Compulsive Overeating: how to stop overeating

You often feel the need to overeat. Are you aware that they are very harmful to your body? Have you ever wondered what triggers these mad cravings to overeat? You feel somehow guilty for the fact that you can’t control them? How about it, would you feel much better if you found out that the reasons are purely biological and that you did not go crazy with eating?

You will learn some basic things about your brain and about the transmitters that control your appetite which are often the main reason for lack of will. You will also learn how to stop overeating, giving your brain the necessary balance, but in other ways than the pleasure of eating.

What does the brain do to lose weight?

Do your own eating habits disgust you? Have you ever wished you were stronger so you can master your insatiable appetite? How about if you learn that, in biological terms, there is no need? Would you feel relieved? Maybe you just need to have more knowledge about the things that push you to overeating and make your body crave unhealthy foods. The first step consists of understanding the processes that occur in the brain, because that is the place were more than 100, 000 chemical reactions happen every second. Communication between the brain and the nerve cells form the basis of all thoughts, feelings and actions.

The brain sends signals to your body through neurotransmitters; some of them – serotonin and dopamine – have euphoric effects and are often associated with good condition, with good humor. Accordingly, the way the brain works is strongly influenced by the foods we eat every day and which, in turn, act beneficial or harmful to the body. Serotonin, endorphins and dopamine are three neurotransmitters that have a link with nutrition, culinary cravings and mood.

Serotonin and Overeating

It is probably the strongest of neurotransmitters that regulates appetite. It is a derivative of an amino acid – tryptophan – synthesized by cells.

Functions of serotonin
• Once released it induces a state of calm, happiness, peace and satisfaction;
• It causes satiety and reduces appetite;
• Lack of serotonin in the body is associated with depression and a high culinary appetite;

The influence of nutrition on the production of serotonin

It probably is not a coincidence that when you feel stressed or angry you feel an intense need for sweets. Food rich in carbohydrates cause an increase in the concentration of tryptophan (an amino acid precursor to serotonin and a natural tranquilizer). Therefore, a high carbohydrate meal induces a feeling of calm, peace and satisfaction, as it increases production of serotonin in the brain. But instead of complexes carbohydrate the consumption of simple carbohydrates may have a momentary effect. You will feel in full shape, but this state will be short-lived, because insulin levels will decrease leading to loss of energy, depression or low sugar concentration. If you think that another quantity of sugar will help you come back, think again! It will not only make your condition worse and more! Normal and excess eating can’t combat stress symptoms in any way therefore it will make you feel guiltier than relaxed.

Endorphin and Overeating

Like serotonin, endorphins is a natural substance with euphoric effect. Reduces and alleviates pain.

Influence of nutrition on the production of endorphins

Research has shown that the production of endorphins is enhanced by the consumption of foods that are high in fat and sugar. Perhaps it is starving for food and chocolate, just because of the high fat and sugar it contains. But besides these, in chocolate we find – phenylethylamine – which favors the release of endorphins. It is a quick way to escape stress, sadness and add an energy surplus. But the effect is temporary!

Dopamine and Overeating

It is a neurotransmitter that enhances the ability to concentrate. Some studies suggest that a high protein food increase dopamine production. As the appetite for foods that are high in protein such as meat, cheese and seafood is very common, compared with that of foods that are rich in carbohydrates, food consumption, which stimulates dopamine release, is not dangerous. Only in excessive amounts it can lead to a decrease in serotonin levels and thus to a decrease in the state of happiness.

Food cravings, overeating, stress and emotions

Many moods, emotions and biological changes experienced at one time directly affect our food cravings. Remember, our brains are constantly seeking a balance! You should not feel stressed, sad or guilty for something. So, you will seek refuge in the things that you have been trained to find when you feel stress and sadness. Often we are not aware of those states in which we are almost daily or that we might eat on a nervous fund. Analyze your own feelings and try not to throw yourself at food whenever you feel sad or stressed!

