Following on from my blog last week:
We can overeat in response to many emotional states: sadness, stress, happiness, boredom. When we overeat for comfort it can lead to feelings of guilt and shame leading to more overeating. Overeating can also be a tactic to avoid the problems that overwhelm us. We need to address the unmet needs that trigger overconsumption.
Delve into your feelings and discover what you really need, (it’s probably not food), whether it be a friend to talk with to share happiness or your troubles, sleep, exercise, or a tricky conversation with someone to solve a problem, or a hobby to relieve boredom. Also, feelings and emotions are driven by our thoughts, so, if we can think practise positive thinking, we can improve our emotional response.
Hunger v Fancy something to eat
Be aware of the difference between hunger (physiological response) and appetite (psychological response). Hunger = stomach growling, inability to think clearly. Appetite = a desire to eat. Appetite rather than hunger itself can be a sign of other needs manifesting as a desire to eat.
Rating your hunger before eating can be a useful exercise. Only eat when you feel hungry rather than when you feel ‘peckish’.
If we can learn to rely less on the value of willpower in our decision-making process around foods and focus more on things we can control and affect we should have success in reducing overeating.
Finally, low levels of Vitamin D result in a failure of the hormone that helps turns off appetite when satisfied, says Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Centre for Functional Medicine, and that low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids alter insulin control leading to increased hunger. He adds that glutamine, tyrosine, and 5-HTP are amino acids that all reduce cravings, and that rhodiola which reduces stress and chromium which balances blood sugar can also help.