Let me tell you a little story about my own mood repair project.
I did not ever know how I was going to be able to stop food cravings. Honestly, I didn’t even know what it was like not to have cravings! OK, I’ll be truthful: I did get close to no cravings when I had previously done low sugar diets in the past. But, I couldn’t explain or maintain it. Plus, I’m sure that as soon as I felt like, “Oh, I don’t feel hungry right now,” I would skip a meal and then the downward cycle would begin. Because eating regular amounts of protein throughout the day is super important for me, as I have now deciphered with the help of the mood repair books.
Now that I have begun as many of the directives as I can, I have experienced what it is like to not be craving. I have been off of chocolate for 4 months now. But, let me explain further: I was eating a dark chocolate bar every day. On Feb 7, I put it all in the basement out of sight. I have been eating SOME, but the difference is that it was first a straight month of no chocolate and thereafter maybe once a week. I’ve binged once, but it was more of a cognitive decision rather than a craving. I put the chocolate away that night and returned to my plan the next day.
The difference is that I can feel the underlying discomfort and know that I’m craving protein and that chocolate will not help. I can feel the blood sugar swings and know that it’s my job calling me.
The difference is 5htp, which raises my serotonin. I am no longer a monster at 3:00 p.m. for the rest of the evening. I’m no longer fighting with inner bad mood, trying to hold my tongue from saying the irritated things.
With enough serotonin, I feel better, more like my best self, and I can make better decisions about what foods to put in my mouth.
I finally can see that I don’t binge EVERY DAY like I used to. And, I’m left wondering, “Is this why some people seem more naturally in a good mood and able to resist the cake at a party?” Well, now I’m the person who is usually not taking a second look at the birthday cake.
I eat before I’m hungry. And, when I mess that up, which is often, I get back on track as quickly as possible by going and getting some protein. I can’t eat dairy and eggs, so this is even more difficult for me than most people. If you can eat cheese and eggs, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, make it your job to stock up on meat sticks, leftover cooked meat, hard boiled eggs, etc. (I eat a duck egg on most mornings. It only takes 20 minutes to cook thin pieces of frozen fish in the oven.)
I’m also eating complex carbs and vegetables. These are important. Complex carbs help you not crave sugar. Fiber slows down the digestion so that you can get more tryptophan out of the food so you can make more serotonin.
I no longer eat to lose body fat, although, that would be nice. I think it will eventually happen as my body repairs.
I eat to be in a good mood.
Eating to be in a good mood helps me avoid consuming sugar, which eventually will help me lose body fat. I just have to do this long enough to get my cortisol lower, or whatever it is that’s really going on in my body imbalances. And “long enough” now looks easier to do for a very long haul. Like til I’m dead. Because I do want to be in a good mood when I die.