This 'Nothing' Nutrition Question Helps a Lot
By Joan Kent, PhD
Want to move closer to a lifetime of healthful eating? You can do it in a single step.
Ask one question before you eat anything — pre-workout, post-workout, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack.
The question is: "Will eating this stabilize me or destabilize me?"
Stability in this context refers to blood glucose and brain chemistry.
Stabilizing glucose means keeping things in a normal range with gradual "ups" after meals or snacks, and gradual dips when hunger is about to occur."Gradual" is the operative word.
Stable glucose won't rise to a sharp peak, as it might after a sugary pre-workout "breakfast," and then plummet right after that.
That may happen in susceptible folks. They're called "carb sensitive" because they secrete extra insulin when they eat certain carbs.
Sugar can be a key trigger of extra insulin, but it's not the only one. White flour and even fruit can trigger too much insulin, as well.
Stabilizing Brain Chemistry
Stabilizing brain chemistry involves four chemicals that change with the food we eat.
The chemicals are dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and endorphins (beta-endorphin).
When those chemicals are at optimal levels, they prevent cravings and keep us feeling pretty good.
But some people have lower baseline levels of one or more of the four. That makes them feel a little (or a lot) worse than someone whose brain levels are even.
It also makes them more sensitive to the effects of junk like sugar.
When they eat those junky foods, they get an exaggerated brain chemical reaction — through either extra-high release or extra-high production, or both.
The exaggerated reaction might feel great for a little while, but it's where addiction enters. Someone who has experienced it wants more junk to give them that great feeling — and take away the 'blahs' they might have day to day, due to lower baseline levels of the 4 chemicals.
It's almost guaranteed to cause a repeat of the whole cycle.
Which Foods Help?
Stabilizing foods include wholesome fats and protein foods — even protein powder.
If you start including foods from those two categories every time you eat, you'll help stabilize glucose and brain chem.
At first, you may dislike having to go to a little extra trouble in this way. In the long run, though, you'll feel great, perform better in your workouts, and get the health benefits and mental clarity you'll deserve for changing your eating habits with this simple step.
Stabilizing glucose and brain chem are only one part of how I help people with diabetes, hypertension, mood issues, and – my specialty – sugar addiction. Please visit www.LastResortNutrition.com to grab your free copy of "The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Quit Sugar."
Brought to you by Dr. Joan Kent, best-selling author of Stronger Than Sugar: 7 Simple Steps to Defeat Sugar Addiction, Lift Your Mood, and Transform Your Health.