So lets educate ourselves…. Today instead of talking about the benefits of food, were gonna go allllll personal and touch on relationships with food and emotional eating, I am hoping if you understand this, for those of you that it applies to, even just a little little bit, you might be able to make a distinction between actual hunger or eating for comfort.
Don't worry I'm not going to write you some boring black and white essay, I'm gonna break this down blonde style.
1. Blame your brain
Reward circuitry is integrated in parts of your brain - your brain registers comfort foods with a feeling of pleasure, making it powerful and easy to remember.
These foods tell your brain to release dopamine.
Dopamine - is associated with pleasure so reinforces food seeking - gives you a rush of anticipation before you even take your first bite.
2. The curse of cravings
Ok so this is how cravings work, in this example I'm using the one thing I miss the most chocolate hobnobs…. Even just writing it…. Dopamine everywhere, may of just dribbled on my desk 😏
So your bored at your desk at work, you daydream by no fault of your own about some chocolate hobnobs
You start visualising, taste and texture with a nice cuppa …..
YOU WANT THESE HOBNOBS!!!
But you actually don't, its that damn dopamine talking!! So you stop off on the way home and pick up said biscuits of chocolatey beautifulness
And lets be honest you have probably had one before you even make it through the front door.
And lets not forget because of its poor nutritional profile and high sugar content… NOBODY has EVER eaten just ONE!
Your brain will now release opioids (endorphins)
This will bring pleasure, emotional and stress relief to your brain.
Over time with continued reinforcement this builds up pathways in your brain, your training your own brain without even knowing it.
3. Sooooo Emooooooo
So what's this gotta do with my emotions?
Firstly most of this isn't your fault … since when your were a child and you did well, or you had hurt yourself in the playground, what did any adult do to keep you quiet… reward you with sugar!
Your brain remembers this.. its remembers the feeling of pleasure the treat in question gave you last time and starts to link certain feelings with food.
It makes a link: I'm stressed…. What made me better last time (dopamine is already being released) ahhhhh pizza
Or I'm sad last time that ben and jerrys made me feel great…
And unfortunately nine times out of ten, well I can safely say I have never known anyone say… ‘I've had a shit day at work, I'm off to smash a chicken salad” no siree
It is always sugary, salty, fatty foods or alcoholic drinks.
Don't forget the joke is on you!!! These foods are DESIGNED to be hard to say no to, they are designed to be addictive, they rewire pleasure, reward and emotion pathways to the brain, promoting hard to resist cravings and automatic consumptions.
Stress and inadequate sleep also reinforce these patterns.
4. So basically I'm screwed?
So if that's not food for thought, I dunno what is!
Linda Anne Adamson
My Goal... to make people happy with the skin they are in. To make the best of what they have got.