Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Your Brain's Impact on Cravings ... [and fat loss] Part 2

In the previous post we reviewed neurotransmitters you potentially may be low in … so today we have a brief quiz to help you get a better sense of these brain chemicals. 

Choose the one letter in each question below that best describes you. If none describe you than leave the question blank.  If more than one describes you choose all that apply.

1)    I crave:
a.    Chocolate and/or coffee and/or sugar
b.    I love fatty things like cream cheese, guacamole, and chocolate mousse
c.    I love bread, pasta, and salty snacks
d.    I don't care what it is, I just want enough of it to make me feel full

2)    At work or school or as a mom at home:
a.    I find it difficult to stay focused, have drops in energy, and procrastinate
b.    I can never remember what I just did, I may have to redial the phone multiple times, and can be slow to catch on.
c.    People can easily annoy me, I usually trust my ideas over others and sometimes feel others are out to get me.
d.    I get anxious and worry about every little thing so much so that I sometimes have trouble getting things done.

3)    Exercise makes me feel:
a.    More energized and powerful
b.    Smarter and more creative
c.    Happier and more attractive
d.    More calm with less worries

4)    If I feel depressed it is most likely to be:
a.    A feeling of frustration that I can't ever stick to a plan or schedule or fulfill promises to myself
b.    A feeling of mental slowness, mental frustration, or feelings that I am just not as smart as others
c.    I am just sad without any good reason. I often wish I looked different or was someone sexier, smarter, and more likable
d.    An anxious worrying type depression. Anxiety rather than depression more defines me.

Now total up your answers.  If any letter was chosen 2 or more times, then there is a possibility you have a deficiency in that neurotransmitter.  Keep in mind you can often have more than one deficiency and also may have none. Here is how the letters break down.

a.    Dopamine
b.    Acetylcholine
c.    Serotonin
d.    GABA

Obviously, a questionnaire such as this has some weaknesses because of its subjective nature.  Unfortunately, unless you are willing to get a spinal tap or have access to complex brain imagery there is no great scientific test for brain neurotransmitters.

The important things to understand is that the brain chemicals have a direct impact on mood, cravings, motivation, hunger, energy, focus, self-esteem, problem solving, sleep and more.

For those seeking body fat reduction, hormones like these neurotransmitters may hold the key to true body change.  Imagine being able to take a completely safe natural substance to help enhance full body function and allow you to have more motivation, sleep better, and rid yourself of cravings.  Emerging research in biochemistry suggests you can.   

Next we'll look at certain foods and specific amino acids found in food that bolster brain function.  Unlike a reuptake inhibitor drugs prescribed by the billions, natural amino acids found in various foods deal with real issue people struggle with.

Take the quiz, and remember, the point is to identify a POTENTIAL area where you MIGHT not be making enough of a particular neurotransmitters.  

Be mindful NOT to label yourself a being "X" or "Y" … there's no benefit in that at this point.  The quiz is subjective, and certainly NOT conclusive at a high level of confidence. We're just looking for possibilities, and potential remedies.  

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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