Many studies affirm what any failed dieter knows well: stress is a trigger for the consumption and overconsumption of calorie-dense, usually nutrient-weak foods. When we are stressed, we lose control of our ability to say “no” to unhealthy choices and it’s harder to stop when we feel full.
from medical and nutritional professionals.
Serotonin Power Blog
If snacking is just driven not by hunger or a desire to taste chocolate chip cookies, but by an individual’s emotional need, as it so often is, then a relaxed, restrained, Zen-like approach to selecting snacks may be difficult to achieve.
Anyone who has eaten when frustrated, angry, bored, worried, exhausted, lonely, or depressed—but not hungry—has engaged in emotional eating
(So that makes most of us.) And for most, the food eaten is less likely to be steamed broccoli, poached chicken breast, or fat-free yogurt and far more likely to be a member of the so-called carbohydrate junk food family.
Side effects from medications are common, although usually not severe enough to halt treatment. Anyone who has listened, perhaps unwillingly, to a recital of side effects associated with a television advertisement for a medication is aware of the number of health problems that might arise while taking that particular drug. But unless the side effect is death (the announcer always seems to mumble at this point), one assumes most of these adverse events go away when the medication is no longer taken.
As I was walking past the Vitamin section of CVS, I heard the word serotonin pass between a young man and a saleswoman. “I can’t find any 5HTP on the shelf,” he was telling her, “…You know, the stuff that makes serotonin? I need some for stress!” She peered at the supplement stocked shelves and nodded. “We must be all out,” she responded. “But there is a health food store a few blocks away. Maybe they have some.”
The woman who came to see me for weight loss, let’s call her Ann, was about 40 pounds overweight and frustrated, in her words, by, “…a lifetime of weight loss followed by weight gain.” Her problem, she thought, was that when she felt hungry she liked to eat protein because it filled her up. But then she still wanted to eat carbohydrates even though she was full from the protein.
How many times have we said this to ourselves or others as we plan lunch or dinner? (Very few people are in the mood for anything except more sleep in the morning). Sometimes the “mood” for a particular type of ethnic cooking or a prime piece of beef is heightened because the meal is celebratory, or a respite between bouts of unrelenting work or home meal preparation.