Who hasn’t come home after a long day and eaten an entire tub of ice cream, four glasses of wine, and every crumb out of a chip bag? It’s no secret that most of us seek out our favorite foods after facing stress or exhaustion, and celebrities do the exact same thing! But a new report explains why this is such a dangerous habit, and the science of why that blend of carbohydrates, fats, and sodium hit the spot. Expert Judith Wurtman explains that these foods, “set off a series of chemical reactions that ultimately lead to a boost in brain serotonin.” The report continues, “The higher levels of serotonin, the more content you feel . . . we are more physically vulnerable to these triggers . . . during periods of stress.” If something is in our body’s chemistry, surely it can’t be dangerous right?
We’ve seen the fall of so many celebrities who struggle with self worth, social pressure, and demanding schedules. Demi Lovato sought out help after an eating disorder and self mutilation made it impossible to continue working. Leann Rimes has admitted that she looks in the mirror and sees a fat woman. Kristie Allie has been on every weight loss plan but never manages to keep the weight off.
What do these stars have in common? They turn to food when stressed, and then punish themselves for the indulgence. The report explains why this is unhealthy: “If you feel bad about eating a scoop of ice cream, excess guilt may lead you to eat the whole carton. Now you’ve destroyed any pleasure you had . . . Dieters who ate according to internal emotional cues, such as loneliness . . . lost less weight over time and were more likely to get it back.”
So how can we eat around this? The study encourages finding alternative activities to do when emotional, like taking a walk. Setting specific food rewards for achievements will help you portion in advance, and give you time to consider any potential guilt for the treat. Finally, balance your main meals with plenty of fruits, veggies, and grains to fill you up. There’s no reason to end up on a celebrity rehab program because of an unhealthy love for fatty foods!
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