Monday, October 21, 2013

Emotional Eating!!!




I am so excited to share what we all learned at our "Health and Wellness Night" last Friday in my home.  Our topic was….
 
 "Overcoming .......
 
 

EMOTIONAL EATING!!! 
 
We had two spotlighted speakers this month.  One a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Blair, and the second....the cutest chick I know.....Susannah Flitton who has her degree in Health Science.  The night was so informative that I wanted to summarize what we talked about for those who couldn't attend.  This will be a lengthy blog post, but it is all soooooo good, I couldn't leave any more out than I already did.  So read it all!!! 
 
Ok, so here was my shhhhppppppeeeeel: 

PART A: 

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger....such as when your depressed, excited, nervous, frustrated, stressed, or it could be because you are bored or because you like to chew and food is fun and entertaining. Whatever the reason, you can know its emotional eating from two signs.... 

 1) the urge comes on suddenly

 2) you crave high carb or sugary foods.    
 
I had a nerdy, but valid theme for my portion......
 
"HEAL YOUR MIND, AND YOUR BODY WILL FOLLOW"
 
So we talked about this really big fancy word "Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor" (which will be referred to hereafter as "brain bla bla bla" or BDNF).  It is our brain fertilizer that allows our minds to keep the neurons they have and produce new ones.  If our BDNF is continually being diminished, our brain chemistry actually changes and we start to act illogically.  One way we start to act illogically, is with FOOD.  We eat even when we are not hungry.  
What's interesting is that low levels of BDNF are linked to depression, cognitive decline, OCD, ADD,  diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Huntington’s disease, Rett syndrome, and schizophrenia. 

This all makes sense, because if the brain is unable to continually repair itself and receive proper signals, it starts to deteriorate.  

One effect of low brain bla bla bla is we develop insulin resistance---which is bad because insulin is one of the satiety hormones.  If we do not feel satisfied, we want to eat and eat and eat!  It can also lead to metabolic syndrome

Also, If our BDNF is low, our serotonin is also low...because they are directly correlated.  Seratonin is the body's feel good, appetite suppressant chemical...so without it, we don't feel good, and our appetite seems never satisfied. 
 
There are several things we are doing in our day, as opposed to our ancestors, that dramatically decrease our BDNF.  Some of the major contributors include, pollution and toxins in the environment, high sugar and processed foods, the depleted food supply, and not enough essential fatty acids in our diets.
 
One distinct thing that we are consuming these days is lots and lots of sugar and processed foods. When we consume high amounts of sugar or processed foods, our brain bla bla bla decreases quite dramatically.  All enzymes and nutrients have been purposely removed and the result is a synthetic manmade carb, occurring nowhere in nature.  

The body regards such as a drug.  YIKES!!!   

When we eat white flour and white sugar our body does not recognize it as food and therefore sucks enzymes, vitamins and minerals  from the body in order to act....actually depleting the body of nutrition.  The action is one of irritation, removal and defense instead of nutrition. 

Soooooooo,  Just because it is ingested, does not mean it can be digested. This will be one of my favorite sayings to annoy my children with...fyi!


When we eat all of these synthetic forms of food, the initial blast of energy is the adrenal shock reacting to a nonfood in the system….fight or flight sets in and the stress hormone cortisol is produced.   That's no good.....

Let's recap what stress does to our body from our last wellness night.........HERE!  
 
As our body produces cortisol, its energy stores are depleted leaving us worse off:  Refined sugar stimulates a whole range of physicological responses, all of which are unnecessary, all of which waste the energy of the cells and systems and are then followed by exhaustion soon after the brief rush subsides.  Then your down and monkey needs another bump. 
 
I'm sure this is why we feel like poop after eating at McDonalds....lol.....

Another thing that happens as we consume a high level of processed sugars and foods is our body secretes too much insulin for the cells to know what to do with.  So their receptors, the doors to the cells, are desensitized.  It figures that there are plenty of "other hands" to do the work, so many of the receptors take a nap. 

Aren't I scientific?

Insulin and leptin are the two hormones that induce satiety upon reaching the hypothalamus in the brain.  What's strange is that Obesity is associated with high levels of both of these hormones. So one would think they would feel very satisfied....but they don't.   

The reason is if we have too much insulin in our body, our insulin receptors, which help deliver glucose into the cells, become ineffective and desensitized.  Same thing with the  hormone leptin.  As we ingest too many grains, our leptin receptors also become desensitized.  

In modern language, I liken this to a person trying to do face time with a friend who has her phone set to mute.
 
