Dopamine is known as the “feel good” hormone but plays a role in many body functions.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s made in your brain. It acts as a chemical messenger communicating between nerve cells in your brain and between your brain and the rest of your body. It can also act as a hormone.
As a neurotransmitter, dopamine is involved with movement, memory, pleasurable rewards and motivation, behaviour and cognition, attention, sleep and arousal, mood, learning and lactation.
As a hormone, when released into the bloodstream it plays a small role in your response to stress. It also can cause blood vessels to relax, increase salt and urine removal, reduce insulin production in your pancreas and help protect your gastro-intestinal lining.
Dopamine can be used to manage and improve your weight, your health and your life. Ensuring your dopamine levels are well regulated creates feelings of pleasure and reward and motivates you to repeat specific behaviours.
However, there are ways to overstimulate dopamine to give a “quick fix” and these can work against our weight and health success.
Some dopamine sources sabotage your quality of live
Drugs and alcohol as well as social media have become easy, external dopamine sources and can make you feel lazy, lethargic and unmotivated.
When generated externally the dopamine-inducing stimulus becomes an opioid and can be addictive. These external dopamine hits are easy to do and initially you enjoy them, but they end up shifting your dopamine baseline. To feel normal, you now need a bigger dopamine high.
Junk food or highly processed foods are manufactured to do the same thing, to addict you. They are ALL high in sugar and calories.
Start managing your dopamine by prioritising protein in all meals and snacks.
Use dopamine productively
When dopamine is generated internally it can create intense desire and bursts of motivation. It can help sustain long periods of focus, creativity, and general ability to struggle through until things are achieved.
If you make eating for your best weight and health your project it must work for you. The process should be easy, simple, manageable and give you results. Having highs and lows in energy, stress, hunger and cravings is no fun and will be less sustainable.
Reducing or better still, eliminating all foods that are highly processed will help you manage your dopamine productively.
Leverage your dopamine
Track your progress on what helps you thrive. This will motivate you to keep going. Our food planners make it easy to pre-plan your food and drink to help you find the foods that work for your health, wellbeing and weight.
Pursue being curious. Informing and educating yourself also sparks dopamine.
It also helps to manage the let-down period after any goal has been reached.
What’s a dopamine detox?
A dopamine detox is the simplest and easiest way to return to your baseline, otherwise you will be stuck in a dependency cycle. The answer is to disconnect completely.
Find natural healthy ways to release dopamine as opposed to relying on a digital screen or food to release dopamine. Do something mundane like cleaning the house, do a load of washing, washup dishes instead of putting in the dishwasher or get out the ironing board.
Go for a walk in the sunlight to stimulate neurons in the brain and increase cortisol levels which will increase dopamine levels. You will also reduce stress and sleep better.
Dopamine deficiencies can result in anxiety, procrastination, low energy and the inability to focus. Many people who have done the Keto Fitness program had many of these symptoms when they first started. Many thought it was normal as they had felt like that for a long time, but now they know better.
Dopamine enables motivation, learning and pleasure. It also gives you determination to accomplish your goals, desires and needs.
If you’re ready to manage your dopamine to improve your weight and health, our online 8 week eating program will give you the results you’re after. Click on the Lose Weight Now button at the top of the page.