Dopamine / Serotonin
Dopamine / Serotonin
“Detoxing” doesn’t have to be scary – and you don’t have to do it alone!
A good place to start is by getting the excess sugar out of your diet. Our 14-day Family-Friendly Sugar Detox gives you the menus and recipes you need to prepare foods that you and your family are familiar with PLUS easy solutions to make them work for EVERYONE in the home.
You can get this detox as part of our Spring Weight Loss Special which includes Karen’s new book Beat the Belly Fat Blues: Mind-Body Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss. You’ll also get help with your emotional eating and cravings with 6 recorded audio sessions, a “Food and Mood” journal, unlimited fitness classes, a fabulous book on affirmations, a bottle of Balance essential oil, and discounts on private sessions with Karen. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do You Self-Medicate with Carbs?
If you’ve ever “self-medicated” with carbohydrates, what you’re about to read will totally resonate with you. Carbohydrates indirectly raise the serotonin levels in our brains. Serotonin is that “feel good” hormone that calms us down and helps us feel more relaxed. It helps regulate our mood, metabolism and appetite. If you’ve ever: soothed your anxious brain with a tub of raw cookie dough; crunched out your frustrations with a bag of potato chips; buried your shame with seconds or thirds at dinner; raised your spirits with a box of cereal; drowned your sorrows in a bowl of ice cream; eased your loneliness with a pan of brownies; eased your pain with a plate of pasta or found friendship with a pizza, you know what I’m talking about. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FOOD! We just want to feel better.
When we consume carbohydrates, the insulin produced in response to the higher blood sugar levels allows more tryptophan, an amino acid, to enter the brain. Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin, and, once in the brain, nearly all the tryptophan is converted into serotonin. This is evidenced by the drowsiness that can accompany a carbohydrate binge and it also helps explains why many of my clients say they’d “kill for chocolate” but not for a hard-boiled egg!
My most successful client taps for ten minutes every day and also taps on her cravings. She checks in every two weeks and usually shows a weight loss of five to seven pounds. At her third visit, I rather loudly exclaimed “Beth, what the heck are you doing? You lose weight every time you come in.” Somewhat cautiously (I probably scared her!) she replied, “I’ve been tapping.” Still in awe, I asked her how often. “Well,” she replied, a little nervously, “You told me to tap for ten minutes every day and I did. Am I doing it wrong?”.
Wow, what an amazing testimony to the power of EFT! Beth has been struggling with her weight for years, not being able to speak her truth, and trying to please everyone around her. She’d tried nearly every diet on the planet and always gained the weight back. In the five months we’ve been working together she has shed over 70 pounds. She is able to follow the menus I gave her with ease and she rarely feels deprived. More importantly, she is curbing her cravings and healing the traumas that contributed to her weight in the first place. Her quote about how she’s doing this is worth repeating:
“I had no idea weight loss worked like this. I couldn’t figure out why I could never keep the weight off. I know now it’s because of all the ‘stuff’ in my life. When my husband recently asked me what I was doing ‘this time’ to lose the weight, I simply answered ‘I’m working on healing the hurts that have caused me to eat emotionally’. I understand that weight loss does not equal happiness. I’m learning to love and accept myself whether other people do or not.”
Is ANGER keeping me from losing weight?
Many people have been taught to not express their anger or they’re afraid to express it or they don’t know how. So often in my office I hear statements like “it’s not proper”; “I don’t really get angry”; “I hate yelling”; “nothing happens when I get mad anyway” or “bad things happen when I get angry so I just don’t do it.” Always trying to do what is “best” or right, self-sacrificing, not making waves, always taking care of others first and not speaking up when you feel hurt or wronged are patterns that many struggle with. The frustration and hostility that builds can eventually turn to anger. But if the anger is not expressed, its energy becomes stored in the body. Unexpressed anger can contribute to weight issues because of the resentment, frustration, and anxiety that often accompany this emotion. If we stuff these feelings, we have to dosomething to feel better and that something is often overeating.
One of the first steps in dealing with your anger is to reflect upon who you are angry with or what you are angry about. Once you’ve established who or what you are angry at it is time to get it out. If you let it speak, your anger is always saying “this feels so unfair, I was wronged!” Try changing the word from anger to outrage and be outraged for yourself. If you don’t trust yourself to release the anger, consider trying EFT (emotional freedom technique). It’s a mind-body tool we use daily in our office to help people safely release negative energies and emotions.
The next step in the process is forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful things that you can do for your physiology and your emotional health. To forgive is somehow associated with saying that it is all right, that we accept the evil deed. But this is not forgiveness.
Forgiveness means that you let go of the negative energy because it’s no longer serving you well. Holding onto it usually only hurts YOU, both physically and emotionally. I’ve had the honor of working with many people who thought it would be impossible to forgive someone who had wronged them (or even themselves). The release they felt when they were truly able to “let it go” was amazing. Most report that a huge weight was lifted from their shoulders and that their emotional eating decreased as a result.
Of course we know that nutrition and exercise play a vital role in weight loss, but it is becoming evident that extra weight is a symptom of what is really going on inside us.
As a registered dietitian and personal trainer, I have the education and skills to provide my clients the best nutrition and exercise advice on the planet for weight loss. I write elaborate and personalized menus help them organize and plan their days, and even get them to exercise. But time after time I see the same pattern emerge. These dedicated souls are “good” for a few days, or even a few weeks, but inevitably, they fall back into their old habits. The weight loss will stop or the weight they have lost will find its way back.
And this isn’t just happening with my clients. Nearly everyone I know, no matter what program they follow or what weight loss provider they see, seriously struggles with keeping the weight off. They have tried every pill, potion, and gimmick under the sun, even weight loss surgery, to no avail.
Clearly what we’ve been doing isn’t working. It is becoming evident that extra weight is a symptom of what is really going on inside. It’s time for a change. By using a more holistic approach to weight loss I’ve learned how to heal the issues that led to my emotional eating. I’ve developed a more peaceful relationship with food. I’m no longer compelled to tranquilize or stuff my emotions with carb-filled comfort foods. I did it and you can too!
An affirmation is anything you say or think. A lot of what people normally say and think is very negative and doesn’t create good experiences. You have to retrain your speaking and thinking into positive patterns if you want a positive life.
An affirmation opens the door. It’s a beginning point on the path to change. When I talk about affirmations, I mean consciously choosing words that will either help eliminate something from your life or help create something new in your life.
Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation. All of your self-talk, your internal dialogue, is a stream of affirmations. You’re using affirmations every moment whether you know it or not. You’re affirming and creating your life experiences with every word or thought.
You’re not a bad person for thinking the way you do. You’ve just never learned how to think and talk. People throughout the world are just now beginning to learn that thoughts create experiences. It’s time for you to wake up and begin to consciously create your life in a way that pleases and supports you. You can do it. I can do it. We all can do it — we just need to learn how. (Louise L. Hay)
In this profound book Louise Hay shows us how we can choose to be happy. She provides insight and instructions to assist each person to make positive choices in their lives. The topics covered include health, fear, critical thinking, addictions, work, money and prosperity, friends, love and intimacy, and aging.