Episode 183:
Show Notes 


In this episode of the Real Health and Weight Loss Podcast, Dr Mary Barson and Dr Lucy Burns, both experts in weight management and metabolic health, dive into post-holiday health strategies. They discuss dopamine deficiency after consuming sugary treats and provide suggestions for healthier alternatives to boost mood. Additionally, they explore the physical impact of holiday foods on blood sugar levels, insulin spikes, and electrolyte shifts, offering advice on overcoming these effects with better nutrition and hydration.

The podcast hosts candidly address the dilemma of handling leftover food, challenging the guilt associated with food wastage and emphasising the importance of prioritising personal health over avoiding waste. They touch on the controversial nature of gifting chocolates and provide alternative options for managing unwanted treats, encouraging listeners to view their bodies as sacred and not as a disposal for unwanted food items.

The episode wraps up with a strong message encouraging listeners to assess and eliminate unhealthy food from their fridges, reminding them that their bodies are not bins. Dr Mary and Dr Lucy stress the power of personal beliefs and choices in shaping a healthier lifestyle. They introduce the 4 Week Body Rebalance program, highlighting the importance of individualized approaches to health amid conflicting information. The hosts conclude by extending warm wishes for a restful and joyful holiday season, inviting listeners to connect with them on the podcast.

Visit www.rlmedicine.com/4wbr to start your journey today. Your body deserves the best care, and this program is designed to help you achieve real health and weight loss success. Don't miss out – join now!

Episode 183: 


Dr Mary Barson (0:04) Hello, my lovely friends. I'm Dr Mary Barson.

Dr Lucy Burns (0:09) And I'm Dr Lucy Burns. We are doctors and weight management and metabolic health experts.

Both (0:16) And this is the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast!

Dr Lucy Burns (0:21)  Good morning our gorgeous friends it's Boxing Day! Dr Lucy here and I am with, of course, the gorgeous and improving in her health, the wonderful Dr Mary. Hello gorgeous friend. How are you today?

Dr Mary Barson  (0:35)  Better! Better is good. Yes embracing progress. 

Dr Lucy Burns  (0:41)  Indeed. Indeed.

Dr Mary Barson  (0:42)  Yeah, busy time of year though. Hey, highly inconvenient time to become unwell. How are you, Dr Lucy?

Dr Lucy Burns  (0:49)  Yeah, I am super! My loves, super. Obviously, we are recording this before Christmas Day, not much before Christmas Day,

Dr Mary Barson  (0:58)  Correct. Correct. 

Dr Lucy Burns  (1:00)  But I am anticipating a good Christmas day, I've checked out the weather in Melbourne is actually going to be good, which is nice. We have a small gathering of family and some friends are coming who are akin to my family. So you know when you have those really deep connected friends that in fact we sometimes refer to them as the family not like in a mobster sense, but just in a connected sense. So yeah, so in fact is there for Christmas lunch with the family, both blood and non-blood family.

Dr Mary Barson  (1:39)  Excellent. That sounds lovely. I'm looking forward to Christmas too. I am having a just with my immediate family, nieces and nephews which will be lovely and then going on Boxing Day. So when this is released, I will be off with the extended family. I have an obscenely large number of cousins and second cousins. It's fabulous. Love it, it's great. And I will be hanging out with them all in Melbourne, slightly anxious about the fact that the West Gate Bridge will be doing its annual, you know, repair where they choose to repair it on Boxing Day. So yes, I'm actually probably when this is released, I'll be waiting on the West Gate Bridge, trying to get into Melbourne to go see my family on Boxing Day, that's probably what's gonna happen.

Dr Lucy Burns  (2:36)  Indeed, although as we know, there are things that are within your control and things outside your control.

Dr Mary Barson  (2:42)  Correct. I will focus on the things that are within my circle of control. Indeed, deed.

Dr Lucy Burns  (2:50)  So speaking of the circle of control, lots of us. So you know, I'm imagining Fast Forward waking up boxing day. For a lot of people there is extra food in their house, what are your thoughts on that Miss?

