The Happy Movie, The Happy Drug…there could be a theme here this week.
A few months ago I started reading The Amen Solution, which is not a bible, but is a book written by Dr Daniel Amen. I’ve mentioned before that I found some of the things he talks about completely fascinating…like the type of eater you are being driven by personality characteristics.
One of the other factors he takes a very strong stance on is that losing weight is much harder if your brain is all out of whack.
In other words, you’re making the weight loss process much harder if:
- you’re stressed
- your thyroid isn’t working,
- ou aren’t getting all the right nutrients
His book Change Your Brain, Change Your Body states exactly what I believe: “when it comes to weight loss, one size does NOT fit all. One weight-loss program will never work for everyone, because being overweight is not one thing in the brain”
One of the supplements he talked about is called 5HTP. In short this is a more subtle alternative to anti-anxiety or depression medication and is marketed this way in many European countries already. It doesn’t have the same side effects, but appears to work much the same in the brain by assisting in decreasing stress, anxiety, helping alleviate insomnia which also helps with mood. Since I found this summer that depression medication simply made me feel worse, I was interested to try this.
According to WebMD:
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.
There are still a lot of studies out there trying to verify the effectiveness, but the side effects are generally mild unlike some herbal items so it shouldn’t cause any major issues other than a potentially upset stomach. Of course always talk to a doctor about other medicines you are taking.
I have talked about a few supplements lately and it’s not because I think we all need to be popping pills, but because I think we all need to know what is available to us. Sometimes your body needs a little help to get things back on track and that’s ok!
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