Posted on: 12.05.2023 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

While the holidays are often a time of celebration, they can also be plagued with stress and fight holiday weight gaincertain annoying in-laws. And this stress can lead many a woman to the cookie or candy jar.

Fight holiday stress and potential weight gain by keeping your neurotransmitters sharp and in balance.

Neurotransmitters relay electrical impulses between nerve cells throughout your body, and affect everything from muscle contraction and blood flow to mental sharpness, mood, and your ability to handle stress. The neurotransmitter serotonin is a major player in the factors that can trigger, or block, cravings and binge eating. Researchers believe it’s a sort of chemical restraint system, inhibiting the more “primitive” centers of the brain.

When your serotonin levels are low, irritability, anxiety, and binge eating become more likely. The excitatory neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine elevate your mood from the other direction—by energizing you and supporting alertness, optimism, motivation, zest for life, and sex drive.

So, what can you do to keep neurotransmitters in proper balance during the holidays and all year long? Serotonin is produced from the amino acids tryptophan and the intermediary substance 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning your body can’t make it—you must get it through foods such as:

  • turkey;
  • seafood;
  • whole grains such as quinoa;
  • brown rice;
  • legumes;
  • eggs;
  • almonds; and
  • sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds.

The excitatory neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine) are derived from tyrosine, an amino acid your body can produce from other ingredients and found in most good, quality, protein-rich foods.

If you’ve changed your diet and your cravings are still a problem, consider supplemental 5-HTP and tyrosine to re-stock your body’s neurotransmitters. Dr. Lark recommends gradually working up to 50–100 mg of 5-HTP once or twice a day and 1,000–2,000 mg of tyrosine once or twice a day.

Be sure to take a high-potency multinutrient, as well, to ensure that you’re getting all of the co-factors you need to produce these neurotransmitters—including vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, and copper.

Please note: If you are taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, consult with your physician before taking amino acids.

For more tips on avoiding holiday weight gain and sticking to your natural weight loss plan, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.


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