In time's of crisis and captivity, the question remains . . . is it stress or boredom that causes "Overeating"?
Well, it's actually a little of both. So let's break it down.
The body actually has an action and/or reaction mechanism that's called "Fight or Flight"
Our most basic emotions like fear, anger or disgust are signals to help us meet our basic needs for self-preservation and safety. The "Fight or Flight" response is a physiological response triggered when we feel a strong emotion such as fear or the unknown or when we perceive a harmful event, attack or threat to survival.
So what happens during this "Fight or Flight" response. Well, in response to acute stress, the body's sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of certain hormones like "Cortisol" the "Stress" hormone or also called the "Belly Fat Producer". For example . . . when you're frightened, your heartbeat quickens, you begin breathing faster, you have a surge of adrenaline and your entire body becomes tense and ready to take action. It triggers the "fight or flight" response, which gives the body that burst of energy. And the human brain responds identically to both real and unreal dangers.
When this "fight or flight" response becomes triggered too easily and too frequently, ANXIETY becomes an issue leading to anxiety disorders. And a panic attack is said to occur when the "fight or flight" response is triggered but there is no imminent danger.
So I guess you're still wondering how this all affects overeating? Well . . . in times like this we tend to "stress eat"! Stress releases hormone surges and pushes us to craving "comfort foods" such as high-fat, sugary foods.
Believe it or not . . . stress itself actually shuts down our appetite. But because stress increases our "cortisol hormone, this actual hormone increases our appetite which motivates us to eat more. And if that wasn't bad enough . . . stress causes our "Ghrelin" hormone levels to increase and that's behavior associated with boredom eating and increasing our food intake which causes weight gain. And to add to all that . . . when Ghrelin levels rise depression and anxiety also now come into play.
So how do we stop the urge to overeat? The easiest tricks to change the food sensor in the mouth are things like brush your teeth, suck on a lemon, drink a glass of water, eat a few almonds, eat a handful of spinach or do a 2 minute very light jog in place.
If you'd like more information, feel free to contact me