Sunday, March 10, 2013

DOPAMINE RELEASE AND OVEREATING ON ZERO CARB


Today, I will write down some recent thoughts, maybe bring in some new knowledge, but I have no intention of making a point. Sometimes, it is nice to ask ourselves questions, figure out answers, or even more questions, just to realize we are far away from understanding everything. The best example being the world of nutrition, including ZC…

One of the beauties about ZC is its simplicity. It gives the strong impression there is nothing extra to do then eat our meat and drink our water. But we all know, by our experience, it is much more and this is the reason I am here, just as you probably are.

We would like ZC to be “the answer”. The answer to our quest of a normal weight, our quest for perfect health and our quest for a strong feeling of harmony within our body AND with the rest of the universe.

Luckily for us, it is partly true about ZC. Just think about your years on a high carb diet and all the discomforts from sugar addiction, health issues, not forgetting the pain. Do you remember the pain? Maybe we tend to forget about it, as it is a mechanism to protect ourselves so we can move forward. So yes, ZC do bring a strong feeling of well-being. But still…

But still there is the chance of falling off the wagon so we must accept ZC is an ongoing life-long process as nothing in life, nutrition-wise, is permanently check-off the list and completed once.

I often ask myself what is the place of “eating for pleasure” compare to “eating to get essential nutrients to survive” with ZC. Many studies have confirmed the release of dopamine in pleasure centers of the brain when eating, especially foods items we like. Interestingly, they have also documented a release of 50% of the same dopamine BEFORE any absorption of the food components (ex: glucose, protein ect.), and also EVEN BEFORE any intake of food…  

We all have experienced the nice feeling of “food expectation” while our steak is grilling, but it seems there is even more factors to this “pre-ingestion” dopamine release and this is the “eating ambiance” in which your meal is occurring.

So “the ambiance” in which you are having the said food do impact on the pleasure you get, which mean, for many of us, an extra stimulus to eat more; because we do eat for much more reasons then nutrition. We do, for example, SHARE food with our family to create a link, we eat to CELEBRATE many events, we enjoy a meal with friends to have a sense of BELOGNING, we go through a business meal as part of a social PROCESS, we even eat as a TRADITION from our country or our religion.

The question I am putting forward is simple: if we could get rid of all these “ambiance eating-dopamine release” situations, could life be easier on ZC as there would be no distractors?

In my personal experience, if I try to eat the most simply prepared food with the less fuss possible around me, I must admit, I tend to eat less. As soon as I add any particular “environment stimulation” to my meal, I end up enjoying MYSELF MORE, but then I EAT MORE. A tricky situation.

Of course, we live, work and enjoy the company of others and this is all good and probably necessary for our survival. Anyway, a lot of overweight folks live alone and this doesn’t change anything with their food intake. Of course, they may overeat for other reasons and they don’t all do ZC…

At the end, probably, the best thing to do is eat while being aware of what we are having, not in the sense of pleasure, but in the sense of quality, nutrition and acknowledging that doing ZC is the way our body is meant to be fed.

Do the experiment for yourself: the next time you are in a nice ‘eating ambiance” situation, observe how you eat, and notice if you feel like eating more, just to maintain this pleasurable dopamine rush…

And don’t forget: it seems our brain does NOT crave food. It craves the release of the “pleasures hormones”!!!

Denis






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