We’ve all been there.
Rifling through the pantry. Scrounging through the freezer. Standing in the darkness with the light of the refrigerator illuminating your guilty silhouette.
You’re not alone if sometimes, especially during times of stress and uncertainty, you find yourself acting like some sort of food zombie, mindlessly eating your heart out.
Overeating affects people all across the world. In fact, 2.1 billion people in 188 countries, which is about one-third of the world’s population, suffer from obesity. And that number keeps rising.
So, what is causing this? Why are you Googling, “Why can’t I stop stuffing my face?”
The answer is simple, yet complex. It’s little things that you are doing in your everyday life. And chances are, you don’t even realize you’re doing them!
Here are 5 reasons you might be asking yourself, “Why can’t I stop stuffing my face?”
1. Not Getting Enough Sleep
This shouldn’t be a news flash to anyone. You need your rest. Major bodily functions happen during sleep time, including the production of hormones. Two hormones in particular that rely on the sleep cycle are ones that regulate hunger.
- Ghrelin: Stimulates appetite
- Leptin: Decreases appetite
In a balanced system, levels of ghrelin and leptin should remain even. However, when you lack sleep, your whole system begins to unravel. In response, ghrelin levels begin to spike, which consequently causes leptin levels to plunge. This causes us to feel hungry.
One other way lack of sleep affects our eating habits is that getting less sleep causes a spike in the creation of lipids known as endocannabinoids. The release of these chemicals has an affect on the brain akin to that of marijuana. It gives you cravings reminiscent of getting the munchies, which for some is a very specific answer to the “Why can’t I stop stuffing my face?” question.
It’s recommended that we get 7-9 hours of sleep a day. In order to achieve this, many people turn to over-the-counter medicines for a quick fix. However, that is just what it is – a quick fix. One that can become habit-forming, which can then cause you to pop more pills as you chase that restful night’s sleep.
Instead of popping addictive sleep aids, try supplementing with non-habit forming natural remedies such as Tranquility Labs’ Sleep Fast. Through the use of natural chemicals that our body actually creates, such as melatonin, you can regulate your sleep cycles. Once that is under control, your sweet tooth should also begin to subside.
2. Not Drinking Enough Water
The next time you feel hungry when you think you shouldn’t be, ask yourself, “Why do I want to stuff my face?” and, “Am I thirsty?” We sometimes get our signals mixed when there is a rumble in the belly. Our body may actually be calling out for water instead of food. However, in cases where we are actually thirsty, we choose to eat over drink 62% of the time.
What’s even more alarming is that we forget as humans why we eat in the first place. The reason we eat is for energy. So, we get forms of energy through sugary or caffeinated beverages. Then we simultaneously ingest food, which also gives us energy. Therefore we get extra calories with a side case of the jitters. Getting too much energy and not enough hydration causes our system to go into overdrive.
Water is also a much more filling alternative than a milky latte or a sugary energy bar. It’s also another form of energy that leaves your body feeling full. So much so that a study with obese participants recorded in their results,
“We conclude that for overweight or obese middle-aged and older adults, consuming 2 cups of water prior to each of the three main daily meals may increase weight loss when combined with a hypocaloric diet, as compared to a hypocaloric diet alone.”
3. Poor Diet
- Too many refined carbs
- Not enough protein and fat
We eat sugary cereals in the morning, bready sandwiches for lunch, and greasy takeout for dinner. This is all nutrient-deficient foods. You need foods that will fill you up and not give you all the unwanted calories. The ideal meal would include foods high in fiber and protein.
That would mean turning toward seeds, legumes, fats, and whole grains. These all contain complete proteins. Supplement your body with nutrients it can’t create on its own such as Omega-3. This fatty acid is pivotal to optimal health and can be found in supplements such as CogniDHA Fish Oil.
4. Eating Too Quickly
The answer to your “Why can’t I stop stuffing my face?” dilemma could also be that you’re eating too fast. After all, it takes 20 minutes for your body to register the fact that it is full in the first place.
When your food reaches the intestines, it releases a hormone called cholecystokinin. As this hormone interacts with the hormone leptin, it tells the brain that you are full. From there, leptin interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine, which gives the body a sense of happiness.
A way to slow down is to chew your food 20 times before taking another bite.
5. Too Much Stress
Short-term stress actually suppresses appetite. Much like poor diets breed worse ones, stress also breeds stress. As our bodies become conditioned to anticipate stress, it creates more stress in the process.
A body under stress produces the hormone cortisol. As stress becomes chronic, cortisol begins to reign supreme over all other hormones, including hunger. Therefore, as stress builds, the appetite suppression succumbs to cortisol. In turn, not only do we feel more hungry, but we also begin to chase the feelings that were caused by the release of dopamine that was once brought about by eating. In those moments of eating, we feel less stress.
So, HOW Can I Stop Stuffing My Face?
Who doesn’t love food? We all do and we need it to survive. Not to mention that it is just so tasty! However, there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.”
If you’re asking yourself, “Why can’t I stop stuffing my face?”, the reason is that there’s a bunch of triggers in everyday life that cause humans to use food as a scapegoat. When we have a lack of sleep, are dehydrated, eat poorly and too quickly, and live with too much stress, we turn to food. Time and time again.
How often do you find yourself stuffing your face? What are some of those guilty pleasures? Let us know in the comments below!