5 First Fixes for the Brain that Can’t Stop Feeding
These recommendations are from our newest program Brain Chemistry Optimization
1. Drink more water.
Your brain is approximately 85% water. So when you don't have enough water, your brain starts to malfunction. Headaches are just one of the symptoms we notice. But fatigue, confusion, memory, mood problems and distorted perceptions occur too! And those we don't even realize are happening or how much they are impacting our experience of the world and our performance in it.
Often we get annoyed with others, feel things are too hard, have trouble understanding and simply don’t have the focus or the stamina to stick with something like an eating plan. These struggles can begin in your brain. Even portion distortion improves in a well hydrated brain.
And don’’ forget a larger body needs more water. Check in on your thirst frequently. Pop, coffee and energy drinks don’t count and may actually make your brain less hydrated.
2. Eat enough protein.
Often people think that they need to cut protein to lose weight. Most of the time the only thing we lose is the right ingredients to make good brain chemistry. Your brain needs certain supplies of specific nutrients to build the neurotransmitters that are responsible for interpreting the environment and maintaining actions.
When someone has a concussion, one of the first interventions to protect their brain is to significantly increase protein intake for 48 hours. Your brain needs protien to build and maintain itself. Keep that part of your food plan in balance!
And pay attention, different protiens work better in different brains. Not all protiens, even healthy ones will make you function better. If you are feeling edgy and annoyed see what protien you may have had in the last 24 hours. Try changing it to something else for 3 days and then go back to the orignial one.
We think because something is said to be healthy it works well for everybody - not so! Check it out.
3. Upgrade your carbs don’t cut them.
The other thing dieters like to cut is carbohydrates. This often leads to an increase in craving that eventually takes us into overeating. This is because your brain wants that nutrient and will make the craving irresistible to get it. Decreasing carbs can further negatively affect the brain chemistry imbalances that already plague most chronic overeaters.
But any old carbs won't do. If there is an existing deficit of the neurochemical serotonin, overeaters have usually been “medicating” with high refined carbs and when they are removed the mental and physical reaction can be excruciating. So the upgrade to less refined carbohydrates. Whole grains like rice, barely and quinoa can help create that crucial neurotransmitter and diminsh the cravings.
4. Simply sleep.
Really. We live in a society that can actually be resistant and resentful about sleeping. Like nothing important is happening so why do it. Many things of utmost importance are happening, like your brain rebuilding itself.
It gives your body the time and ingredients to devote to build the neurochemicals your brain needs. Sleeping also creates a more relaxed physical and emotional state that won’t need soothing with food!
Sleeping on an empty stomach or with just a small unrefined carbohydrate snack a couple of hours before bed is especially good to build the neurochemical serotonin. The research on this is clear – more sleep, less weight, better brain.
5. Relax and re-regulate
Real relaxation, not sitting in front of the TV or playing a video game, but devoted attention to breathing deeply and slowly, relaxing the muscles in your body and giving your mind a break is one of major ways to reset your brain and body systems.
Too often we get stuck in the “full on” intensity mode, whether by worrying endlessly, trying to get it all done or even trying to get away from it all. The brain just keeps sending out the command to be at full alert all the time, creating a chemical calamity.
Our brains need downtime. The typical daily diet of non-stop stimulation and stress actually degrades your brain. Simply sitting or lying still, swinging, rocking in a hammock or rocking chair can soothe your body back into sending that "all clear, everything is alright" signal to the brain and the chemistry shifts.
We call these the 5 firsts because they are all things that you can start doing right now to take better care of your brain. And when you take good care of your brain your body behaves better! Your brain runs the show if you want to deal with overeating permanently, the brain is the place to start!
The above general suggestions make significant impact on brain chemistry issues over time. However, chronic severe overeating, that gets worse with dieting, may indicate more extensive brain chemitsry issues that will likely require further individualized interevention. We work with compulsive eaters that just want to deal with it faster, althletes and business people that want to perform better and the chlidren of our addictive eating clients that are just begining to symptoms of disordered eating. Find out more about our Brain Chemistry Optimization Program. Two special discounted classess being offered for a limited time this spring.
may be indicated by chronic overeating that gets worse with dieting. This will likely require further intervention
Long term chronic overeating, severe brain chemical imbalances and other complex circumstances may need more individualized intervention. Brain Chemistry Treatment