How to Stop Eating Up Stress with Sweets
Depression is not just a bad mood and melancholy from time to time. It is a powerful chaos that can crush your life, alienate you from loved ones, and take away all the joy of existence. The euphoria, provided by cookies, sweets, sweet drinks and other goodies evaporates quickly, and then the mood falls rapidly.
A well-known American doctor with 30 years of experience, Jacob Teitelbaum, in his book “Beat sugar addiction now” tells how to jump off these “sugar slides” and regain peace of mind and health.
What happens with sugar in our bodies during a depression. For a short time, the consumption of sugar raises the level of serotonin and makes us happier:
- sugar increases the level of insulin,
- insulin pumps hormone tryptophan into the brain and turns there into serotonin.
With the development of insulin resistance, relieving depression and raising mood with sugar becomes more difficult. Insulin resistance can even cause a drop in the level of serotonin in the brain, so eating sugar becomes meaningless. Simply put, sweets in large quantities initially give good mood, but lead to:
- greater fluctuations in blood sugar,
- aggravation of symptoms,
- sugar dependence, eventually.
Depression often occurs because of nutrients deficiency, associated with excessive consumption of sugar. Hypothyroidism and low levels of estrogen, which often accompany sugar dependence, can greatly spoil the mood.
Men with depression often have low or simply lowered testosterone levels. Studies have shown that the likelihood of a depression onset among older men with pathologically low levels of free testosterone is 271 percent greater, than among men with a normal level of this hormone.
Bioidentical testosterone (not to be confused with the dangerous high doses of synthetic hormone, used by some bodybuilders) often proves to be more effective than the antidepressants, even if the level of testosterone formally seems to be normal.
Food and hormone deficiency, which are often found in sugar-dependent people, can lead to a deficiency of:
These are the main substances of the brain that regulate our mood. This, in turn, can cause you to desire to increase your mood with sugar, which will eventually throw you into an even deeper depression.
INSUFFICIENT ACTIVITY OF THE THYROID GLAND
Reduced activity of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is one of the most important causes of depression. Patients who are not helped by antidepressant therapy often respond very well to thyroid hormones, although these are normal, when the blood tests are made.
However, there is one BUT: only the active thyrohormone T3 works in depression.
In 2003, a study was held in Israel dedicated to patients with severe depression, who did not respond to antidepressants even at high doses. They were prescribed the active hormone T3. It turned out that this thyroid hormone cured depression in 10 out of 16 female patients (62.5%), yet was ineffective in any of the nine men, who used it. We suspect that men would have had a similar reaction, if their testosterone levels were normalized, as well.
TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION WITH NATURAL REMEDIES AND SUPPLEMENTS
When treating depression, it is important that the body gets everything necessary to produce three key “neurotransmitters of happiness”: serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.
B group vitamins and magnesium are critically important for energy production, and for the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters, which contribute to well-being.
- Vitamin B12 and folic acid. The intake of these vitamins helps our body produce serotonin (“molecule of happiness”) and a powerful nutrient S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), which counteracts the depression. The study of the use of high folic acid doses has shown that this substance is no less effective than antidepressants, but does not have undesirable side effects. The use of folic acid and vitamin B12 will give your body what it needs to make you happier.
- Riboflavin and niacin. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin (vitamin B3) are the key components of the “energy molecules”, NADH and FADH, which makes them important factors in energy production in our bodies. If you are depressed, you may have a deficiency of niacin or riboflavin.
- Vitamin B6. Depression can be the result of a low level of vitamin B6, which is extremely important for the production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Vitamin B6 deficiency is a particularly significant problem in women, who take birth control pills or estrogen, because both are depleting vitamin B6 reserve in the body.
- Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can contribute to depression, as well as fatigue, pains and an increased risk of myocardial infarction. This mineral substance is important for more than 300 different reactions in the human body.
- St. John’s Wort. Perhaps, you’ve heard of St. John’s wort. In one study, the researchers compared the treatment results for mild and moderate forms of depression with St. John’s wort extract (course lasted four to twelve weeks), placebo and standard antidepressants. In general, St. John’s wort extract was the same or even more effective, than standard antidepressants.
- Magnolia. Specialists in Chinese medicine have long entrusted the treatment of depression to the magnolia bark. Magnolia extract is rich in two phytochemicals:
- honokiol, which alleviates anxiety,
- magnolol, which acts as an antidepressant.
- This antidepressant is not addictive and does not have a sedative effect.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND ANGER
From the point of view of psychology, depression is sometimes interpreted as suppressed or inward-directed anger. And it’s good for your health to let yourself get angry sometimes. If you feel better after such a “blast”, then the release of anger was useful in this case.
However, it is important to keep in mind that other people are not to blame for the fact that you need to release emotions, and violence is an absolutely unacceptable way of self-expression. The safest place to give vent to emotions and to release anger is the psychotherapist’s office. If the depression does not pass and does not respond to treatment, consult a specialist.
