There is a lot you can do to support your adrenals. The first step is deciding to make YOU a priority. Make you, your #1. Read through and choose a couple new habits to start with. Build from there. Be gentle with yourself.
Did you know that two tiny glands, no bigger than a grape are responsible for your energy levels, your endurance, and your vitality? You cannot live without your adrenal hormones and how well you live depends a great deal on how well your adrenal glands function.
Adrenals and Weight: Stress has detrimental effects on the body regardless of the source; emotions, inflammation, infection, worry, anxiety, food allergies, poor diet. The body responds the same.
Cravings can become an addiction connected to being in survival mode.
The key step with emotional eating is the compulsive craving or desire. During a craving, you obsess over an object of desire (ice cream, chocolate, chips, a donut) to the point of over-valuing the object of desire. Then when attained, it will fall short of the illusion you created in your mind, which justified the craving. The craving usually provides more of a pay-off than the act itself. The biggest hit comes from the craving, imagining the pleasure, and planning the act.
It starts with a trigger, resulting in negative thoughts and/or a negative emotional state like fear, anger, shame, insecurity, anxiety. This trigger sends you into your addictive pattern. A craving surfaces as an attempt to escape the negative emotion. You will crave a specific type of food based on the negative emotion you are feeling.
The craving gets exaggerated in your head. It becomes an illusion, a fantasy. You build it up so much in your head, your brain interprets it as a survival need. While the craving is being intensified in your brain, you go further into survival mode. The brain releases cortisol, adrenaline, dopamine, and endorphins. The dopamine and endorphins are rewarding to the brain. They create pleasure, desire, and good feelings. So the brain is getting a pay-off from being put in survival mode.
Then you finally indulge in the craving, you overeat or binge. You are temporarily relieved from the emotional state, and then you are let down. The food, for a minute, serves to give you a dopamine lift and dampen the stress response.
Although, that doesn’t last long. The food didn’t solve the problem you were having. You then feel shame, guilt, and regret for giving in once again. Now you are experiencing more negative emotion, and therefore again going into survival mode.
So in this scenario you swung back and forth between imbalanced states, from fantasy and excitement to shame and regret. The brain is accustomed to these states and becomes addicted to the ups and downs of being in survival.
Part 2 – Breaking the Overeating Cycle
Sorry, there is no way around this one.
- Plan your meals for the week in advance. So seriously write down what you will have for dinner each night of the week. Taking the time to plan at the beginning of the week will end up saving you time as the week unfolds. Make sure to consider what is on your calendar for the week coming up. Plan around any obstacles in your schedule. Know in advance which nights you will cook and which nights you will have left-over’s.
- Get your significant other, kids, roommates, or whoever else you dine with involved.
- Once you have your meals planned out, make a list before you go shopping to make sure to get everything you need for the week of meals ahead. First check your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what you already have.
- Create an ongoing list of needed items throughout the week. If you run out of something or find a recipe you would like to make, put those items on the list to ensure they are purchased the next food shopping trip.
- Choose one or two days to do most of your shopping and prep for the week. Find what works for you. Sundays work well for many people. You may want to choose one other day, maybe Wednesday, as your second shop and prep day.
- Once you have a system of meal planning and prep in place, commit to it! Make it a part of your weekly routine. Schedule it into your calendar.
- Always have a collection of recipes and meal ideas available. It could be recipe books, print-out’s, or recipes saved in a folder on your computer. Do what works for you.
“I don’t have time to cook dinner.”
“There are too many other things I have to do.”
“Cooking is too time consuming.”
“I am too exhausted when I get home from work to cook.”
These are common excuses people (even me) have about cooking and eating dinner from home. Believe me, I get it.
Life is busy for most of us. Juggling career, family, friends, caring for young children or aging parents, and the list goes on…All of these responsibilities can make eating healthy a challenge. However, eating healthy can become part of our daily routine when health is a priority, and with a little effort.
I am here to challenge your excuses, and invite you to see cooking in a new light.
Is there something in your life you are longing for? Something missing you wish you had?
Maybe it is more money, a loving relationship, your dream job….
It is so frustrating, right?
You try so hard yet you always fall short. You keep living out this pattern that leaves you feeling disappointed…maybe hopeless.