Are you an expert at failing weight loss plans? Perhaps it’s not your fault. Perhaps all weight loss programs are structured around reducing calorie consumption and increasing caloric expenditure without ever considering why you gained weight in the first place.
So why do we gain weight? Are God and nature suddenly conspiring to make us fat and sick? No! As we focus on success and wealth, the result is unabated emotional stress. Tension that leads to anxiety, anger, depression, loneliness, boredom, and more. This build-up of dopamine stress hormones is increased as we remain electronically connected to work 24/7. We no longer eat real food for nutritional value, we snack, using sugar and starch, carbohydrates, for their “drug-like” emotion-management effect. We eat and drink for instant stress-relieving highs, a consumptive emotion management lifestyle with inevitable weight gain, and physical and mental debilitation.
Weight gain is caused by excessive use of unhealthy snacking for emotional gratification, resulting in negativity, guilt, harm, and erosion of self-esteem. So now you go on a diet. Diets are intentionally calorie restrictive, “comfortable starvation,” to lose weight. Serotonin deprivation, massive unabated dopamine loading, and a stressful life, plus hunger—how is that supposed to work long term?
Perhaps instead of trying another calorie-reducing “diet,” consider an addiction behavioral change approach by altering your emotion-management lifestyle from consumption to action. Remove the toxic “drugs”, sugar, starch, and snacking, and replace these “drugs” with appropriate nutritional eating habits using intermittent fasting and a low carbohydrate well-formulated ketogenic real food lifestyle never limited by portion size or caloric restriction.
Simultaneously, cultivate durable serotonin-releasing behaviors that require effort and time—moments of dopamine fasting away from the rock-face of your stressful life. Serotonin load by disconnecting, unplugging periodically from your busy life, releasing your dopamine load, and relaxing serotonin happiness to process the tough emotional stressors that are driving your feelings. Build up your eroded self-esteem using serotonin through remedies such as creative arts, physical activity, meditative spirituality, and empathetic human connection. Excess weight is not a calorie problem, it’s a behavioral substance abuse emotion management problem. Until you treat the cause of your weight gain, no matter how much weight you lose on your diet, it will always return as you return to carbs and snacking under the intense unrelenting emotional duress that is your way of life.
By Robert Cywes, MD, PhD
Adult General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery
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