"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

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

Archive