Food. For those of us who struggle to permanently lose excess fat and body weight and battle against cyclical food cravings, the struggle to find emotional balance and “the perfect food” goes deeper than willpower.
There are Biological Factors that Influence Food Choices
Studies into behavior reveal a subset of met or unmet criteria that governs an individual’s ability to make rewarding choices. In short, which do you enjoy eating more of: a carrot, or the carrot hidden inside a carrot cake? If you chose the cake, fear not; for many of us, our biology plays a bigger part in determining our answer.
In the 1940s, psychologist Maslow designed what is known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs, stating the driving force behind making choices that support well-being consist of met or unmet basic needs followed by growth needs:
“The deficiency, or basic needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the need to fulfill such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food the more hungry they will become” (source).
It may seem extreme that there is a direct correlation between the extent of the unmet need and biological and psychological response, which is revealing the root cause for the behavior of craving.
For those fortunate enough to have access to a variety of these basic needs of food, drink, air, shelter, warmth, sex, and sleep, you may be questioning the validity of craving as a related behavior.
Biologically, it is not just access and consumption of food and drink, but also the quality of nutrition received and available within the source. Why does the medical field educate people-especially those in care of infants and children, the importance of quickly treating common digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting?
It is a symptom of a biological imbalance that will cause damage if left untreated. That person’s body still has an unmet need that, if it is not addressed and properly nourished, will create an unstable platform for the long term development of well being.
Knowing that the body and mind are intricately linked through the microbial influence mainly active within the digestive system, these simple biological and physiological needs create a ripple effect that can impact cognitive abilities, physical limitations, and even mental health concerns.
Researchers recently “segued into gut-brain research from their initial focus on how the microbiome influences intestinal illnesses. People who suffer from these conditions often have co-occurring psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression that cannot be fully explained as an emotional reaction to being sick.”
The connection to digestive health became evident for many researchers: “By colonizing germ-free mice with the bowel contents of people with irritable bowel syndrome, which induces constipation, diarrhea, pain and low-grade inflammation but has no known cause, the McMaster’s team reproduced many of the same gastrointestinal symptoms” (American Scientific, 2015).
Common Factors for Weight Issues
Let’s transition to the very real struggle of fat and/or weight loss. Woven into the statistics are statements like this, which have a biologically-based unmet need that, over time, manifests itself as a psychological behavior:
”The people we see in clinics tend to be more overweight and have more psychological problems. They are more likely by a factor of two to have binge-eating problems” (New York Times).
1. Obesity and Malnutrition
The global issue of obesity is linked with mental health issues. Furthermore, even though obesity is the result of large quantities of food, its statistics directly correspond with malnutrition rates:
“Obesity rates have risen at least threefold since 1980 in some areas of North America, the UK, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and China. In many developing countries, obesity coexists with malnutrition: A survey of 83,000 Indian women found that although 33 percent were malnourished, 12 percent were overweight or obese. The adoption of industrialized foods and food preferences, together with drastically decreased physical activity levels are contributing to this growing problem” (source).
Unfortunately, the most common mental health issue is “clinically significant depression,” which is “three to four times higher in severely obese individuals than in similar non-obese individuals” and less than other individuals diagnosed with chronic pain (source).
Many obese individuals are consuming large quantities of food, and yet there is still an unmet biological and psychological need that has not been rewarded; the consistent findings of malnourishment correlates with the research detailing the deterioration of the gut microbiome in obese individuals.
2. Emotional Attachment to Food
Specifically, a malnourished biome then becomes host not to beneficial bacteria that promotes a lean body weight, but instead causes pathogenic bacteria to thrive. The pathogenic bacteria disrupt the gut-brain connection as well as leak toxins directly into the bloodstream. Both the brain and the body are undernourished, needing more of what has been depleted or damaged. This creates a very strong, real cycle of emotional attachment to eating to fulfill an unmet desire.
“Diane Robinson, a neuropsychologist and program director of Integrative Medicine at Orlando Health, told The Huffington Post… ‘We also need to understand why we’re eating…. If we’re aware of it or not, we are conditioned to use food not only for nourishment, but for comfort.’”
