Dopamine, Natalie Stevens, United States discussed on The Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous

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Hello and welcome to the nutrition diva podcast. I'm Monica Reindel. And today I'm talking with registered Dietitian Natalie Stevens a some really interesting new research that suggests how we can get more pleasure from the food that we eat and at the same time avoid overeating. Today's episode is supported by Holiday Inn club vacations the perfect spot for a family vacation or a group retreat. There are twenty-three Luxurious Various Holiday Inn club vacation resorts all across the United States. And they feature spacious villas with separate bedrooms fully equipped kitchens living rooms cried at Patios patios and balconies and select resorts offer premium signature collection villas with upgraded amenities. You'll find championship golf. Courses Sparkling pools this delicious restaurants and more for more information visit H. CV DOT vacations slash diva. That's H C. See the DOT vacations slash diva. Why are certain foods so easy to overeat some foods? We can enjoy a reasonable amount to feel satisfied but with other foods. It's like we're a bottomless pit. We just WANNA keep going. Even though we know overindulging will registered Dietitian nutritionist. Natalie Stevens joining me today to talk about some new research that she brought to my attention on how our brains and bodies respond to pleasurable certain foods and how we can avoid over eating without having to avoid foods that we enjoy. I'm so glad to have the podcast Natalie. Welcome thank you you for having me. This is an exciting thing to talk about. Who doesn't like talking about enjoying our food absolutely and this is a great time to have the conversation? We're the holiday season and there's so many opportunities to overindulge. It's really tempting to take one of two approaches. The first and probably the most common is to lit up which ends up being eating as much yummy food as you can and I mean why not. There are so many delicious foods. And you don't WanNa miss out but then there's the virtuous route that many of us also try where you limit yourself because you don't WanNa suffer the consequences you don't WanNa see the scale go up. You don't WanNa be uncomfortable and if you don't run out of willpower you're gonna be really proud of yourself. Ueno both of those strategies. have their drawbacks. If you if you decide to just abandon all restraint and lit up well you're probably going to have some damage to undo when it's all over but when we focus on limiting or restricting especially at a time like holidays it can create this sort of psychological Michael hunger that just builds up until we fall completely off the bandwagon. And then well we all know how that looks but what are we going to do here. Can we still win in what feels like sort of a lose lose scenario between being healthy and being happy the pleasure that we experience when we eat it's results results of dopamine and there's some research on how our bodies produce dopamine in response to eating and this is really optimistic you might assume assume the all the pleasure comes from taste because let's be honest that's what we get excited about. Our brains do produce dopamine when we taste food. Uh especially your sweet salty high fat foods but it isn't the only source of dopamine which means it isn't the only source of pleasure that we get from Eating there's a second dopamine release that's triggered when the food reaches our stomach and this one is more related to the nutritional value of food. Yeah that is so fascinating. I did think that the dopamine release was primarily just went. That food hits our taste buds so I was unaware of the second wave of dopamine and before we get into more details about the study. Let me just take a quick pause. Thank this week. Sponsors hellofresh is America's number one meal Kit delivering during easy seasonal recipes and premeasured ingredients right to your door. All you have to do is cook and enjoy. Each box includes everything you need to get an incredible incredible meal on the table and just about thirty minutes and there is something for everyone to family recipes calories smart options vegetarian and fun menu series series. It's super flexible. You can easily change your delivery day. Skip a week or add extra meals to your weekly order anytime. hellofresh puts a lot of variety into my diet. I make things that I otherwise wouldn't have thought to make like this Mediterranean couscous with chickpeas and Keeney and heirloom tomatoes was delicious. So break out of your dinner. rut With hellofresh as a nutrition diva listener. You can take advantage of an amazing offer this month. 