Part 1: Why do we Binge Eat?

This is part one of a two-part series on emotional (binge eating).

What we do to our bodies on the outside is a reflection of how we feel on the inside.

Action-oriented solutions such as diet plans or supplements might work temporarily to manage our binge behavior, but by no means heal the underlying problem.

The problem is not with our diet or exercise habits; it is in how we handle our emotional challenges.

To stop the emotional eating (binge eating) we have to learn how to sit with our uncomfortable feelings.

“It wasn’t until I decided to dig deep and get real with my feelings that my emotional eating stopped.” - Coach Kati

The Motivational Triad (or why our brain responds to food the way it does).

Our human brain is evolutionarily driven to survive.

It acts on this drive in three ways: It seeks pleasure; It avoids pain; It wants to be as efficient as possible.

1. Seeking Pleasure Our diets contain more highly processed foods than 100 years ago. These options contain either a high volume of sugars or compounds that are easily converted to sugars. When we eat sugar, our brain releases dopamine (pleasure).

2. Avoiding Pain

Your brain wants to survive in the easiest way and utilize the least amount of energy. It doesn’t want to burn compounds that take more effort (fat stores), because expending the energy it takes to burn fat is a form of stress on the body. Our brains will resist doing hard work or experiencing stress and opt for what feels comfortable in the moment.

3. Efficiency

In an emotionally exhausting situation (depression, stress, anxiety, physical discomfort), your body depletes the glucose from your brain FIRST because it is the easiest energy to use. Your brain is then going to want to replace the glucose immediately. It wants to feel good, and it wants to feel good quick. When you are surrounded by food that it hyper-palatable, it makes sense that you are going to turn to food to regulate and manage your emotions.

Using food to rush through or push away what it actually going through your body, is not a permanent solution. That emotion will always going to come back to you.

After all the cookies are gone and your brain is completely overloaded with sugar, you are still left with the underlying emotional challenges that drove you to overeat in the first place.

In the context of motherhood…

It takes a TON of energy (glucose in the brain) to manage the emotional needs of other people. Sleep deprivation and less time for oneself only adds to this neurological drive to consume sugar in food or alcohol. Cut yourself some slack, and ditch the shame.

Want to know how to STOP the emotional overeating?

Head on over to this post!

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