brain heals.
And guess what? More dopamine receptors means more pleasure from other things. The next thing you know, tomatoes taste wonderful, and you are losing weight! You’ll find all kinds of nutritious foods taste wonderful, and you’ll also find you notice the beauty of a sunset, and you enjoy sex more, and you have a ton more energy, and you just generally feel much less depressed and anxious.
Really guys, getting off sugar and flour is so very good for your mental health, not just your physical health. It’s so worth it.
If you’re interested in learning more I’ve got an awesome download for you called 5 Dirty Little Secrets the Food Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know, which will help you see how the food industry gets you addicted to their products. Click the link in the description to get your copy right now.
Have fun getting healthy! See you next time!
To your health!