By Dee Dee Mahmood December 28, 2017

New Year Resolutions – are we still good? How physiology can help us in staying true to our new year resolution’s inspiration and motivation? 

Like the focus function on our camera, everything becomes clearer if we channel the energy to it. If our photo is not focused well, it becomes blurry. 

Obstacles are all we see when we take our eyes off our goals. 
We need motivation to help us focus and be inspired.

Can physiology help us in getting our new year resolution inspiration and motivation?  Well, yes! 
The answer is dopamine. 
Dopamine in the brain, functions as a neurotransmitter, a chemical released by our nerve cells (neurons) to send signals to other neurons.  One of the dopamine pathways plays a major role in reward-motivated behaviour. 
Dopamine promotes feelings of focus, enjoyment and well-being and it also promotes motivation by giving us the drive to perform and achieve.People who are always motivated and goal-oriented have higher levels of dopamine. Dopamine is also responsible for feeling of excitement upon achievements or reaching a goal.To stay motivated all the time you need an optimized levels of dopamine.Dopamine boosters:

Reduce sugary foods and thus the lethargy associated with the after-effects of sugar rush.
  1. Exercise regularly. Apart from the happy endorphins, your brain releases serotonin – to relax you;  and dopamine – to excite you.  Do a HIIT (high intensity interval training), zumba, stair climbing or even walking your dog. 
  2. Norwegian salmon contains tyrosine which is the building block of dopamine. Eat it 3 to 5 times per week. You can also increase your tyrosine from these protein rich foods: almonds, avocados, beef, chicken, eggs, green tea, coffee, milk, watermelon, bananas.
  3. Reduce sugary foods and thus the lethargy associated with the after-effects of sugar rush. 
  4. Avoid fatty foods. It  Fatty foods are built from lipids and polysaccharides. If you have too much of lipopolysaccharides, it slows down the production of dopamine. These are also called endotoxins and as the name says it, they are toxins. With high concentrations of these in the body, your immune system will be impaired. 
  5. Eat probiotics and fermented foods like tempeh, kefir, kimchi and yoghurt.
  6. Get your beauty sleep of 7 -8 hours daily. Lack of sleep increases the acidity of the stomach which in turn affects the production of dopamine. 
  • So 2020 challenges, everyone? 
  • Bring it on! 
  • Stock up on dopamine, people!  
  • And Empower On!

Dr Dee Dee Mahmood (PhD)is the Regional Head, Regional Alumni Ambassador Network (RAAN ECU) and Academic Adjunct Senior Lecturer (International Collaborations) at Edith  Cowan University Australia. Dr Dee is also an international multi-award-winning Celebrity Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist, TEDx Speaker & Talk Show Host. A Golden Key Honour Society Scholar, her PhD research on obesity was chosen for its impact on obesity in Asia and was accepted and presented at the President’s Cup Award, American College of Sports Medicine Northwest Annual Meeting in Tacoma, Washington.  Ambassadors to brands like Reebok, Norwegian Seafood Council, Dr Dee Dee has several signature communities-crossing-countries fitness research programmes to her name, Fat2Fit Asia and Walking Football4Health. This media darling conducts  synergy on community/ corporate health and research collaborations internationally. 
Read more about Dee Dee on