Eating, is it a brain thing?
16 Jul 2016
Your brain may be hijacking you into eating more food or even the wrong kinds of food. There are a variety of ways your mind can influence both your body and it’s cravings.
Your brain and eating
1. Cravings and comfort food.
The brain stress has a nasty habit of pumping out a stress hormone which makes you want to eat and eat and eat. When under stress your brain pumps out a stress hormone which makes you eat. Recent research has now found that areas such as fat on the belly and thighs send signals which prevent the brain from turning off that stress response and a result you will continually feeling hungry and eating more. keep feeling hunger and eating more.
2. Get enough sleep.
Recent studies published in the American Journal of Human Biology found that insufficient quality sleep alters the secretion of the hunger hormones, causing you to feel hungrier and overeat. Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night and if you are still feeling fatigued despite sleeping the correct amount of hours you may want to consider a home-based sleep study to investigate any issues.
3. Is your brain a reward centre.
Eating is pleasurable and is in fact ranked way up there with drugs as being an addiction. Eating is not only an emotional source of comfort but also releases the feel-good hormone called Dopamine. Dopamine stimulates the brain reward centre prompting us to seek more food in order to get the same ‘feel good’ feelings. A balanced diet with the recommended guidelines of sugar and fats are encouraged so as to prevent addictive behaviours and limit cravings for the emotional high as given by consuming the food.
4. When the mind rules the body.
Overeating is now understood to a psychological process and often an attempt to satisfy an emotional need rather than actual hunger. Recent studies have found a link between feeling depressed and feeling totally out of control while overeating. The mind in this instance reigns supreme and overrides any logic in the brain. Outsmart your brain having an early night, emotional eating behaviours have shown that eating at night can be associated with a depressed mood. So if you’re already feeling down, the evening hours may prompt you to eat even more.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is a challenge which many of us are faced with daily, however being informed makes you wiser and better able to control your mind when it decides to hijack your body.
For best advice always consult a medical health care professional to ensure you are healthy and following a lifestyle to maintain your optimal health.