PSYCHOLOGY OF EATING HABITS
Overeating occurs in response to stress
When you are stressed, you cannot digest food normally, function normally, and your metabolism slows down. These phenomena cause stress hormones – cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine. They do not promote digestion, but mobilize the body and force it to keep the muscles in good shape. In response to stress, you begin to overeat – this is one way to calm down and get hormones of pleasure.
To calm down, the body needs hormones of pleasure, and it searches for them through food
There are three hormones of pleasure: serotonin, which is responsible for sedation, endorphin, which is responsible for pain relief, and dopamine, which is responsible for pleasure and joy.
Dopamine is produced from any food that we provide as “delicious.” These can be products from both the “allowed” list and the “forbidden”. Assigning this status to products is subjective, and anyone can choose different products for such conditional lists.
For example, the same peanut butter belongs to the list of “allowed” products, and it can also be assigned the status of “delicious”. Accordingly, after this, overeating with a healthy product is provided.
Most often, we tend to give the status of “delicious” products from the “forbidden” list, as they are rich in fats and sugar.
Serotonin levels increase motivation and reduce appetite. The higher the amount of serotonin, the easier and faster you fall asleep, the deeper your sleep will be, you will be less anxious. When you are anxious, the amount of serotonin will decrease. Then the body begins to capture serotonin from the blood and fill those receptors in the brain that contain it, so that in case of subsequent stress it has something to throw out. Not enough serotonin will make you too impulsive and aggressive.
Thanks to endorphin, you are more likely to experience post-stress situations. Endorphin is produced as a response to muscle pain and other tissue damage and has a distinct analgesic effect.
Dopamine is one of the chemical factors of internal reinforcement. It serves as an important part of the brain’s systemic reward.
How are eating habits formed
- When you are in a bad mood, the brain looks for a way to improve it.
- To do this, he needs serotonin, so he decides to choose products that have a high content of tryptophan – an amino acid that promotes the production of serotonin.
- Therefore, he chooses any food containing this amino acid (chocolate, cheese, peanuts) or food that you think is delicious.
- If you are fooling your brain here – it tastes good to you, you want to enjoy it from this product, then your dopamine – the hormone of pleasure – will be developed first.
- When food enters the gastrointestinal tract, serotonin production occurs. Serotonin will soothe and bring pleasure.