It’s a drug we can’t resist. FOOD.
I cannot tell you how many women come to me struggling with their weight, relationships with food, fatigue, and mood.
And, especially for women, food and mood are directly correlated. I’ve found most women see food in a few different fashions.
It’s their drug of choice, a way to relieve their anxiety, fear, anger or soothe their stress after a long day of work or exhaustion from dealing with the kids all day.
They use food as their means of control, meaning they often choose to see it as the enemy, something that’ll make them fat, ugly, pudgy and lazy so they choose to avoid it.
What most women do not realize is food is thy medicine, yes? When used appropriately, food is our living source for energy production, blood sugar regulation, and brain chemistry (including your mood.)
Today, I wanted to focus on the direct link between FOOD and your MOOD. I’m going to be sharing with you direct strategies and tools to implement in your life and how to feed your head for health, not punishment.
Let me first start by stating the obvious……
We need food to function, so I’m going to break down (plain and simple) how to rely on fat-friendly, anti-inflammatory, feel-good foods to fuel your brain and neurotransmitters.
K? Cool…..Let’s dig.
#1: We’re wired to binge.
From a biological standpoint, our bodies are meant to hoard calories and save them for later, it’s just wired in our genetic makeup. However, there’s a major disconnect, today, we’re not dealing with feast or famine in a world full of fast food at every corner and portions that could feed a table of 10.
Which is why we want that dopamine hit. Remember that dopamine is the molecular cornerstone of addiction. Just think brownies, sugar, sex, shopping, gambling, drinking, drugs, or any highly addictive behavior for that matter.
WE WANT THAT HIT.
Dopamine takes over and we want it all. Especially if we’re prone to food issues, such as sugar addiction, you better believe it takes all we have to avoid it and often times willpower goes out the window and we cave into the sugar-laden cupcakes.
Think of McDonald’s for example, the fat, salt, sugar and high-calorie burger and fries (add a coke please) is a perfect recipe for disaster because the junk food is so highly addictive and it can literally change your brain chemistry as much as crack or coke could.
Take Oreos, you see them in the pantry, they’re calling your name so you promise yourself just one. Maybe you start with that one because it takes so good, you have another and before you know it you’ve eaten the entire sleeve. Fast forward a week later and I can guarantee you’ll want more than just that sleeve because your sugar tolerance has increased and that one Oreo has now turned into the entire box.
My suggestion? If you want that hit, get rid of the temptations. Instead, (yes, I know this doesn’t sound fun) but start your day off with protein, fat, and fiber versus bars, pancakes or sugar. Fat is good, especially the good stuff (seeds, avocado, almond butter, ghee, etc.). I’d rather see you eat that versus reaching for another piece of cake. Also? Eat eggs.
#2: Say Gut? You bet.
Your body has a diverse colony of bacteria known as your microbiome and all of the trillions of bacteria in your GI tract not only help you digest your food but also help with regulating your appetite. Now they even have transplants where you can switch out one biome to another and have your appetite change, crazy I know and I’m not saying to go and do that.
However, it’s important to note obese people and thin people have different biomes or certain levels of bacteria. Enter probiotics and remove artificial sweeteners and highly processed foods.
Instead, aiming to get adequate fiber and a healthy dose of probiotics in your diet can do wonders for your cravings and gut health.
Foods such as vegetables, high-fiber foods, yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, beans, and nuts help feed the fermentation in your gut and helps tame inflammation. Another bonus? Add artichokes, onions, and asparagus to further enhance your gut.
Probiotics also help with your nervous system, including lowering your anxiety, promoting sleep and helping you stay more resilient in the midst of stress. I can attest to this when I’m under high stress I’m religious about staying consistent with my probiotics and foods that support my gut. Find a high-quality probiotic which has billions of different strands of bacteria along with an expiration date so you know it’s legit.
#3: Prevent inflammation for success.
Inflammation often starts in the gut, which in turn can have a direct impact on your mood and appetite. Inflammation feeds depression, anxiety and mood disorders so it’s imperative you find foods that support your health versus harm it. If there’s inflammation in your gut, you can guarantee you’ll have digestive issues, cranky moods, anxiety and bloating. Eating foods that don’t feel good to you can have a dramatic impact on how you’re feeling and you know that feeling, you just feel awful!!
Eat your colors!!! I tell my clients to look at their plate. Is it brown and white (meat and potatoes?) or does it have an array of colors like greens, purples, oranges, reds, etc? One way to get your needs met is to incorporate a large salad in your daily diet. If you feel bloated after eating raw veggies you can steam them or saute them to help with the digestion or you can take a digestive enzyme.
Also, fatty acids are a must. Think fish oil, salmon, mackerel, sardines, flax seeds or hemp seeds. These will help a ton!!!
I really hope all of this was helpful, I truly believe FOOD directly impacts our MOOD.
I just finished building a high-access, super customized 12-week intensive program covering all of this along with hormone testing, exercises for fat loss and much more. This is specifically for women who are looking to take their health to the next level and feel happy and healthy forever. For more information, you can message me directly under my contact page!