Dopamine & Addiction
Our highly processed food environment has wrecked havoc on our dopamine levels. Dr. Anna Lembke explores the science of highly rewarding food, pleasurable behaviors, and addiction recovery.
Happy 2-Tips Tuesday!
Here are two ideas to consider this week.
By Jennifer Broxterman, RD
1. Dopamine & Addiction
Right now, I’m doing a deep-dive into dopamine and our highly manufactured food environment. It started by reading Dr. Anna Lembke’s book Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance Today where she explores the science of highly rewarding and pleasurable behaviors as well as addiction recovery. She teaches a very helpful DOPAMINE framework, which stands for:
- gather facts about consumption
O: Objectives for Using
- understand what drives the behavior, such as having fun, to fit in, to relieve boredom, to manage fear / anger / anxiety, to help with insomnia, depression, pain, social phobia, etc.
- understand the problems related to use, for example: health problems, relationship problems, moral problems
- abstinence (for 1 month minimum) is necessary to restore pleasure-pain homeostasis and help our brain feel pleasure from less potent rewards
- practice the skill of observing our thoughts without judgment, and without running away or numbing out to what we’re feeling
- reflect on what was learned from the self-experiment
N: Next Steps
- what to do next based on what was discovered
- approaching abstinence as a 1-month experiment makes it easier for people to commit to the dopamine fast and learn more about how their brain and addictive habits interact
2. Dopamine Podcast
Want to go even deeper? Listen to Dr. Anna Lembke on the Huberman Lab podcast:
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Jennifer Broxterman, MSc, RD
REGISTERED DIETITIAN & SPORTS NUTRITIONIST
• Award-winning Foods & Nutrition University Professor
• Successful entrepreneur of owner of NutritionRx
• 16 year CrossFit affiliate owner with my husband
• Founder of Prosper Nutrition Coaching & lead nutrition coach