"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Do you get more hungry when you are stressed?

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hunger hormone may increase in times of stress.

This could explain why often people want to eat more in response to stress.

 It is known that fasting causes ghrelin, a hunger hormone, to be produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which sends a signal to the brain that essentially increases our appetite.  Interesting research has found that exposure to stress can also cause ghrelin levels to rise.  This may be because the body anticipates that it will have increased need for resources or kick in primal survival and danger cues as a form of preparation for disaster.  However, paradoxically, it appears that the behaviours associated with depression and anxiety will tend to decrease as ghrelin levels rise.  Researchers have explained this might have been an evolutionary adaptation: the anti-anxiety effect of hunger-induced ghrelin may have provided a survival advantage.  Our hunter - gatherer ancestors who need to make food accumulation a priority, where able to keep calm and focused while in search of food, or they could have been at risk of becoming dinner themselves should they not have their wits about them. 

So while the ghrelin increase could have an antidepressant effect and possibly even increase energy levels, it could contribute to weight problems.  Similarly researchers are optimistic at blocking the body's response to ghrelin signals in an attempt to control weight by decreasing intake, however this could actually increase anxiety and depression.  It seems that could be a vicious cycle for someone who is prone to comfort eating.  They would feel more anxious and look for food even more to soothe.

Getting hungrier in response to stress and eating more when added to another physiological response to stress, make stress a key player and culprit in weight problems.

Another interesting factor that appears to make stress a contributor to poor weight control is the body's physiological response.  Stressed individuals tend to have increased abdominal fat receptors around their gut, and so will have a tendency to be able to store more or put on more weight during times of times, particularly chronic or ongoing stress.  

So what else could you do with your mouth and stomach in a response to stress that makes you feel better, increases endorphins and has a positive effect on your waistline?

Laugh!

There is a lot of research highlighting the stress management benefits of laughter:

  1. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenalin, dopamine and growth hormone. 
  2. Laughter provides a physical and emotional release, often you can feel really cleansed and invigorated from a good laugh.
  3. Laughter gives you a good internal workout.  It exercises your facial muscles, your diaphragm, your heart, contracts your abs and shoulders and leaves muscles feeling more relaxed afterwards.
  4. Laughter is a great distraction, if helps bring your focus away from negative emotions like anger or guilt. 
  5. Laughter is a great connector and so has social benefits.
  6. Laughter helps you shift perspective.  Humour can give you a more lighthearted perspective so that something is viewed as a challenge rather than a threat.
  7. Laughter can help you to alter your state.  Even a fake or forced laugh or smile can have a positive effect on your physiology, so lift up the corners of your mouth, throw back your head and LAUGH OUT LOUD!

 

 


Recent Posts


Tags

how to avoid injury during exercise quick eating solutions improve your memory the tummy beast make stress work for you do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources 7 steps to detox immune system how to check your breasts skip meals heart foundation tick explained quizz relax go for 2 and 5 energy empty your mind music have more energy motivation breast cancer awareness Laughter and stress homocysteine cholesterol lowering diet memory alzheimers natural alternatives to drugs delicious assertiveness nutritionists diet diary diet diary of a nutritionist ability to respond control Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah Nina Simone nutritious cooking sensitivity to milk 10 % principle fruit nutritionist in brisbane fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys recipes for allergies I don't get hungry sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas wrong type of exercise, exercise and results taking responsibility diet diary sugar and adhd is sugar bad healthy cooking party benefits of strength training, why you should strength train Lactose intolerance obesity foods in season, seasonal recipes organic vegetables 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart muscle wasting new year's resolutions prostate cancer mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo best exercise health pioneers food allergies nutritious addicted to chocolate high cholesterol reducing coffee keep focused fresh seasonal quick and tasty recipes four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication performance how to love exercise health for busy people breakfast love food skipping meals childrens lunch boxes natural toothpaste are grains healthy support your body detox indigestion how to say no sexy salads Lisa's Diary success and you are frozen veggies any good reasons to eat foods in season happiness workshop salad Alan Pease soft drink and behaviour problems time management and healthy living dancing corporate wellness life choices leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut getting fit Egg allergy maintain a healthy weight, underweight comfort foods real food how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results fruit and vegetable shortage recipe immune boosting tips should I eat organic veggies have fun in the kitchen cooking with allergies health comfort eating blood pressure increasing energy image low calorie meal plan how to be happy weight to know and not do is not yet to know heart disease benefits to keeping a diet diary Nutritional Therapist health with 10 % effort quick recipes Sensational cooking class in brisbane sexy salad fussy eaters dance life lessons focus herbal toothpaste the power to choose Happiness dangers of multitasking while you eat strength fresh start is chocolate bad for me muffins gift libido taking a break which is better for you butter or margarine allergies soft drink and behavior problems weightloss stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress healthy shopping list I've Got Life celebrate life food sensitivities nutritionist healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options love, loneliness mood feels good healthy shopping Add new tag what is movember what is healthy food lunch health one step at a time healthy cooking parties relationship with food breast cancer prevention calorie controlled diet trans fats life hunger and stress great second hand books making time to relax gluten intolerance anxiety soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity what is a good breakfast low cholesterol low calorie diet ask my doctor drugfree alternatives healthy cooking demonstration brain health fatigue pop-eye and spinach fun cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia food intolerances ways to improve prostate health christmas recipies healthy fast food, healthy take away avoiding a choice Cancer how to get more of exercise comfort pig sugar and add happiness course benefits of sleeping overindulge simple 7 day detox plan weight loss nutrition

Archive