Dr Mary Barson  (3:03)  Could be wonderful, could be bad. And depending on where you're at, so with your health and wellness and weight loss, journey, Christmas and weight loss can go together and Christmas joy and weight loss can go together, you can stay on track with your health and metabolic health during Christmas, eat delicious food and have fun, they are not mutually exclusive. So if you've got a fridge full of food that is potentially unhelpful to your health goals, then it is sensible to have a bit of a plan about what to do. Indeed, indeed, especially if perhaps yesterday Christmas Day, if you went a bit off plan and this is not just for Christmas Day, this could be any time that maybe you've gone off plan and had some sugary food or some inflammatory food or some processed food or you know a bit of a bender with the alcohol. And you know, you can do that because you are the boss of you. And you may do that in a planned way or you may do that in an unplanned way. But what can happen after you go off plan is that you're gonna have some things going on with your body physically, and some things going on with you psychologically, and it's okay but it's important to understand what's happening so that you can plan for it and also get back on track as quickly as possible. So after a bit of you know, go on off plan or a bit of a bender as we OCs might like to say, let's see what is going on physically and psychologically for people?

Dr Lucy Burns  (4:55)  So, great question is the first thing that can happen is in your brain. So in our brain, we have receptors, that part of our reward system, they are a normal natural part of our brain, very useful, have helped humans evolve and live, you know, hundreds of 1000s of years. So this reward system operates on dopamine and it loves, you know, our brain loves dopamine, dopamine makes us feel good. Unfortunately, the processed food industry has spent billions of dollars hijacking this system, and coming up with different food types that might really play havoc with that. And so you may have had what we like to call a truckload of dopamine on Christmas Day, and the next day, your brain will be a little bit dopamine deficient, and it will be a bit unhappy. And this is part of the sort of psychological hangover of going off plan is that you've then got this sort of slightly unhappy brain going on, I feel a bit sad, I need some dopamine, where can I get it? And it's the lowbrow dopamine thing. So there's stuff that we can do all the time. That gives us dopamine, but it's not nearly as much as processed food. And we've talked about this before, but people know that things like tidying your desk at home, sorting out a drawer or going for a walk in the morning sunshine, all give us dopamine, just not in the quantities, that eleventy billion chocolate caramel Santas will do. So then we almost just have to be prepared psychologically for that bit of a hangover and recognise that our brain is going to be going– Yep, okay, they need some dopamine, where can I get it? And if you've got a cupboard full of, you know, Marshmallow Snowball's, or whatever, Christmas paraphernalia, recognise that it's going to offer you that. And you don't have to take it. Because that dopamine hangover passes reasonably quickly if we just sort of ride our way through it. So that's part of the brain sort of where our brains going with it. Miss, would you like to explain perhaps about the body physiology and what's happening there?

Dr Mary Barson  (7:15)  Yeah, so a few things are happening for us physically as well if we go off plan. And after if we have a bit of a spike in sugar, and carbohydrates, especially if we're not particularly used to it, we can get a big surge in blood sugar searches in insulin will follow that we can get shifts in our electrolytes. And we can feel a bit I think the scientific term is there after it's the next day. And this is, it's similar to I even have a hangover, many, many adults listening to this will know what a hangover feels like. And a lot of that is due to electrolyte shifts and changes in our bodies. And you can feel a bit headachy, you can feel a little bit off, you get changes in your cortisol as well, and you can get spikes in your stress hormones as well. And you can feel a little bit tired, a little bit achy, and just a bit unwell, potentially. And it can be tempting in that state to reach for yet more sugar, yet more carbs, to get the energy to sort of push through, especially when psychologically your brain is also wanting to get more of that dopamine hit. And so you'll be in a situation where physically and psychologically you could be set up for being in this carbohydrate sugar craving processed food craving state, but it has passed, it really does. And a really good way to help it pass is to eat some good food more on that in a bit, have some extra water have a bit of extra salt and electrolytes and know that it'll pass.

Dr Lucy Burns  (8:59)  Yeah, absolutely. And I think that is one of the biggest tips because I know for a lot of people if you've overeaten at Christmas, it's tempting the next day to fast or to eat less or, you know, and again, in diet land that was often a strategy was just to balance that out. But in fact, we always go the opposite, don't eat less, just eat food that your body actually needs. So it's going to need some protein. Fortunately, most people will have you know, 10 tons of ham in their fridge. So if the ham.

