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How Does Dopamine Impact Cravings?

How Does Dopamine Impact Cravings?
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

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Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 8 min read

Your body often does things that can harm itself. You may think that your brain is smart and will discourage you to do things that are bad for the rest of your body, but that is untrue.

Your brain is tricky. One example of this is the production of dopamine. Dopamine often gets the blame for causing addictions, including overeating. In reality, it is a feel-good chemical that the brain releases when you do something that brings it pleasure, and your brain has the addiction because it wants more and more dopamine.

Because your brain wants to feel good all the time, it wants to encourage you to release dopamine by doing those things you crave. This is powerful and a great example of how your brain can work against you when you are trying to lose weight or stop a bad habit.

If you are tired of your brain hindering your attempts at a healthier life, then you need to learn more about dopamine. Find out how it works, how to know if it is what is leading to your issues, and get solutions for combating it, such as making a naltrexone online purchase.

Dopamine Explained

As you know now, dopamine exists in your brain and triggers positive feelings. It is part of the brain's reward system, and humans have more dopamine-producing neurons than any other primates.

The neurons that make dopamine in the brain use an amino acid, tyrosine. They combine that amino acid with an enzyme to produce dopamine.

Once your brain produces domain it travels along four pathways to handle different jobs, according to Slate. The first pathway affects motor control. Here it impacts movements and also is thought to play a role in Parkinson's Disease development.

The second pathway affects high-level brain functions. On this path, dopamine helps your organs function properly. The third pathway is pretty simple. When dopamine travels this path it helps females to produce breastmilk.

It is the last pathway where dopamine gets its bad reputation. On this fourth path, it serves to support cravings and addictions by making you feel good when you feed those cravings and addictions.

How It Impacts Cravings

One of the most important concepts to grasp about dopamine is that it does not make your brain feel pleasure. According to How Stuff Works, it controls how the brain reacts to pleasure. It helps the brain to learn cues that indicate it will receive a reward if it performs certain actions.

Dopamine reinforces the positive effects that food has when you eat something you crave by surging in production. So, if you crave chocolate and then eat it, you will have extra dopamine production in your brain, which makes you feel very happy and content with eating the chocolate.

It feeds the addictive action of overeating because your brain starts to want the high it gets when the dopamine production surges. This creates your addiction and is why you find it incredibly difficult to stop overeating or to stop eating the wrong foods.

Dopamine Levels and Cravings

Regulating the dopamine levels in your brain can help you to reduce the strong cravings you have for certain foods. However, not eating is not a good way to do this.

Your dopamine levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day. If you do not eat, they will drop very low. This triggers your brain and it starts to seek out what makes it happy and will give it more dopamine. When this happens, you'll experience intense cravings and have a very hard time saying no to making bad food choices.

Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health note that some research shows being overweight can make the brain always crave more dopamine because it can cause problems in the pathways dopamine uses to travel. In turn, this can cause more intense cravings and signals that you need to eat even when there is not an actual reason for you to eat.

So, getting control over dopamine production and the way your brain reacts to it is essential to help you overcome the obstacles of your own body when losing weight. You can start by recognizing the common signs that your brain is triggering the production of dopamine:

  • Eating after you are full
  • Irritable or tired when you stop eating favorite foods
  • Uncontrollable snacking

How You Can Influence It for Weight Loss

There are additional things you can do to help combat this issue. One option is to use naltrexone. You can make a naltrexone online purchase. What this will help with is it blocks dopamine production. So, if you make a naltrexone online purchase and use the product according to directions from a health professional, it can help you to avoid too much dopamine production.

Over time, your brain will adjust and learn not to trigger production for the feel-good effect. Your naltrexone online purchase can lead to readjusting your brain and training it to not react to the cues that it used to and that caused it to trigger more dopamine production.

You can also try changes in your diet that will trick your brain and stabilize your dopamine production. Diet and naltrexone use together can produce amazing results.

You should make sure that you eat foods containing tyrosine. Remember that this is what your neurons produce to help create dopamine. You would want to eat these when you are having cravings because they will provide the dopamine production your brain craves without you having to give in to your unhealthy food choices.

Foods that have high levels of tyrosine include:

  • Chocolate
  • Edamame
  • Chicken
  • Fava beans
  • Algae
  • Wheat germ
  • Oats
  • Duck
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mustard greens

You can also follow the dopamine diet, which includes foods that can help to increase dopamine production. The foods on this diet include:

  • Eggs
  • Omega-3 rich fish
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Dark chocolate
  • Dairy foods
  • Nuts
  • Unprocessed meats

You should focus on eating more protein on this diet. Never skip meals either because you know that can sabotage your efforts. You also want to avoid added sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. These items are all triggers that can signal your brain to produce more dopamine. Consuming them will also be counter-productive to your efforts.

Wrap Up

Dopamine gets a lot of bad press for being the feel-good chemical that causes you to overeat or have addictions. The real culprit is your brain. It is the brain's need to feel good that keeps you eating bad foods or misusing substances.

Once you figure this out and understand that you have cravings when your brain triggers neurons to produce more dopamine, then you can begin to take steps to fight back. Take control and tell your brain that it isn't going to keep pushing you to do things that are not healthy.

You can make a naltrexone online purchase and use it along with following a careful diet that helps to produce dopamine while eating foods that are good for you. It will take time to retrain your brain and level out the amount of dopamine production, but you can do it.

When all your efforts work, you should find that you can overcome cravings easily or that you don't even have them anymore. You'll be back in control and finally able to control your weight loss with ease.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.