Something I commonly hear from patients on carnivore as how surprised they are that their cravings vanished. They don’t crave dirty carbs or sweets anymore. I think that is part of what makes this WOE so easy to maintain.
Part of the reason we crave less on carnivore is because the body isn’t lacking nutrients, we have all the pleasure and appetite regulating components optimized and our gut is healed. Everything the body needs is readily available.
Serotonin…. did you know most of it is produced in the gut? It’s a happiness neurotransmitter, sort of like having a decadent piece of chocolate and a stellar glass of wine. You know what promotes it’s production? A healthy gut, generous amounts of protein, good old sunshine and proper stress management. We need serotonin for appetite and digestion, for sleep, memory, mood regulation and social function. It also helps us by boosting our sexual desire (and function). SInce meat heals it stands to logic that this is one reason carnivores see such mood and overall health improvements
GABA… which we can’t supplement with since it won’t cross the blood brain barrier. We could use the supplement l theanine (which I’ve talked about here in greater detail) since it’s the precursor or we can just go eat a freaking STEAK! This stuff is the bodies natural tranquilizer, it chills us the F out so we don’t punch our boss, murder our spouse or strangle our kids. Got a stiff neck or shoulders? That tension is brought to you by lack of GABA. Drinking loads of coffee? That combined with stress is going to diminish your supply quickly, but not to worry cause the best way to promote more is.. you guessed it – PROTEIN. Protein rich meals will get you back on track, so pass the ribeye (and some salt) please.
Endorphins…. these are your comfy sweater, your fluffy slippers, that warm hug from a loved one. They are also way better at managing pain than any drug. When these levels are too low we crave comfort foods. My favourite way to prote endorphins is sex, or laughter – [referable NOT at the same time (that could be awkward).
Catecholamines…. think dopamine. The reward centre. This is where addiction comes into play, especially when it comes to food. When we don’t have enough amino acids (found in animal protein) we can lose the much needed amounts of these neurotransmitters and therefore seek out a quick fix – doughnuts anyone? All we need to do to stop these reward center cravings is ensure we are getting adequate amino acids – from animal protein.
Our brain needs special fatty coats, as a matter of fact it will demand it and if we don’t listen say goodbye to your mental health, memory, cognitive function and of course increase risk of alzheimer’s. This is why fat is so important (not the glucose like previously taught). It’s the neurotransmitters within our brain that require the amino acids so they can produce pleasure, sleep, sexual arousal, memory, thoughts that are happy not doomed…you know all the good stuff.
Sure you can supplement but in the end nothing beats the straight from the source kind of aminos that the body so desperately craves – go eat a steak people! We are a society that likes to separate everything, but aminos are meant to be bound together, which is how they come in amino rich protein foods. Don’t tell me you think you can do better than mother nature.
Each neurotransmitter is made out of one very special amino acid, we call these the precursor. Ok the recipe also calls for certain vitamins and minerals to also be present for the formulation to fully work but all that is found in a good old fashioned steak, or some liver perhaps?
One thing my patients all have in common is that when they are having issues with cravings, protein is the answer. Ever notice how good you feel after a steak, like a warn happy hug. When I add in the other sides I might not feel quite as good as a steak on it’s own with a little butter on top. I’ll pass on the veggies thanks.
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