The following five brain chemicals are the ones that primarily influence our emotions, and they not only provide the foundation for why we eat at certain times, but they're also the key chemicals in many of our current and future weight-loss drugs. To deal with some of the emotions and stresses that lead to eating, you have to remember that the brain chemicals that influence our hunger and our moods are our 'why' regulators of eating.
- Norepinephrine: The caveman fight-or-flight chemical—it's what tells you to tangle with a saber-tooth or high-tail it to the safety of your hut.
- Serotonin: The James Brown of neurotransmitters—it makes you feel good (hyah!) and is a major target of anti-depression drugs.
- Dopamine: The brain's fun house—it's a pleasure and reward system and is particularly sensitive to addictions. It's also the one that helps you feel no pain.
- GABA: This amino acid makes you feel like a zombie and is one of the ways that anesthesia may work to reduce your responsiveness to the outside world.
- Nitric Oxide: The meditation-like chemical—it helps calm you. This powerful neuropeptide is usually a very short-lived gas that also relaxes the blood vessels of the body.
Find out more about this book:YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management