© 2015 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
Recently, I published an article called, Stress is Contagious! Four Top Tips to Not Catch It ( http://wp.me/pw4HM-mM ) . It obviously contained a number of quick strategies for dealing with stress. In response, a favorite writer commented that she is prone to eating when stressed, but she didn’t know why.
Inspired by her comment, today, our topic is why we eat when stressed, and what we can do about it.
When you are stressed, you eat ice cream, chocolate, and sweets. You know why? Because “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts”!
Dealing with stress in a better way is the key to breaking the cycle of stress eating.
~ Deepak Chopra
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you actually dehydrated? Try drinking a cup or two of filtered water. It will fill your stomach, volumize your blood and make you feel less hungry. It will also buffer stress chemistry affecting the stomach. Is your craving gone now?
- Are you craving a particular sort of food? In oriental medicine, different flavors express a need from different emotions. Below are some simple ones. Of course you may be craving a combination of flavors, but ponder if you are:
- Craving salt: fear
- Craving sugar: worry/too much thinking
- Craving spicy: sadness/depression/gloom/grief
- Craving sour: anger
- Craving bitter: joy/unhappiness
There are two key hormones that work together to regulate appetite: ghrelin and leptin. Leptin decreases appetite and ghrelin increases appetite. Leptin levels are lower when you’re thin. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? So why does anyone get not-thin? Because apparently we override our leptin signals. Ghrelin tells you you’re hungry. It’s mainly released in the stomach. So when you say to yourself, “my stomach is hungry”, that is exactly where the main signal is coming from. Also, the stress hormone, cortisol, makes you hungry. So yes, stress can make you hungry.
So what to do?
- Read your body’s signals. Eat when you’re hungry, not when you’re worried, fearful, angry, sad, or stuck in monkey brain. Practice being aware.
- Eat the flavor you crave, to help those meridians, or energies, in the body.
- But stop when you are no longer hungry! Don’t keep eating until the whole wheel of brie, or pan of brownies, is gone. Your leptin is trying to tell you when you’re full!
- Slowly drink black tea. According to a study in the journal Psychopharmacology, those who drank black tea had a 47% drop in their cortisol levels.
- Take Vitamin C. Studies show 1000 milligrams (one gram) of Vitamin C daily also combats cortisol as well as stress symptoms. Feel free to take smaller doses several times a day.
- Go back to the stress-repelling strategies in the previous article ( http://wp.me/pw4HM-mM ), and try adopting one or more as regular habits.
Feel better now, with these alternatives? You do not have to be controlled by stress eating! As you try working these tips into your lifestyle, let me know what you find works best for you! Now that’s Upbeat Living!
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- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition(http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc ). Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com.
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