I’ve been having such a great response to April’s “More Real Food” Challenge in my free private FB group. (We are almost done–but all of the previous videos are still there…we would love to have you join us!)

Basically, we have been learning about real foods vs. not real foods and their…

+Insulin responses
+Effect on leptin release and hearing leptin
+Impact on ghrelin taming
+Increase or decrease of dopamine spikes
+Influence on creating positive food habits
+fiber, water, and fluffiness contents
+Impact on over desiring, overeating, overweight, and control
+Much much more!

As we get better and better at Intermittent Fasting, we will keep insulin low 16-20 hours a day; we will tame ghrelin; we will hear leptin better…(Check out my free upcoming workshop for fasting help!)

And we will get really good at other skills as well.

Including the ability to spread out our “fun” foods/not real foods and eat more nutrient-dense foods on a more regular basis.

I’ve been teaching specifically from the NY Times best-selling book, The Hungry Brain, in which Dr. Stephan Guyenet, brain and weight scientist, explains that we seek out calorie dense foods because our ancestors needed calorie dense foods to stay alive and reproduce.

But we don’t need calorie dense foods anymore!

We have enough calories in our lives!

He has specifically found six nutrients (five nutrients and one mineral, salt) that when put together in concentrated forms (i.e. today’s modern junk food) cause us to crave, release large amounts of dopamine (telling our brains we really love this food and should have it over and over and over and over and over again…).

I will be teaching all about this on the blog in the coming months as I take my own training as a weight loss coach. (And I taught it daily in the free FB group during April.)

So for today….I will leave you with Dr. Guyenet’s Seductive Six….and a look at your own eating patterns….which combinations of these cause you the most trouble, cravings, addictive-like behaviors.

Those are the foods we want to limit. The foods we want to stretch out their frequency (and save them for specials) in order to not cause overeating and over desire all the time.

It’s fascinating…and it has helped me so much since I have been learning it. And I can’t wait to help you!

Here they are!

Seductive Six—These are the nutrients/properties that combine to give us the strongest “addictive” behaviors, cravings, dopamine spikes…

1. Sugar
2. Starch
3. Fat
4. Protein
5. Salt
6. Glutamate (savory flavor like MSG, bone broth, etc.)

So let’s start here applying them today….here is what I would love for you to know right now with some take-aways:

1) The more concentrated the Seductive Six nutrients in a food, the more they will trigger us to crave them, over desire, and overeat.

For example, we can have a harder time stopping with potato chips and fatty dips (five of the six seductions) but usually stop better with Cheezits or pretzels (starch, salt, and a tiny bit of fat).

We might really long for nacho supremes fully loaded (five of the six seductions) but be able to stop more easily on homemade tacos with baked corn shells or healthier soft shells (2 or 3 of the seductions and not in very strong concentrations).

We might go crazy over cupcakes or donuts (four of the six seductions in super concentrated forms) but stop more easily on low sugar jelly on sprouted toast (only two of the seductions and not in very strong concentrations).


2) It’s not just the number of the seductive six nutrients but also the concentration of them that wreak havoc on our cravings.

For example, my pastries only have three of the six (starch, sugar, fat)….but they are in such concentrations that they cause a high craving.

Collard greens with butter and parmesan/cream might only have two seductions (fat and glutamate and/or salt), but with enough concentration, we can turn this into a “just can’t stop on those greens” kind of food!


3) Simple foods, whether homemade or store bought, can help us keep the seductive six lower.

Little changes like spaghetti with a lower sugar marinara and ground turkey (starch and protein) as opposed to a full on lasagna or even a keto cauli-chicken parmesan (with fat, glutamate, protein, and salt) can make a difference.

A healthy, lower fat cheese spread with homemade crackers (see https://donnareish.com/crisps-crackers-crumbs-crumbles/ ) as opposed to Club crackers and “crack cheese dip.” (There’s a reason so many recipes have the word “crack” or ‘better than sex” in their titles nowadays!)

When Ray Baby and I eat at home, we make our meals super simple—low seductions that we truly enjoy but not such high concentrations or combinations. (I am teaching on this live in the group the next few days!)

We almost always start out with a meat or protein that is not hyper-palatable and then add a starch that isn’t filled with so many seductions at once (i.e. a baked potato with sour cream vs. a creamy, cheesy potato casserole or even a mashed potato made with chicken broth and salt and pepper as opposed to a loaded mashed potato casserole). Before this and during this meal, we get our cruciferous veggies on—in simple ways like salads that aren’t 1800 calorie bowls and steamed/stir fried/roasted/air fried low carb veggies.

Simple. Less seductive. Less craving-inducing than other options.


4) Less seductive, less hyper-palatable foods are also—BONUS—lower in calories, fat, and carbs.

Just in the examples I have given above, you can see how these simple, less seductive foods are not as high in calories as their hyper-palatable counterparts.

So not only are we reducing cravings by reducing dopamine spikes—we are also reducing our caloric load—one of the four ways we lose weight with Intermittent Fasting. (See Broadcast #46 for the Four Ways We Lose.)


5) Your FUEL FOODS (less seductive, daily fare, real foods) do not have to be “yucky” or undesired to play a huge role in your nutrient density and weight management protocol.

In the group challenge, I have been having people make a list of three things: a) Fuel Foods that they really truly enjoy (no reason to suffer when we are doing this for life!); b) Fun Foods that we want to have less 20% or less of the time; c) Fabulously Fun Foods that we want to save for grandkids’ birthday parties, weddings, vacations, weekend getaways, etc.

One thing that was important to me when I began this “more real food” journey two months ago was that I didn’t get back to trying to eat foods that I simply do not like. It didn’t work in my three years of attempting keto, and it won’t work now. So my Fuel Foods list isn’t super long—but it contains what I eat most days and what I really love to eat. This will make a huge difference in our sustainability.

I’m so excited about the future of the blog, my course, and helping you—oh, and getting my last twenty pounds off and wearing anything I want!!! 😊

I want to bring together hormones, the brain, and the mind (i.e thoughts and feelings) to help people lose weight and maintain their loss.

These three will become my new TRIFECTA in weight management….Fasting (hormones), Real Foods (brain), and Thoughts (mind)

(For those who have heard me teach a lot, my old trifecta was sugar, starch, and fat in cupcakes and donuts! Lol)

I’m so excited! (Have I already mentioned that?)

See you in the blog…or the FB group…or my upcoming free workshop, “Ten Intermittent Fasting Questions”!


Let’s feel great and live well,

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