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The molecule air mini for a smaller room or abundant for an air purification. Solution for your entire home for ten percent off your first order of an air purifier visit molecule dot com and enter diva ten at checkout. That's Komo L. E. K. U. L. E. DOT COM and. The CODE IS DIVA ten. So that research that Natalie shared with me was conducted at the Max Planck Institute and in this study subjects. Were given either a milkshake. Yummy or a nutritious but tasteless solution to drink and and then they used functional. MRI and pet scans to monitor the dopamine release in the brain and not surprisingly there was a big dopamine spike when the subjects. I tasted the milkshake and this dopamine was active in the reward centers of the brain. That's the part of the brain that tells you to eat more but then about about twenty minutes later. There was a second dopamine spike triggered by the stomach and this doubt dopamine was active in the higher cognitive areas of the brain. And that's what gives you that feeling of well-being satisfaction after a good meal when you're really just content to stop eating. Oh that's a good feeling to. Interestingly the bigger the first opening released was the smaller the second dopamine release was so the more immediate pleasure that you get from the taste is to food the less pleasure. You're going to experience after you eat so this begs the question. At the end of the day are we really getting more pleasure from satisfying langer cravings. Like we tell ourselves and I think the answer is no. Maybe this happy foods aren't making us as happy as we think. Yeah especially because eating unhealthy is associated with better mental health and less depression and improving. Your quality has been shown to improve depressive symptoms so maybe part of the trick is to pay more attention to how we feel after we eat definitely in overcoming my own addictive eating tendencies Practicing mindfulness I learn to Q.. In my stomach after eating that became my criteria for success. O.`Neil and I'm fascinated to see that there's biology behind why that works okay. Can you explain a little more about what you mean by. Chew into your stomach. What what sort of sensations are you paying attention to yeah it can be a bit tricky to recognize recognize the different signals? But the first one that I pay attention to is pressure this probably correlates with the literal fullness of your stomach. I think about eating a bag of potato chips how you can eat in eat. Never feel very full but then if you drink a big of water quickly you feel the pressure in your your stomach and then the other sensation I pay attention to is how heavy or light. I feel both during and after a meal and sometimes it only takes a few bites of something really rich for example for stomach to tell you you know. WHOA that's enough Heavy meals they they make you want to sit on the couch or take a nap right but then a light meal leaves energized ready to go do something. I aim for a moderate pressure with the light energetic feeling and also the whole time and eating I also focused on the flavors. I'm enjoying and I'm doing thoroughly so I don't swallow swallow big chunks of food okay focusing on the flavors that you're enjoying. That sounds a lot like mindful eating absolutely but many people use this term. Come to me being conscientious about health and I feel like that just ruins it. I'm eating it's not about worrying are analyzing which are eating. It's being aware of the experience. Nothing more nothing less and as you get into this experience of eating you're actually going to regain gained some of your skills. I you're going to learn to enjoy your food more while you're eating it and then second you're GonNa Begin to recognize is when you feel good and energized. What types of food? And how much help you feel that way. In other words mindful eating can help help us exploit the double dopamine effect. Yes exactly paying attention helps get plenty of pleasure tasting your food in moment while noticing when your stomach is saying maybe later I'm full and it might even say can I have another serving of vegetables uh-huh so as we said at the beginning foods that contain a lot of sugar and fat tend to trigger a really big initial dopamine release and that's why they're so compelling are mindless brain is just GonNa go for that quick hit that tastebuds dopamine but our mind full brain has the capacity to choose use that are gonNA deliver more pleasure from that second wave of dopamine that's triggered in the stomach yes now don't have the same intense cravings i. I feel so much better for hours after I eat. I eat for that double dopamine release. This is going to be our new motto or eating for the double dopamine right well consciously going for food that offer that double dopamine release can steer us towards healthier foods and also enhance our enjoyment of them. But come on Natalie. It's the holidays and there are a lot of extra temptations around so does this approach hopefully also make it easier to occasionally indulge in some of those special treats but without falling into that bottomless pit phenomenon where we just overindulge absolutely it does take a little bit of practice but this approach. It's helping US user. These are natural brake system when it comes to eating. That's really helpful this time of year and it gives you permission to put your down because you want got to feel.

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