The disruption to the pleasure-reward cycle is often a result of hormonal imbalances resulting from foods that block the brain message and emotional feeling of satiety. Robinson continues to state, “But emotional attachment to food becomes problematic when people heavily rely on food for that feeling” of pleasure, and that “understanding the emotional aspect of our food behaviors is key.”
“Previous studies, including one published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology in 2014, underscore the complex relationship between mood, food and overeating. Hunger and food intake are regulated by much more than our biology: Emotion plays a critical role in determining what and how much we eat” (source).
With obesity and malnourishment directly linked as a major factor in mental instability as a result of the gut-brain connection, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that thrive on a positive reward outcome becomes a window into the difficulties associated with sustainable weight loss for many people.
3. The Body’s Unmet Needs
Maslow’s biological and physiological needs are just the foundation. The need for safety, which consists of security, order, and freedom from fear develops appropriately when its biological needs are secure.
Any of these unmet needs keeps someone clamoring for needs that are even more psychological in nature and very personal, like love and belonging, esteem, respect, followed by the realization of personal potential, self-fulfillment and personal growth (source).
Oftentimes, the appropriate development of each level can be interrupted or imbalanced if the underlying need is not secured. Thus, a deficiency either biologically or behaviorally, such as an eating disorder or a mental health issue.
If you have a shaky infrastructure set upon a weak foundation, there will be many unmet needs that are craving and vying for attention on multiple levels. Current and trending research points into various related fields of nutrition and psychology are finding that most of these needs go back to the foundation of quality food that will nourish and provide protection to both the brain and body; quality food builds a diverse and sustainable gut microbiome that rewards the individual with a natural and healthy pleasure response: a met need.
Fortunately, the reverse is just as true: a lean, diverse gut microbiome that provides quality nutrients to the brain is a very stable platform for healthy living, an optimal weight, and a balanced relationship with food.
The gut needs a stable microbiome and food that will nourish it, causing it to suppress or eliminate populations of pathogenic bacteria and thereby many of those associated biological and physiological issues.
The Reset Your Weight Basic Meal uses bone broth as its perfect foundation for quick fat loss that can lead to a healthier, real food lifestyle for manageable weight. Bone broth has the perfect blend of protein-fat-carb that quickly turns the body into a fat burning machine.
It is very similar to the “Keto diets” that rely heavily on the brain’s need for healthy fats and protein; How To Avoid Low-Carb Mistakes by the Fat-Burning Man is an exceptional article interview on why healthy fats are a MUST for brain health as well as weight loss:
“Once I started fueling primarily with fat instead of carbs, and my brain became fat adapted, my mood and temperament transformed. I suddenly felt clear and balanced, without cravings and lags and energy throughout the day. Fueling with fat isn’t the jittery energy you might get from too much caffeine.
You feel very balanced as long as you’re eating enough… Eating enough calories can be one of the challenges of starting a ketogenic diet since it tends to suppress hunger.” –Dr. Mithu Storoni, who eats a diet of 70+% fat
Furthermore, the leading researchers on the microbiome state in The Good Gut that without changing dietary habits, the microbiome will revert back to its original: “Reinforcement of a lean microbiome with a diet high in fruit and vegetables is essential to overrun obesity bacteria. A diet that helps nourish these lean microbiome allows them to effectively invade the obese bacteria, protect from weight gain” (pg. 184).
Like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a stable platform in the gut and the mind must be established and maintained for pleasure and fulfillment from goal attainment. Specifically, real foods can help meet both these needs, restoring balance to the gut-brain connection for sustainable weight loss and emotional stability. Given enough time, eating a balanced diet of healthy, real foods as a lifestyle will create balance.