Same thing happens with the brain.  As we consume high amounts of sugar, the dopamine receptors in the brain are desensitized, making it harder and harder to feel happy.  Not only that, but the high sugar response also immediately lowers our "brain bla bla bla".  Now there are fewer receptors for the dopamine.  This means that the next time we eat these foods, their effect is blunted. We will need more junk food next time we eat in order to get the same level of reward.

So when we consume foods that have been processed, several things happen...... we can't think logically because our brain bla bla bla is decreasing (we literally get dumber) we can't feel pleasure normally, and our satiety hormones (insulin and leptin) become resistant.

As our BDNF lowers so does the seratonin and dopamine secretion lower.  These are our pleasure chemicals.  If we are not producing enough of them, or if their message is not  received properly because of our desensitized receptors, depression, anxiety and irritability set in.  And then your like ......
 
"I'm feeling crappy right now, I mind as we'll eat something that tastes good"
 

......and the cycle begins again. 
The cool thing about our bodies is that they can be repaired and it is possible to step out of this cycle.  Our bodies are very forgiving!!!!!  I can not emphasize this ENOUGH!!!! 

There are several things we can do to increase our brain bla bla bla, which can then help us to act more logically and stop emotionally eating.  
 
Step 1.  

 

Stop, or at least limit the sugar and processed foods from your diet.  This includes foods produced with white flour and white sugar.  
(If step 1 is too hard, and your super weak........move to step 2.) 
 
Step 2.  


 

Fast once or twice a week.  I'm not talking starve all day long here.  The most effective fast to resensitize your receptors and increase your BDNF is taking in a very minimal amount of calories by doing three things........
 
1.  Stimulate the feel good chemicals in your brain (Seratonin and dopamine) enough so they don't down regulate.  Do this by eating dark chocolate made with cocoa liquor and cocoa butter as the 2 first ingredients.  
2.  Keep your blood sugar under control all day by taking chromium.

3. Drink tons of water of course!
 

Step 3.  

 

Take chromium.  Chromium helps the cells rebuild receptors so insulin function works better and you feel more satiety.  It helps stabilize your blood sugar.  One sign that you are chromium deficient is if you have major sugar cravings.   If you regularly eat a lot of processed foods, you are likely chromium deficient, as chromium and processed foods are not friends and do not like to coexist.  

For chromium supplements, I highly recommend taking 1-2 Isasnacks on an empty stomach  or "Want More Energy"  throughout the day, as it helps the insulin receptors to work more efficiently, helping you feel more satisfied.  Chromium should normally be found in many vegetables and grains but processed foods deplete this mineral so it  is absent in many diets.  Some researchers have long believed the rising rate of type II diabetes is due in part to chromium depletion in the food supply. Very Interesting!!!  
 
Step 4:  

 
Eat the purest most wholesome dark chocolate you can find.

When a cocoa bean is cracked opened and made into chocolate, 3 parts are divided out......the cocoa powder, cocoa liquor and the cocoa butter.  The most healthy chocolate is the kind that's made with cocoa liquor and cocoa butter as the first ingredients, as these far exceed the nutritional content and have the greatest health promoting antioxidants and Phenylethylamine.  Most chocolate on the market is just made from the cocoa powder with added fillers and sugars that are health depleting.  

Dark chocolate in its purest form has 8 times more antioxidants than berries and goes directly to your brain to flush out the toxins that are further lowering your brain bla bla bla!  The cocoa bean is perfect during a fast because it gently stimulates the feel good chemicals and has a very low glycemic index , so your blood sugar won't rise and then fall.  

When you feel the urge to emotionally eat, it usually means that your feel good chemicals in your brain are low.  The best, and healthiest way to boost these feel good chemicals naturally, is by eating this high quality chocolate, rather than sugar and caffeine.  This way your providing your brain with what it really needs, rather than a synthetic short lived supplement that will wear off quickly and leave you feeling even worse. 

When this very fine chocolate is eaten on an empty stomach, it raises the level of serotonin in the brain and therefore acts as an anti-depressant, promoting an overall sense of well being. Since Seratonin is the bodies natural appetite suppressant, chocolate also helps to curb appetite.  It also helps the brain released Phenylethylamine (PEAs) which is a natural chemical compound that is created within the brain and released in greatest abundance from the cocoa bean than any other plant on earth. It acts as a mild mood elevator and an anti-depressant, and it helps increase focus. 

Also, since the brain is highly susceptible to oxidative damage because of its high metabolic load and its abundance of oxidizable material, the more antioxidants you take in the better off your brain will be and thus....the higher your brain bla bla bla will be. 

