Do you recollect bingeing on potato chips and sweetened carbonated beverages after emerging from the university campus on the final day of your grad exams? Don’t you often rush to the nearest McDonald’s outlet to gorge on hamburgers and pepperoni pizzas after a backbreaking day at your workplace? Take heart as there are countless other people who’re overpowered by the urge to stuff or rather over-stuff following a round of stressful mental activity that requires one to focus hard. Researches and trials conducted in the past have already established the above assertion.
Researchers and scientists at University of Alabama also observed that grueling mental chores or assignments followed by 15-20 minutes of workout were able to rein in their food cravings. So, why do we tend to overindulge after a job interview or visit to the hospital? The scientific explanation is that mental stress or fatigue leads to the secretion of stress hormones where the brain sends signals to chomp into more pizzas and colas. In the initial period, stress may dampen your appetite causing you to eat less. The hypothalamus in the brain releases corticotropin-releasing hormone during a stress trigger that mars your desire to eat.
Another hormone called epinephrine is secreted by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys following a signal from the brain that also contributes towards dulling the appetite. However, the equation changes if your stress continues for an inordinate period or becomes episodic when the adrenals glands discharge a hormone known as cortisol that could whet your appetite. So, you’re more likely to stuff yourself and stay gluttonous as the cortisol releasing levels remain elevated with persisting stress. One practical way in which you could manage to stay away from overeating is to exercise after mentally exerting yourself.
Exercise causes a rise in the bloodstream’s lactate levels that satiates the brain as the organ uses the lactate as fodder thereby quelling the impulse to binge. Nevertheless, the researchers could not exactly correlate workout with a dampening or alleviation of appetite. Gary Hunter, a researcher involved in the study was of the opinion that an increased level of blood lactose might have met the energy requirements of the brain. Exercises help you to burn calories methodically giving you the energy to stay active, controls urges to overeat, and keeps you from getting overweight or obese.
Remaining stressed out also has an impact on your food preferences. Previous studies have amply demonstrated that stress causes to eat foods that have a sugar and fatty content. These types of food have an inhibitive effect on those areas of your brain that process emotions and release stress hormones and hence these food items are referred to as ‘comfort’ foods. Candy bars, ice-creams, and pastries may help you to cope with stress in the interim period and stimulate your desire for these kinds of foods. In order to keep your comfort food cravings under a tight leash as well as deal with stress, following a workout regimen and adhering to the same is essential.
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