Can these chemicals help you with fat loss?

Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter

When I was a child I had poor memory and concentration (well so my parents remind me!). I remember struggling to get up in the morning and I also felt really tired during the day. It wasn’t until I decided to change everything in my mid 20’s that I noticed a huge change in all of these areas. I changed my nutrition, fixed my sleeping patterns and stepped up my training intensity. As a result my mood, energy, physique and drive for life all improved.

I didn’t know then what I know now, so I had no idea that chemical reactions were taking place and little messengers were hard at work fixing my tired and malnourished body and brain.

So when people say to me now that “memory is just part of growing older” or “aren’t I like everyone when I feel tired in the morning”, I have a little chuckle to myself and take a few minutes to explain.

The chemicals that were hard at work are known as neurotransmitters. When I work with a day to day fat loss clients or a professional athlete for sport performance, balancing neurotransmitters plays such a huge part in the process.

Now like so many things in life, Neurotransmitters are just a part of the big puzzle. But when left unchecked and allowed to go out of balance, they can really affect you (like they did with me) and cause undesirable symptoms. For example, a diet that you believe to be right can be putting the messengers responsible for your get up and go on slow mo!!

So what are Neurotransmitters?

They are chemical messengers that send information throughout your brain and body.  Your brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and to activate your digestive system.  When they are out of balance they can drastically affect your mood, energy, sleep, focus and even you’re cravings for food.

What are the four main Neurotransmitters that we need to concentrate on?

  • Acetyl choline: Its role is to improve learning and memory

If you have low levels you’ll more than likely be the type of person that is very forgetful and may have even lost their drive for life. Good food sources are cooked broccoli, whole eggs, hazelnuts, pine nuts, fish, cabbage and blueberries

  • Dopamine: Its role is to improve focus and attention and to give you energy and drive

If you have low levels of this neurotransmitter you’ll be the type of person that craves sugary foods or caffeine to help you get that extra lift to take you through the day. Food sources – Wild game, turkey, avocados, almonds, sardines and coffee

  • Gabba: Its role is to provide a calming effect on the nervous system and to also help support a focused state

If you have low Gabba levels you will not handle life’s stresses well. Gabba deficient people tend to be quite nervous and irritable. Food sources – You want to look for foods with glutamic acid like almonds, brown rice, liver and organ meats, broccoli, spinach and walnuts

  • Serotonin: Its role is to uplift your mood, improves your motivation and gives you a sense of well being.

If you have insufficient serotonin you will feel out of balance, tired and will struggle to go to sleep.
Food Sources – Look for foods rich in tryptophan like avocado, chicken, cottage cheese, turkey and sweet potato.

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Does this sound familiar?

Let’s look at a situation that may sound very familiar to you. You want to lose body fat which means you’ve decided to follow a nutrition program (like our LHP Fat Loss System); you’ll be fitting in a workout each day and finally sticking to it until you reach the desired goal. The problem you face is that you have no get up and go in the morning; you get tired in the day and struggle to get to sleep at night. After you’ve read the above - do you think that balancing your neurotransmitters will help with fat loss? Sure they will!

When it comes to those times of the day when you need to be sharp, why do you choose foods that calm you down? When you need to be nice and relaxed, why do you choose the very foods that lift you up?

There are certain times of the day when you need to focus on each neurotransmitter and also factor in the foods that support your deficiency. Let me show you how you should plan your day around your neurotransmitters.

Breakfast – Acetyl Choline and Dopamine rich food groups
Late afternoon and into the evening – Gabba and Serotonin rich foods.

So breakfast could be Buffalo steak and hazelnuts and evening could be Turkey and spinach salad and a small sweet potato and olive oil dressing. It takes a little planning but you’ll thank me when you have a lot more drive and energy in the morning and then relaxed and calm in the evening.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

If you're not able to experience our in house personal training or online coaching at M10 Nottingham, why don't you pick up a copy of our popular 8 Week Physique Transformation e-book?
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