THE BEST REMEDY FOR DEPRESSION IS TO CHANGE ATTITUDE TOWARD LIFE
- Live all your feelings, and you do not need to understand or justify them.If the feelings are negative, just let them go.
- Turn life into a system of “no mistakes.”It means not blaming yourself or others, not regretting the mistakes made, not judging others and not expecting something from someone. If you notice that you are judging someone, just stop doing it. But do not judge yourself for judging others!
- Learn to focus on good things.Some people think that endlessly thinking about problems means being realistic. This is not true. Life is like a huge buffet with thousands of snacks. You can always choose what you like. If the problem really requires attention, then working on its solution will already bring you pleasure. And it turns out that you basically fill your plate with extremely unloved dishes.
- Look at the bright side of life.Training in yourself of a positive worldview can strengthen health and reduce the risk of depression. In addition, you are more likely to live longer. A good way to develop the habit of seeing a half full, and not half empty glass – is to keep a thank you list. Each morning, write out five things for which you are grateful. When you notice that a dark line begins during the day, remind yourself of this list and feel a flood of optimism. Be well!
How to Stop “Eating Up Stress”
Chocolate to raise the mood, ice cream after a quarrel with a loved one, an extra piece of cake after a hard day’s work and – hello, food addiction. Farewell, summer dress of the previous size.
Overeating against the background of stress, the so-called “eating up” of problems and experiences is called in psychology emotional eating behavior. In its essence, it is a stable habit of eating up one emotion or another, when in fact you are not hungry at all.
The desire to eat arises on the subconscious level, and not on the physiological level. In this case, the stimulus to food intake is the emotional discomfort, and not hunger.
Any situation can provoke it, like:
- your boss shouted at you,
- you were late for the meeting,
- your beloved forgot an important dat.
This is one of the most common types of eating disorders. It occurs in 60% of people, who have problems with excessive weight.
WHY WE EAT UP STRESS
Any stressful condition is characterized in a person with an increase in the amount of the stress hormone cortisol, which is directly related to the feeling of hunger. In addition, our childhood memories also play an important role here. Statistics are such that emotional overeating begins to form in childhood.
At that, it is actively supported by:
Remember the stable phrases: “Do not cry, have a candy” or “Eat the cake and everything will pass.” The child has clear associations between emotions and food, and namely sweet food. It is proved that people give preference mostly to sweet and high-calorie foods in stressful situations.
Such a habit is fraught with the formation of the so-called carbohydrate “thirst,” for which a person needs both fatty and sweet food (chocolate, ice cream, cake, etc.). This kind of food starts acting like a drug.
In the case of its absence, people may develop a painful depressive condition, accompanied by irritability and even trembling of the hands, whereas after eating something sweet, these symptoms pass.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND IF YOU HAVE AN EMOTIONAL OVEREATING
- When I’m worried, upset or I feel irritated, I always feel like pampering myself with something tasty.
- The best reward for success is to enjoy my favorite dish.
- When I’m lonely or have nothing to do, I go to the kitchen to have tea.
- I have a couple of extra kilograms.
If you answered positively to at least one statement, then you should seriously think about it. Probably, you have an emotional dependence on food.
HOW TO AVOID EATING UP DURING STRESS
Watch yourself. Mark in your diary what you ate during the day, what emotions you felt before and after eating. Record immediately, without leaving it for the evening. It is important not to miss the emotional condition.
Split and regular meals
Meals every 3-4 hours, provided a balanced diet, will maintain blood sugar levels and protect you from impulsive eating of sweets during possible stress.
Check the level of vitamin D in the blood and increase it if it is not enough. A low level of this vitamin is found in people with depression and overweight.
It can be anything:
- listen to music,
- call a friend,
- do your favorite hobby.
*The main thing is not just to get distracted, but to enjoy it.
Letting out the emotions
Tell the paper everything that you think and feel, and then tear it into small pieces. Trust us, the paper will endure anything, and you will feel better.
Sleep not less than 7 hours
Lack of sleep is an additional stress for the body. It provokes not only a bad mood, but also overeating.
Work to improve your contacts with people. Do not be afraid to open up and talk about your feelings, which will:
- reduce the hyperactivity of the limbic system of the brain,
- relieve tension,
- improve mood.
Daily write down five things that you are grateful for today, no matter what stressful situations you encounter. This practice can reduce negative emotions and improve mood.
WHAT TO DO IF STRESS CATCHES YOU OFF-GUARD
If you are faced with a stressful situation and you need to quickly take yourself in your hands, you can do it with a special technique “Warm Hands”, without resorting to food:
- Breathe in deeply and exhale.
- Focus on your hands, imagining that you hold them by the warm fire.
- Feel their warmth and energy.
It is proved that this simple technique helps to:
- lower blood pressure,
- relax the body,
- reduce anxiety and stress.
*You will feel the effect after one minute of performing the exercise.
Remember, you do not necessarily run to the fridge to relieve stress. These rules will help you keep your emotions under control and not let them control you.