My very favorite chocolates are called Isadelights because they meet all these requirements and they have amino acids and green tea extract added.  I wrote a separate blog post about them if your interested.  HERE.

One thing about chromium (Step 4) is you must be eating your amino acids because they actually double the absorption of chromium. So chocolate and chromium go hand in hand!
 
Step 5:




Exercising, preferably on an empty stomach,  increases the brain bla bla bla.  At least 20 minutes of high intense interval training is most effective.
 
Step 6:  


Take your essential fatty acids daily.  These little babies are a structural component of brain plasma membranes, and are absolutely crucial for neuronal signaling; the brain can not synthesize omega-3's, so they must come from food or supplements. My favorite way to get my omegas are by taking isaomega! .  
 
 

 
 
Step 7:


 
Get your B vitamins.  A couple things to note about the B's.  They are essential for regulating mood. They help the body convert glucose into energy.  So if you don't have enough B's, you likely won't have much energy.  The B's help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.  If you do not have enough it may cause mental confusion, neurological changes and make it difficult to cope with stress. The B's also help create the sleep hormone melatonin.  

A few things to know about the B's though......they are not good friends with processed foods.  They will ditch the scene when sugars and man-made carbs are around.  Also, they are short lived.  They need to be taken regularly throughout the day...one morning or evening supplement may not be enough.  Also, those little buggers are best absorbed under the tongue.  This is why I am totally in love with "Want More Energy" and Ionix Supreme  as they are both loaded with all the B's.  

(As a side note, I am a distributer for Isagenix, which has been one of the greatest blessings to my health and mind.   I would be happy to meet with you privately to coordinate a perfect system for your particular needs.) 


PART B: 

Susannah taught us that we can gain emotional control food by nourishing our bodies with REAL food.  She also reminded us of the Lords Law of Health as found in D&C 89: 

 -Every Herb and Fruit in the season thereof
-Flesh of beast and fowls of air ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving, nevertheless they are to be used sparingly.
-All grain is good for the food of man.
-All fruit of the vine, that which yielded fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground.
-She taught us that there are 3 simple things to keep in mind when buying, preparing and eating food.

 1. Eat Food-  Avoid highly processed foods that contain refined carbs, sugar, salt and fat, eat foods you can picture in their raw sate or growing in nature, don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

 2. Not too much- Stop eating when you are satisfied, eat slowly, serve a proper portion and don't go back for seconds, eat slowly, eat meals, avoid snacking too much and be aware of why you are eating.

 3. Mostly Plants- Eat mostly plants, especially leaves, treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food, eat plant foods in a variety of colors, eat well grown food from healthy soil, and eat sweet foods as you find them in nature. 


PART C: 


Nutrition Impacts Emotional States

·    When we don’t eat what we should or eat the things we shouldn’t; this impacts our emotional health (e.g., not able to focus, concentrate, poor sleep, etc.).

 Emotions Impact What and How We Eat

·     Don’t eat at all - when some people become stressed or depressed, they have little to no appetite.  This results in a lack of proper nutrition that can exacerbate one's negative emotional state.

·     Eat too much - when some people become stressed or depressed, their appetite is increased and they eat too much.  They usually crave foods high in sugar and carbs. 

·     Eat unhealthy food such as high sugar and high carbs

·     Stress eat

 Stress and Control

·     Formula for Stress (impact and lack of control).  The greater something impacts you and the less control you have over it, stress increases. 

·    Sometimes we control unhealthy things (e.g., I can’t control what is going on in my life but I am for sure going to have this slice of pizza). 

 Negative Cycle of Emotions and Eating

·     We feel bad so we have poor eating habits.  Those poor eating habits result in us not feeling good.  We also feel guilty about our poor eating habits so we feel worse, resulting in continuing to eat poorly - the cycle continues. 

 What to Do

·     Know yourself.  Are you a stress eater?  Are you a bored eater?  Are you a grazer?   Don’t set yourself up for failure by saying you are going to do something you just can’t do (if you like ice cream, don't say you will never have ice cream again.  Give yourself little victories and moderate your behavior.).

·    Deal with emotions in healthier ways (control in other areas).  Attack the underlying issue, not the symptom.  The obvious symptom is eating, but you must deal with the underlying issue or you will never get a handle on it.  All behaviors serve a purpose – figure out the purpose poor eating serves for you (convenient, control, avoidance, etc.) and then deal with that underlying issue. 

·    Fasting (helps us spiritually, as well as overcome the natural man). 

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