Stress is a way of life. For some, stress can lead to over indulging adding weight gain to their list of worries. In a stressful state three hormones are released, adrenalin, a corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol. High levels of adrenalin and CRH decrease appetite at first but does not last long. Cortisol works to replenish our body after the stress has passed. It can remain elevated, increasing your appetite and ultimately driving you to eat more. This elevated hormonal state not only causes you to eat more but also the potential to store visceral fat around the midsection. These fat cells have been linked increases in both diabetes and heart disease. For many of us eating becomes the activity that relieves the stress. If you find yourself chronically stressed out, you should actively try to decrease your stress levels and follow a reduced-calorie, balanced diet. (WebMD)
Let’s begin to discover stress-relieving techniques. Any ideas?
All of us have had nights where we just did not sleep well or we stay up late watching TV or on the computer (on Café World, LOL). Of course, the next day we are sleepy and sluggish. I know my first instinct is to have more coffee and something sugary or some favorite comfort food to give me that boost of energy. Lack of sleep can sabotage your weight loss and health goals.
There have been many studies on the correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain. One theory I read about was actually very simple, the longer you stay awake the more hours you have to consume mindless calories. I recently found information on how lack of sleep effects regulating two food intake hormones, ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone released mostly by the stomach. When ghrelin levels are up, people feel hungry. Leptin, considered a satiety or fullness hormone, is released by the fat cells and tells the brain about the current energy balance of the body. When leptin levels are high, that sends a message to the brain that the body has enough food, and the person feels full. Low levels indicate starvation and increase appetite. When you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin which tells you you are hungry and less leptin that tells you to stop eating. More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain. Also, when you are sleep-deprived you are eating more and your metabolism is slower. (WebMD, USA Today)
Not getting enough sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly. On average adults need about 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night. I know I do not get that regularly. So how can we change this, start by going to bed. Set a time to go to bed where you will get the 7.5 hours you need (that means turn off the TV and shut the computer down). Listen to your body. To make sure you get a quality sleep watch what you eat before bedtime. Don’t eat a big heavy meal before bedtime you will increase the risk of heartburn, not fun when you are trying to sleep. Try something light like a piece of fruit or a bowl of cereal instead.
My eating trigger is stress and tiredness. I can use food to distract me from the fact that I'm tired and need to close my lap top down but I have one last paragraph to write, one more YouTube video, and visit one more neighbor in Cafe World!
I think we should begin by recognizing what our eating triggers are. Eating triggers usually fall into three categories; trigger foods, trigger feelings or trigger environments. Eating triggers set you on a course to over indulge. A trigger food is a specific food where control is lost. A good example of that is a large bag of potato chips. Instead of eating one portion, which is usually 9-12 chips, you consume the entire bag. Trigger feelings, also known as emotional eating, is where your emotion, whatever it may be, drives you to overeat foods usually that are readily available doesn't matter what it is. Lastly there is trigger environments, where just being in a specific situation or place will cause you to overeat. For example every time I step foot in an amusement park I NEED a funnel cake with powdered sugar and whipped cream. Really not an ideal lunch….
Eating triggers are just a part of life. It is important to recognize them and learn how to manage them in the future.
My biggest eating trigger is emotional, especially stress. When under a large amount of stress I crave salt and usually get it through bags of potato chips and fried chicken with extra hot sauce. Both not good for obvious reasons. Now that I know what it is I am beginning to learn ways not to indulge. I welcome any tips that will help me with this.
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