05 Mar Our Need for Oxytocin
A recent study (3/5/15) has shown that oxytocin nasal spray interferes with male eating patterns…and for the better (Science Daily).
At the Endocrine Society’s meeting in San Diego, a group of healthy men received a synthetic nasal spray of the “Love Hormone”, oxytocin, and were found to demonstrate reduced cravings for sugary and fatty foods. The nasal spray aided metabolic function and glucose management, providing hope for those suffering from diabetes or other blood sugar complications. Furthermore, these men consumed fewer calories than usual at breakfast time than did those who were given a placebo.
Unfortunately, the spray is currently only approved in Europe; yet, that doesn’t mean we can’t up our doses of traditional oxytocin in the United States.
A key “primary food” that I focus on with clients is relationships. Fulfilling relationships heal and nurture the soul. Without solid support, it’s hard to be your healthiest self, as feelings of loneliness and fear can easily hinder our positive efforts. Oxytocin is released through moments of happiness and intimacy. Any form of human touch will activate those feel-good hormones.
“Lose Ourselves in Vibrant Ecstasy.” This is what I believe LOVE stands for.
Love affects the brain, our appetites and moods. If you’re busy kissing your significant other during dinner, you’ll be less likely to clean the plate. If you book a massage or take a short walk with a friend, you’ll be less likely to crave food over company.
Likewise, toxic and stressful relationships wreak havoc on our mind and body and trigger inflammation in our digestive tract and muscles. Use your gut as a second brain—if a friend seems like bad news, break the bond.
Here are some easy ways to score some extra lovin’:
Schedule Regular Massages: If you can afford a spa appointment, set aside a weekend or evening after work to relax in the sauna or steam room with a cool glass of detox water. Release all impurities and let your mind settle. Store your phone in the lockers and disconnect from the outside world prior to your message. During the massage, close your eyes and enjoy the human contact. The effect will last for hours.
If you are on a tighter budget, invest in a massage roller and some essential oils, such as peppermint and patchouli. Be your own masseuse! Put on soothing music and run a hot bath—create a spa within your home.
Make Time for Sex: The easiest way to enjoy that rush is between the sheets (or elsewhere if you’re feeling adventurous!). Sex, if combined with honest romantic feelings—no fifty shades shit—will put you and your partner in a state of oxytocin heaven. That being said, you’ll only benefit if you succumb to the moment. Tell your mind to shut up and don’t let body image insecurities get in the way. You found a connection with someone. Now take advantage of it!
Share Moments with Others: If personal intimacy isn’t available, watch a romantic comedy or a YouTube clip. I enjoy watching clips of puppy love (with tears at times, no judgment). The expression of tenderness transfers over, warming my heart. I usually search the Internet around peak snack-attack times, such as 3 or 4pm. The one caveat: do not indulge in gushy videos of affection if you are recently overcoming a breakup or you will find The Notebook accompanied by a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.
Update your Playlists: A “romance” playlist is perfect for both date nights (with a bottle of Malbec of course) and a moment of stress. Let the notes soothe and quiet your mind. If you add a few upbeat picks, get up and move. If you’re not alone, grab a partner. Either way, the music and dance break will lift your spirits and help you make healthier choices come mealtime.
Do a Gratitude Exercise: Write down a minimum of three people to whom you appreciate. List the specific traits that you love, and if you want to go that extra distance, call them on the phone or mail them an email or letter with your thoughts. It’s your decision to keep your gratitude private. By reminding yourself of how fortunate you are, you will be less tempted to indulge in unhealthy foods.
Love Yourself: This is the most important of all. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t accept love from others. Remember that health is a vehicle, not a destination. You are a work in progress, and you need to rely on yourself for unconditional support.
If the relationship you have with yourself is suffering, it’s impossible to make clear decisions when it comes to diet and exercise. Unfullfillment leads to heightened appetite, poor nutrition and a weak gut. Book your social calendar and have some fun, whether it’s a spin class or a girls’ night. Happiness and love go hand-in-hand, and without these two components, the healthiest you cannot survive.