The Science behind Food Carvings and Emotional Eating
Food supplies nutrition to our body so that it can function properly. What we eat shares a direct relationship with how we feel and, consequently, affects our health. If we eat healthy, we get blessed with a healthy body, which is rare in the present time. If we eat junk food, packaged food, or ready to eat food, we just fill our stomachs. They don’t provide any nutrition to our body. Rather, our body is exposed to various health risks.
In order to neutralize the risks, and the subsequent healthcare expenses, it’s important to have health insurance. However, before buying, you must compare health insurance policies online. It will help you to come across the perfect plan that fulfills your insurance expectations. If we don’t bother much about our nutrition today, the healthcare expenses that will pop up later might simply sky-rocket. As the best health insurance offers coverage against such risks, it helps safeguard your financial planning and achieve your financial goals.
Talking of goals, other than financial ones, there should also be fitness goals. To achieve those, we must plan our meals according to our fitness goals. Ideally, there are so many things that we should and shouldn’t consume. That being said, there are times when we can’t resist the temptation. Especially when we are emotionally low, we tend to binge on food. Have you wondered why?
Well, there is science behind it.
And the reason can be summed up in one word– Endorphins.
What are Endorphins?
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that help our body deal with physical as well as emotional pain. One of the opioid peptides produced by our body, they are produced by the pituitary glands and work with the central nervous system.
People feel good after working out; it’s because of the feel-good effect of endorphins. Without endorphins, even a little physical or emotional bump can be devastating.
The Science behind Food Cravings
Endorphins and food cravings are related to food intake. As per studies, any changes in this opioid peptide can trigger food cravings. For example, after having a fight with your partner, you feel like eating something unhealthy. It’s because you went through an emotional event that modified your opioid peptide activity. Thus, you experience food cravings. And, usually, this craving isn’t for a healthy bite.
Alteration in endorphins can be caused by various factors. Even sleep deprivation can alter endorphin activity. So, make sure you get 7 to 9 to hours of sound sleep regularly.
If you crave food on a frequent basis and have an inadequate sleep cycle, you need to fix it and your cravings shall get better with it.
Endorphins and Body Fat
The endorphins play an important role in generating a response to stress. While they help deal with physical as well as emotional pain, they release the stored fat in our body into the bloodstream. In case we develop endorphins resistance, then the fat cells in our body won’t be released into the bloodstream. As a result, our body won’t be able to burn the stored fat. Thus, our body will produce more endorphins in order to get the required response. Eventually, it can affect the entire opioid peptide activity which can lead to increased cravings.
Additionally, during stressful times, our sympathetic nervous system decreases the leptin levels in our body. Leptin is a satiation and fat storage hormone. When we have low leptin levels, a signal is sent to our brain that triggers a perceived hunger and leads to extra fat storage. It can lead to a scenario wherein we have low leptin levels and high endorphin levels. Due to this, we can continue to overeat overtime. When fat isn’t released, it gets stored in our body, which is really unhealthy. In such conditions, it is hard to lose weight regardless of watching the diet and exercising regularly.
How to Deal with Food Cravings?
There are various whys and wherefores that can trigger food cravings. Sleep deprivation, high-sugar diet and stress can make us want to indulge in unhealthy food. While controlling food cravings is extremely difficult, it is not impossible. All it takes is discipline, patience and a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you eat clean and on time. When you starve on purpose, in order to lose weight, you trigger hunger pangs and end up overeating. While it’s important to have healthy meals, it’s equally important to have meals on time. Correspondingly, you must get 7–9 hours of sound sleep every night. Positive lifestyle behaviors lead to a healthy and happy life.
In a Nutshell
Now that you know the science behind emotional eating, it would be easy for you to make better decisions while you crave for unhealthy food. Keep a positive outlook towards life as stress can affect the hormone production, too. Remember, we can’t control everything that happens in our life, but we can control how we react to it.