What the latest science, physically in the body and within the brain psychologically, tell us is that binging and emotional eating (here on in i will refer to both as binging) is caused by a variety of different reasons.
First of all, lets set something straight, if you are overweight, significantly overweight, obese or morbidly obese, then you binge or emotionally eat… more than likely both. If you are overweight and claim to do neither, then I’m afraid you need to have some hard conversations and be honest with yourself, as there is no shame in binging.
WHY DO WE BINGE?
Its quite simple really, its a combination of a few things: –
- – STRESS
- – LEARNED BEHAVIOR
- – HABITS
- – HORMONES
- – BLOOD SUGAR
- – EMOTIONS
Not one of those things on its own triggers binging, its a combination of at least 2 of those things, combined over a period of time to develop a COPING STRATEGY.
WHAT IS A COPING STRATEGY?
If for example, you stand next to a massive speaker at a concert and the music is so loud it could deafen you, you would put your hands over your ears to protect them, right. This is a coping strategy.
There is a significant stress present and you are trying to reduce the stress from hurting you.
Binging is THE EXACT same thing.
We have developed a way to COPE with the emotions and stress to reduce the pain… hormonally.
Here is an example: –
- Boy/girl friend breaks up with you.
- Emotions go through the roof.
- These emotions increase your state of stress
- This increases your hormone Cortisol.
- When there is an increase in Cortisol, over the naturally beneficial limit, the body tries to correct the imbalance in hormones.
- Therefore, INSTINCTIVELY, your body will CRAVE CARBOHYDRATES to reduce this stress.
Carbs have an amazing relationship with a hormone called SEROTONIN.
This is our happy hormone.
When you watch a comedy and laugh, Serotonin is released and makes us feel happy.
There is also another relationship with CORTISOL and SEROTONIN. Both of the work together to try and balance out your natural state.
When cortisol is too high, the body will try and find sources of serotonin (to name but one hormone example) as this will directly reduce cortisol.
Its a beautiful hormonal relationship.
Carbs are the single quickest way to instantly increase SEROTONIN.
Think about that for a second.
You are emotionally stressed and the body sends signals for you to CRAVE carbs to reduce the stress. Its incredible once you understand it, right? Evolution at its absolute best.
This can then, very easily, signal a binge. Because its very hard to measure the emotional of physical pain we are in (how much cortisol we need to reduce) and we dont know directly, without on the minute, every minute, blood tests, how much serotonin carbs give us at any one time.
So we just eat and eat and eat to feel better.
And we do. Carbs do make us happy…. in the moment.
They taste amazing. They literally make us happy… hormonally and emotionally.
Nothing makes me happier after a rubbish day than a big bag of haribo 😉
Once we understand this, we become educated on what is going on, we can literally make a step in another direction to source serotonin WITHOUT the calorie addition
There are SOOOO MANY ways to increase serotonin without food, here are just a few examples:-
- – Have a massage
- – Find something to make you laugh – a friend, tv show, comedy night etc
- – Exercise
- – Have sex (although given the above example its not very apt to include it here lol)
- – Listen to music
- – Meditate
- – Play a video game
There are endless ways to raise serotonin, you just need to learn how to turn to those before food.
You need to develop a new COPING STRATEGY.
Binging/Emotionally eating is a fantastic coping strategy to instantly reduce the hormonal stress. You should never be ashamed of it. It works. It works bloody well in fact.
However, if your goal is fat loss, then it can become increasingly harder and harder to reduce the calories if you are constantly binging. So we need to develop a new COPING STRATEGY.
Imagine the upshot in the world if everyone knew this, relatively simple information… It could significantly reduce, and in my option totally remove, the obesity epidemic.
Obesity WILL NOT BE SOLVED by focusing on food. That much is fact…
With The 80/20 Lifestyle Plan we specifically spend weeks focusing on this. We educate our members on all the above, but a lot lot more. Take a look at the below list of what we cover over the 12 weeks – you wont find this at your local diet club.
That’s because 80/20 is NOT A DIET. Its a lifestyle creator…
- Week 1 – Introduction, Set-up & Progress Tracking – How ready are you, about change
- Week 2 – Protein – How to deal with road blocks and falling off the wagon
- Week 3 – Fats – Dissatisfaction with your body
- Week 4 – Carbs – How you talk to yourself matters
- Week 5 – Emotional Eating – How to manage your emotions
- Week 6 – Cardio, Earning Points with Cardio, Weight Training – Comparing yourself to others and thinking styles
- Week 7 – Alcohol & Triggers – Avoidance, are you limiting your life – part 1
- Week 8 – Hydration – Plan to change your avoidance – part 2
- Week 9 – Sleep & Stress – PERMAH – cultivating positive emotions
- Week 10 – Menstrual Cycle & Results- Strengths
- Week 11 – Metabolic Rate, is it causing me not to lose weight – Building Authentic Relationships
- Week 12 – Graduating and setting up My Fitness Pal – Nurture, meaning and purpose
Group 6 of The 80/20 Lifestyle plan is due to start on the 6th of September, so if you are keen to join here are the details:
Join Group 6 today and if after 12 weeks you have seen ZERO positive change physically or mentally, we will give you a 100% refund – that’s how confident we are on you finally succeeding this time!
If you don’t know what 80/20 is – the above link will tell you.