Dr Mary Barson  (9:29)  Ham has got salty as well, so that's quite good as well. He gets some extra electrolytes into you.

Dr Lucy Burns  (9:34)  Yeah. And again, if you've got, you know, leftover salads because part of the tricky thing, I think this would be the hardest thing to come to terms with is food wastage. And so Christmas is often an abundance of buckets of food everywhere, and you feel guilty throwing it out.

Dr Mary Barson  (9:55)  We have a favourite saying though to try and combat this particular story that our brain will throw up the guilt around throwing food away. And our favourite saying-

Dr Lucy Burns  (10:07)  Your body is not a bin. It's such a tricky little phase our brain goes in. So again, this is Diet Land, you know diets are always perfect. So you have to eat all the rubbish in your house before you start on the diet. Is what, sure lots of you have done that. I've certainly done it. Our brain goes – Yeah, you know a little of this because I'm going to start tomorrow, I'm going to start news day or I'm going to start soon. So we just hoovered in, and then it's gone out of our mind, except it hasn't really gone out where is it, it's gone into your body to be processed. And then you have to deal with it. So it doesn't actually go it's just a trick. And it's much better to put that food if you don't want or need it, just get rid of it. Okay, you know, again, now if it's processed garbage, I use that word deliberately processed garbage, because then it's much easier to throw it in the bin is garbage. If it's perhaps food that you feel like isn't really binable, for whatever reason, maybe you've got some chickens, give it to the chickens, I will caveat with your dog is not the bin, please don't feed your dog just because you don't want it. So many dogs end up with metabolic health problems because of the food the humans give them. So you don't need to give your dog the leftover bread. Just chuck that in the bin. For some people, it feels hard, you know, they might have, I don't know four boxes of chocolates in their cupboard, that I really want to throw them out that makes them feel like it's disrespecting the person that's giving them the chocolates. So what are your thoughts on that, Miss? What are some options there?

Dr Mary Barson  (11:51)  Yeah, there are some options. You can read gift them, you can give them away to charity. You can feel the love and gratitude from the gift and from the giver. And still chuck them in the bin like that. That is possible. Not saying you have to do that. But that you can. You can, you know, take all of the love with the gift without necessarily accepting the gift. If the gift is unhelpful. It is tricky because chocolates are they're a gift that people love to give. People think that chocolate is joy, chocolate is love. I want to give you joy and love. So here are some chocolates.

Dr Lucy Burns  (12:39)  Can I give a controversial opinion on chocolate giving? I actually think it's a lazy gift. It's the gift that you can give somebody when you don't really have to know them. You don't really have to think that much about them. They're always available at the supermarket, they're often on special at the moment. And it's the sort of gift that people will give people you know, in psychology ticked that off the list. Good done. So that sounds a bit harsh. It's almost. And it's interesting. This came to me once when I was working at a clinic, and it was you know, they had a traditional birthday, hoo, ha, I was running a weight loss clinic I was banging on about carbs and sugar. And then for my birthday, they trotted out, you know, a cake from the supermarket that I know is about $5. And I just want to some people, you know, people offering me and I go, I'm not eating this. I don't eat cake. Ah, you know, it's the thought that counts. And part of me wanted to go, you know what, it's the thoughtlessness here they can because there was no thought if there was thought they would never have given me that cake. So I think it's just interesting to think you can you can rephrase it in whatever way suits you now doesn't mean that you need to, you know, be mean to the person who's giving you the cake or throw it back in their face. But it also means that you don't need to feel obligated to eat it. Because they've given it to you.

Dr Mary Barson  (14:10)   I can remember back it like this is going back to Easter many years ago, like my daughter would have all of these Easter eggs. And this is when she was little enough to not really, you know, kind of have that object permanence to sort of understand and be able to keep track of our Easter eggs, but certainly had, you know, she was a little kid and there were processed foods that she'd want them, but I wouldn't want her to eat them. So I would eat them. I would eat all of her easter eggs to save, you know, my toddler from this type of processed sugar. And yeah, that was a completely distorted way. Instead, I could have thrown them out. And yes, so I love it, Lucy, you could also you know, think of the complete thoughtlessness of the gift and check it out all the thoughtfulness of the gift and check it out. Whatever. You don't need to eat it. Your body is not the bin.

