Ep #172: Why You Can't Stop Eating & Dopamine Hunger

T-BOSS TAKE 2: What dopamine hunger is and how it shows up in your weight loss journey. If you have ever felt like you just can’t stop eating or that you can’t resist certain foods? Then this episode is for you. I will teach you what dopamine is and how it relates to hunger and food.

I will give you 4 tips on how to overcome it.

Featured on the Show:

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women Podcast with Shannan Christensen, episode number 172. Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, fortune 100 executive, and certified life coach, Shannan Christensen.

Hello love. So happy to be back with you. We are almost half over with January. I can’t even believe it. I’m getting ready to leave for California. I’m excited to get away for a few days. I’m going for work, but then Paul and I are staying over to have some fun. I love the ocean. So are you having fun? I add joy and fun in my everyday life. I laugh every single day. You know, this has helped me create the life of my dreams. When I was on the diet roller coaster, I did not prioritize fun and joy. If it happened, great. But when I learned to be more intentional about it, I started having more of it. So plan it, don’t wait for the weekend or vacations. Have fun and joy be a part of your everyday life.

So on today’s show, I wanna ask you a question. Do you ever feel you start eating and just cannot stop? This has happened to me thousands of times. This one time, one of my friends, she had made me a Texas sheet cake, which may be one of my all-time favorite desserts. So I started eating it, and before I knew it, I had eaten half of the sheet cake. I mean, these are in baking sheets, so pretty big. I felt sick, but I just could not stop. This is what I like to call dopamine hunger. In this week’s TBoss Take, I wanna teach you about dopamine hunger and what to do.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which functions as the primary reward center of the brain. It plays a role in motivation, and it’s also associated with pleasure, movement, and addiction. When dopamine is released in the reward center of the brain, it signals that an action taken was beneficial to survival or goal attainment. Eating certain types of foods, especially those that are high in sugar, have the sugar, flour, salt combo, or highly processed, can cause a surge of dopamine release. This encourages us to eat more than we need and can lead to overeating. Your brain wants more reward and thinks if you keep eating it, you will get more reward, more pleasure.

I like to call this dopamine hunger. It’s a craving for the dopamine hit. When you eat foods that are highly processed, have a high sugar content, then you’re getting a rush, which can overstimulate your reward center. So your brain will compensate by giving you less of a dopamine hit, which is why you then want more. And over time, you’ll need more of it to get the same dopamine hit. So in my example of the Texas sheet cake, the first bite was amazing. It gave me a big old rush. Then I kept eating, wanting that same taste and rush, but nothing is as good as the first bite, because your brain will compensate for the overstimulation. Listen to that part again. Your first bite is the best, so take your time with it, savor it.

Ladies all the time tell me they just love food. They just love it. I just love it, Shannon. But so much of the time, we don’t even pay attention when we’re eating. My love, we eat when we’re scrolling on the phone, cooking dinner, standing at the kitchen counter, while driving, watching tv. We can’t do two things at once. Multitasking, it’s a lie. You can look at the research on it, I promise. So if you’re doing something other than eating, you’re most likely, you’re not even tasting or enjoying the food you’re eating.

So what’s my take on dopamine hunger. Number one, the first bite is the best bite. So enjoy it, savor it. Number two, pay attention when eating. Be intentional and mindful so you can actually enjoy what you’re eating. Three, get up halfway through your meal, change rooms. Do something else for a minute. It will help disrupt thoughts around what you’re eating and help you come into awareness. And number four, I love this one. Eat dessert first. Mm, I said it. I do this so I can eat it, enjoy it, and then I eat some fuel food. It helps with the craving because the fuel food fills me up.

Next week is the main reason why we stay on the diet rollercoaster. And it may not be what you think. You don’t wanna miss it. If you wanna take this work deeper, then keep your eye out for the opening of Transform Boss. You can learn more about Transform Boss at jointransformboss.com. Bye for now Love.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and wanna learn more, come on over to bflycoaching.com. See you next week.

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