Stress and eating habits are very closely connected. Stress has always been an influencing factor in how much we eat and what we eat. But, in the older days, there wasn’t as much stress as it exists now. So, a close relationship between the food and stress has always been there, but the scientific proofs have been developed off late.
The stress controlling centers in the brain
Hypothalamus, Pituitary and the Adrenal gland can stimulated together to produce stress hormones in the body. In one of the recent experiments done in fishes, which resemble the human genetic sequence a lot, the genetic sequence otpECR6 was studied.
This sequence is responsible for producing a stress hormone called cortisol. When this sequence was modified in the fish, it resulted in the production of less cortisol in fish. The same sequence is found in the DNA of humans which can be altered to reduce cortisol levels.
How does Stress initiate Binge Eating?
People who have had recent break-ups or are tensed about work tend to over-eat. Have you noticed that when you are over-thinking or are stressed out, you tend to munch on cookies, chocolates, tea, coffee, etc? Why is it so?
Cortisol increases hunger in the body. When you are stressed, the cortisol level in the blood shoots up, which forces you to eat more. And, have you noticed what happens soon after eating cookies and candies, you start feeling better! It is so because post eating, your body releases serotonin, which helps to make you feel better.
Did you know?
Soon after binge eating food like sweets and carbs, you feel good for some time. But, a few minutes later your blood sugar drops as there is excess sugar supply in the body. This is why you start feeling exhausted and shaky a few minutes after binge eating carbohydrates due to stress.
How to control binge eating in stress?
A weaker mind falls prey to things like binge eating in stress. A person with a strong mind ends up dealing with stress a lot better. Prolonged stress may dishearten you longing for peace and making you eat unhealthy food without control.
In the longer run, stress acts as a slow killer. So, you have to eventually learn to deal with stress better. Meditation is the key to controlling stress. Meditation empowers your mind to think positive and perform better during stress. People who meditate regularly are able to successfully train their minds to think positively.
Stress though is an inevitable factor in our lives, yet, channelizing stress into motivation or positive energy is definitely in our hands. We just need to empower our minds with the right tools like meditation to perform better in lives. And, now that you are aware of what causes binge eating in stress, you will be able to deal with your stressed situations better.