Why no one comfort eats an apple!
(And how balancing your body can help your emotional eating)
Do you comfort eat or reach for food to cheer yourself up? Maybe something upset you. Or maybe you don’t even know why, but you are just feeling low.
Many people consider themselves emotional eaters. They reach for food, often cookies or something sugary, because they are in need of comfort or feeling down.
But what most people don't realise is that the emotion doesn’t happen in isolation. There is a corresponding biochemical component.
So what’s going on in your body that makes you grab the sugar, the pastries, the chips? That makes you comfort eat the cookies or donut?
We have a chemical in our bodies called serotonin that makes us feel good. When your levels of serotonin drop, it leaves you feeling low and craving sugar or refined carbs.
So why is this? I show you with an animation in the video, but here’s a quick explanation…
When you eat sugar or refined carbs, your blood sugar rises quickly.
You release insulin to move these high levels of sugar out of your blood.
Insulin is also needed to carry tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin into your brain. Once in your brain, it is converted into serotonin, boosting your mood.
So craving carbs, particularly those which trigger you to release more insulin, is your body’s way of boosting your serotonin and making you feel better.
This is why you crave cake or cookies, and not an apple.
But what if your serotonin didn’t drop in the first place?
Balancing your biochemistry, making sure your body can make and use serotonin properly, helps your emotional state, the way you feel. This can reduce your emotional eating.
Your body needs vitamin D and omega 3 fats to be able to make and use serotonin properly. Many people are low in both these nutrients. Making sure you get sufficient levels of these nutrients can help boost your mood. And when you feel happy, you don’t reach for carbs to cheer yourself up!