Factors that influence your brain functions and food cravings:
• Stress, fear, anger and anxiety lead to an increase in a transmitter called – neuropeptide Y. This neurotransmitter increases appetite for carbohydrates;
• Stress is associated with low serotonin levels, reaching all the food cravings to enhance production of serotonin;
• Depression and sadness are feelings that arise when the production of serotonin is very insignificant. And in this case increases the appetite for various sweets, hoping that they will bring happiness;
• The feeling of guilt and lack of self confidence throws you back into a "place" of food cravings.

Therefore, our brains can be "trained" that when faced with a multitude of states such as stress, depression or anger to seek refuge in a food that stimulates the production of the hormones of happiness. And it will continue to seek the same way every time (as it was "trained" to do) to release stress and emotions.

Stop Overeating: Effective ways to get rid of stress and to obtain emotional comfort

Stress, sadness, fear and feelings of guilt are constant ingredients in our life. There is very little chance to finally get rid of these unpleasant feelings, but we can learn how to control them effectively. Besides overeating, there are other sources to get a good condition and that will also help you have a healthy life. It will take some time to increase endorphins production, instead of eating a piece of chocolate. But eventually it is all about "training" your brain all over again.

You have to learn that there are things that inspire and give you a good feeling. Here is a list of some of them, but you can add to it your own preferences:
• Sport – increases production of endorphins and releases stress. Confidence and inspiration will accompany you all the time and you will not fall prey to food;
• Massage – works very effectively with anxiety, depression and insomnia;
• Meditation – repeat a positive phrase or a word or say a prayer. It helps you to concentrate better, remove the pessimistic thoughts and stress;
• Read biographies of personalities that inspire you – take their positive way of thinking;
• Use your imagination – Imagine that you are dreaming of a place for 10-15 minutes try to imagine everything you see, hear, smell and feel. It can be a mountain or a beach or …;
• Listen to relaxing music – studies have shown that this decreases the production of a substance called cortisol, which stimulates appetite for carbohydrates. Music relaxes, reinvigorates and removes stress;
• Take a bath with aromatherapy – lemon oils, eucalyptus, sage, lavender and chamomile added to the bath water it can give you a pleasant feeling of relaxation;
• Laughter – follow a Comedy Series or participate in activities that bring humor into your life;
• Raise a pet – it offers a sense of unconditional love and lower blood pressure and stress;
• Find a hobby – photography, art, ceramics or football. Find something that inspires and attracts you;
• Buy flowers for your apartment or for your garden ;
• Write a diary or share your daily moods to a trustworthy person;
• Meet up with an old friend, in whose company you feel good;
• Plan going out with the family;
• Subscribe to some courses that you wanted to follow all your life;
• Delight yourself with photo albums – reel happy memories and plan new adventures;
• Buy yourself a book, a magazine, clothing or anything you want and afford;
• Imagine how you look, how you feel and how people will react to the figure you obtained;
• Help others – sometimes helping people who need it can do wonders with your mood. Get involved in a local organization that advocates for an important purpose for you.

These ways to relax will not work for individuals with serious emotional problems or eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia), because they need professional help.

Change your unhealthy eating habits to stop compulsive overeating

Many people show a loss of appetite after changing their diet. And you can try these techniques to see which ones works in your case:
• Do not skip breakfast. This assures you vitality and energy needed to start a day. Avoid excesses but lunch and dinner;
• Eat little and often, only when you feel hungry;
• Do not eat just because it’s lunch time. Eat only when you are hungry and stop when you feel full;
• Combine high-protein products with high carbohydrate at every meal to keep to the normal blood sugar levels;
• Relax your cravings for simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates by eating whole-wheat bread, crackers and low-fat popcorn, whole grains, beans, whole wheat pasta or brown rice. The body absorbs complex carbohydrates more slowly than sugar;
• Eat more foods rich in fiber to escape hunger for a longer period;
• Build a balanced diet. Use fat and carbohydrates and do not in any way follow a starvation diet. Your body needs nutrients to function efficiently;
• Reduce or avoid alcohol because it can cause depression, which will open your appetite for carbohydrates, which can provide relaxation.

For the rest of the 8 weeks weight loss plan visit How to Lose Weight in 8 weeks: a simple 8 weeks weight loss plan

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