In Hack Your Hormones, DT uses what happens to our bodies when we eat a croissant to fully illustrate this impact, so buckle down because she’s about to totally change your brain chemistry.
Imagine it’s Monday morning and the alarm hasn’t gone off. You realise that you won’t have time to eat your regular breakfast at 7.30am because you will hit traffic or miss the train to work. What are you going to do? You know you’ll be starving, will struggle to concentrate, will become hangry and unable to tolerate your boss, so you decide it’s okay because you can grab a croissant en route. As soon as the thought enters your head, it’s all you can think about, rationalising it as a treat to help you get through the Monday blues. By this point, Gherlin is raging because it’s 7.30am, it’s when you normally eat and it begins to feel as though your hunger hormone is literally gnawing through your gut lining. You now need that croissant, that croissant is life and your brain starts to rule the roost.
You reach the cafe, corner shop or food van, buy the croissant, shove it in your face as you run for the train or back to the car and your dopamine tells you that you liked it. All is well again. Or is it?
Your satisfaction is short-lived as those croissant carbs convert to sugar, triggering an insulin response which in turn inhibits your Leptin hormone, the hormone that tells your brain and gut that you are full. All of a sudden, the image of the office biscuit tin appears in your mind’s eye and now biscuits are life. Your brain has taken hold and you’re left trapped in a cycle of snacking. Now, you may resist eating again, for a short while at least, but you can guarantee that by 10am, you’ll be chewing your tongue, probably thinking ‘Whatever! I had a croissant this morning so I’m just going to have a treat day!’