Dr Lucy Burns  (15:00)  Absolutely, absolutely. And this is where you as a wonderful human get to decide what thoughts or beliefs you want. Because our beliefs aren't permanent, they are changeable. You can cultivate ones that suit you well. So in my mind, it suits me to believe that someone who gives me chocolates, if they know me, that it's a thoughtless gift doesn't mean I need to be mean to them. But in my mind, it helps me to go or good, I'll just chuck that out. Somebody once said to me, why don't you give it to your kids? And in my brain, I went well, bit like you, I don't want my kids to have all this sugary rubbish. Because it suits me. It suits me to believe that these products are harmful, that they're poisonous, that they're not useful that they don't help us. So why would I give something that is poisonous, harmful and unhelpful, to my child? I wouldn't. Nor to give it to the dog. So I just chucked it in the bin. And that was done. Easy. Easy peasy. 

Dr Mary Barson  (16:04)  Yep. Your body beautiful human is not the bin. So you could toggle over to your fridge now and open it up and have a little uprising look right now. What is in there, that isn't helpful, right now? What can you get rid of? And if you're feeling a little bit blah, that's that scientific term again, perhaps it's a good idea to get rid of the more tempting high dopamine less helpful foods that might be calling your name. So that you can fill up on the good quality, high protein, nourishing real foods to get you through this time so that you can get straight back on track with your wonderful real health and weight loss journey, beautiful people, and get set for an absolutely fabulous 2024.

Dr Lucy Burns  (16:56)  Absolutely restore more in 2024.

Dr Mary Barson  (17:00)  I love it. I love it. 

Dr Lucy Burns  (17:04)  So beautiful humans. If you are looking for some help, in this new year period, we of course have our 4 Week Body Rebalance program. It is a comprehensive guide to understanding your hormones and your metabolism. It includes all sorts of wonderful treasures to make it easy like meal plans, recipes, all of those things, and hypnosis, in fact, a couple of hypnosis, as well as downloadables to make, because basically, we want to make this easy our brains, you know, we get so much conflicting information. I think this is where it gets tricky. There is a lot of conflicting information around that some of it is not necessarily conflicting. But it is also worth recognising that all humans are different, that we all have different genetic makeups that we all respond differently to food and to stress and to external things that are going on. But we know that the current way our world is going with the increased level of processed foods is harmful to health. Most of us can tolerate small amounts of processed food, and some of us can tolerate large amounts. Most of us can't tolerate large amounts, and it's unhelpful. But the processed food industry is spending a lot of money making sure that we don't believe that that is all right, that they're happy to do that. Because of course, their job is not to look after your health, their job is to sell more products. So beware, beware. health messaging from processed food companies. Beware of health messaging from people with vested interests. Because at the end of the day, you are the boss of you. And the solution for many, many of our health issues. Not all, not all occurred on a blanket saying you can cure everything. But for a lot of it is to really just go back to basics with eating real food. 

Dr Mary Barson  (19:03)  Yep. And with the right advice, like it is easy. When you know how it is easy. It's not all swimming upstream. It really isn't. 

Dr Lucy Burns  (19:13) No, no. And I think when our brain says this is too hard, it's because it doesn't have the tools. It's you know, it's again, it's like trying to find the Eiffel Tower in Paris without a map. That's pretty hard. 

Dr Mary Barson  (19:24)  Yeah, yeah,

Dr Lucy Burns  (19:25)  You've got a map. Easy peasy. Alright, gorgeous humans please drop us a line at any stage because we'd love to hear all the rubbish that you've thrown out. Makes me happy when I see people throwing out pictures of their garbage into the bin going– Yeah! It's good. It is not a it's not a bad thing to do. Your body is not the bin. Yeah, yeah. You don't need to eat it to get rid of it. Just get rid of it.

Dr Mary Barson  (19:52)  Alright, I hope you're having a lovely day. Gorgeous people in a lovely restful holiday season with your family or exciting holiday season whatever it is. I hope you're having a great time. See you later.

Dr Lucy Burns: (20:09) The information shared on the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast, including show notes and links, provides general information only. It is not a substitute, nor is it intended to provide individualised medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor can it be construed as such. Please consult your doctor for any medical concerns.

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