"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

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

Archive