Reset Your Gut for a Healthy Weight
To this end, the basics of Reset Your Weight bone broth and probiotic foods:
- Aid the body in naturally detoxification
- Heal the digestive system so that it properly absorbs and produces vitamins, minerals, and hormones
- Nourish the whole body
- Improve metabolism, burning calories and fat as needed
- Burn fat stores, helping to diminish and flush toxins daily
- Regulate inflammation in the body, without stressing other systems
- Stabilize blood sugar levels and hormonal responses
First and foremost, when you eliminate unhealthy food cravings, you are able to rebalance the body and mind’s response to food without the complications from the emotional and biological pulls in order to reach your weight loss goal. The Reset Your Weight basics combination of bone broth and probiotics efficiently and effectively reset your ability to eat the healthier foods that your body needs to help you sustain an optimal weight.
Dr. Raphael Kellman, MD, author of The Microbiome Diet, confirms that: “Nourishing your microbiome will automatically free you from cravings, uncontrollable appetite, and the dispiriting feeling that your weight will stay on or return” (pg. 52). Simply put, this is the reward for the gut-brain connection’s met need.
The best way to quickly accomplish this task is with the Challenge Reset because “what matters more than the nutrients themselves is whether our bodies can absorb and make use of them” (Kellman, 164). Bone broth is the vehicle that detoxes the body, heals, and nourishes the gut all at once so that nutrients are used to efficiently.
It calms digestion and its benefits give visual results fairly quickly, satisfying the psychological need for experiencing progress toward a goal.
In combination with fermented and cultured foods, the body is able to absorb and utilize the readily available nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, lactic acids, and trillions of live beneficial bacteria that will help transform both the mind and the body. Specifically, the B vitamins that are in ready supply in fermented veggies are pertinent to boosting absorption! Not only will this combination enrich your diet, it will improve your overall health and catapult your relationship with food toward healthier, sustainable habits in support of a stable microbiome.
The Challenge Reset is the easiest way to build a strong foundation for which to meet both the biological and psychological hierarchy of needs for sustainable changes. Dr. Kellman states that “weight loss and health are not two separate issues-they are one and the same” (pg. 149). The Challenge catapults the body and mind into a peaceful state of satiety with food and healthy behavior. But, it is just the beginning to a Lifestyle Reset for a healthy gut microbiome.
PhD author Gary Null of Reboot Your Brain confirms this: “Brain health is compromised by the consumption of sugar and [unhealthy] fats and by the lack of vitamins and minerals” (pg. 30). Furthermore, he states that “a diet that relies on refined carbs, sugars, and [the majority of protein being from] animal protein as its building blocks does not leave a lot of room for taking in important nutrients from plant products.”
The Challenge Reset quickly eliminates refined, processed carbs and sugars, relying instead on the nutrient density of bone broth and soaked vegetables. In addition, he says, “a healthy brain needs B vitamins (B6 and 12), folate, vitamin E, C, and zinc,” which are all found in plant-based produce (pg. 32). Most fermented veggies also are high in B complex vitamins! The slow addition of probiotics from fermented vegetables meets this need as well as restoring integrity to the gut lining.
The most significant change from the Challenge Reset is stabilization of blood sugar levels and insulin production, which is the leading cause of weight gain and inflammation. Metabolism gets a quick overhaul as well from burning better fuel and is accelerated by the vitamins B, D, and F readily available in the bone broth (Dr. Kellyann Petruski, The Bone Broth Diet).
In turn, these quick improvements become psychological motivation (rewards) for meeting the biological needs for nutrition as well as the mental freedom from food cravings. It is the first step toward building a solid foundation for sustainable weight loss and a healthy mind using food.
The Reset Your Weight Challenge Reset introduces you to food freedom by meeting the emotional need for quick, visible weight loss results while nourishing the gut with quality protein and nutrition:
- Lose 5 pounds in a week, plus inches from the waistline
- Quickly stabilizes blood sugar levels, improving insulin and leptin resistance
- Eliminates food cravings in 2 days
- Eat real, unprocessed foods easily prepared and ready to go
- Discover the power of probiotics and bone broth for energy
- Helps the body remove built up toxins
- Balances hormones and reduces inflammation
- Boosts metabolism and alkalizes the body’s pH
Follow on Instagram to see in pictures how I add bone broth and probiotics easily into my days for a healthy gut microbiome and a happy state of mind that is obsessed with life, not the weight of food!