Hormones & healthy resolutions: how do you reduce stress and avoid binge eating?

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For good health:
We are here! The new year is off to a good start! First of all I would like to wish you a loving, successful but above all energetic 2021. A year in which you can realize your best dreams. Just by going step by step and keeping focus. Focus on what? Read on and read what I discovered last year.

If you can dream it, chances are you can make it happen.

Healthy resolutions never last long

I’m a big proponent of step-by-step, not giant leaps. Especially when it comes to changing something in your life. That is why I am not in favor of good intentions. There are many people who do this. They intend to stop eating or smoking sweets from January 1. Or go to the gym every week, don’t drink alcohol or stop ordering pizza and cooking your own food.

Did you know that 98% of New Year’s resolutions are already lost on February 1? Do you know why? Because we do this on willpower, and willpower is something that costs our body a lot of energy, so you can’t last long. It is not for nothing that healthy resolutions often go up in smoke at the end of the day, when we are tired.

Stress and shit cause unhealthy eating showers

One question I often get from my clients, especially at the beginning of a year, is how to get rid of binge eating. They put things in their mouths that they really don’t want in their bodies. It seems they have lost control. They decide to eat two chocolates, but within an hour the whole box of chocolates is empty. Or they still buy that bag of chips at the gas station. Do you recognize this? Isn’t this actually bizarre? How is this possible? What forces are at work when you eat things you know you will soon regret? However, if you know how hormones work in your body, this makes a lot of sense; almost impossible to avoid.

Stress craves extra energy

There are two forces at work when it comes to binge eating. The first is called stress and we are all familiar with it. More than 90% of complaints at a GP are related to stress. You don’t have much to say about your body when it’s faced with stress. Just as your body is always making sure you keep breathing, your heart beats and your liver performs its 400 functions, your body makes extra energy when you experience stress.

When you are under stress, your body produces the hormone cortisol, which acts like sugar in your body: cortisol provides extra glucose, which means extra energy for your cells. Hopefully with all that cortisol in your body you will run faster than your enemy if you decide to run or be stronger when it comes to fighting.

Prolonged stress craves extra energy over and over again

You want to keep your body alive for as long and as good as possible. Stress means you need extra energy to resist the ‘enemy’. Our survival mechanism really works perfectly. The problem, however, is that our current stress is often not short-term, but long-lasting. When the ‘enemy’ is your boss, your job, your partner, your long to-do list or financial problems, your body experiences constant stress.

A lot of stress in your life means that your body needs a lot of energy. Energy that it gets from the hormone cortisol, but also from food. Let all that unhealthy food give us a short boost of energy: sugars, sweets, chips, pizzas, croquette sandwiches, carbohydrates, alcohol, etc. You know what I mean. Food that gives you a short burst of energy, but destroys you in the long run.

A major enemy of a healthy diet is too much stress in your life

Shit craves a good feeling

The second force that makes it difficult to maintain a healthy diet I call ‘shit’. Shit is a feeling, an emotion. Shit is anything that doesn’t feel right in your life. Everything you could wish for differently. Shit is stress’s brother. Shit is a feeling. Shit is anything in your life that doesn’t make you happy.

Shit is more within you than it is outside of you. Shit is personal and can be deeply hidden. You may not even be aware of it. Shit is the feeling of powerlessness being stuck in a bad marriage. Shit is the sadness of loneliness. Shit is the frustration of not having an income of your own. Shit is the anger you feel when you read about child abuse. Shit is all the limiting beliefs about yourself that keep you smaller than you are.

eat Healthy

The addictive effect of food is hugely underestimated

Like stress, shit also causes binge eating. Shit craves a good feeling. We get this good feeling from neurotransmitters such as dopamine, acetylcholine and endorphins. These are substances that make us feel good. We also get the same good feeling from certain foods. Especially from a combination of fat and sweet with a little salt. No wonder that almost all processed foods consist of this combination!

Foods that are a combination of sweet and fat with a little salt provide a dopamine boost in your brain that is comparable to cocaine.

The food industry knows this very well. The addictive effect of processed foods is greatly underestimated. Nature does not give us a ready-made food consisting of fat, sweet with a little salt. It’s not for nothing: eating out of control is not good for us.

A good feeling is what we really need

How do you avoid those binge eating? How do you reduce stress and shit? I have discovered a unique method for this. Just think with me.

Everything we wish for ourselves, be it a healthy body, lots of money in the bank, a nicer house or a loving relationship, we wish for ourselves because we think it makes us feel good. No more binge eating is definitely a good feeling. Isn’t that what we all want? Feeling a little better? Suppose there were something that would make you feel better right away and which would also give you more energy in the long run?

Less stress and less shit. More energy and a good feeling. Do you want this too?

This is possible. This was my big discovery last year and I can tell you it works! I would like to share my discovery with you, but (disclaimer!)……………. this also goes step by step. This works just like working out at the gym or learning to play an instrument: the more often you do it, the better it will get.

Give yourself a regular shower of healing hormones

I already knew that positive emotions such as pleasure, appreciation, contentment, calmness, satisfaction and gratitude not only provide a good feeling (dopamine!) but also a shower of healing hormones in my body. These are hormones that restore my body, make it healthy and therefore give me energy in the long run, such as DHEA, growth hormone and serotonin. But how do you repeatedly evoke these fine and healing emotions?

Step 1 is to avoid negative emotions as much as possible. The world around us is mainly focused on everything that goes bad. Watch the news, read a newspaper or talk to ten random people and you know it. Even our health care does not focus on what is going well, but on everything that is not going well. This all evokes negative emotions. Be aware of this and distance yourself where possible.

I don’t read a newspaper, have no television, never watch the news and avoid people who grumble and complain. This gives me energy in the short term and health in the long term.

My discovery of 2020; focus on feeling good is a choice

Step 2 is to keep creating positive emotions as I mentioned above. I always found this difficult because I don’t always feel happy, grateful and satisfied. But I did know what always makes me feel good, such as a tidy house, a bunch of flowers on the table, running, laughing, dancing, a walk or a good conversation, to name a few.

My discovery was that having and keeping the focus on feeling good is a choice. I can focus on clutter in the house or on that bunch of flowers. I can keep my focus on an annoying conversation I’ve had or go for a run. I can hate something I didn’t do well or put on music and dance in my kitchen.

Focus is attention. What you focus on is a choice. You always have a choice.

The good news: feeling good is also addictive

By now I am completely hooked as Americans say to a good feeling. I’ve made a long list of things that make me feel good. Funnily enough, this list gets longer and longer. I am becoming more and more aware of what makes me feel good. Everything that gets attention grows!

Do you suffer from binge eating or are you struggling with your health? Make a list of everything that makes you feel good. The more effort you have to make a long list, the more it will benefit you! 

Do you actually know what makes you feel good? Sit down and write it down. Make a long list!

Most of the things on my list cost no money and hardly any time. Keep it small. A ten minute walk is also a walk. One clean kitchen drawer is also a tidier house. Eating an apple is also good for yourself.

Like binge eating, feeling good is also addictive. Will there be a binge? Drink a large glass of water and do something that makes you feel good. Calm your stress and shit hormones and give yourself a boost of feel-good healing hormones. And don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t always work, but see it as training: step by step you will get better at it. 

More and more beautiful things on your path

You know what I also found out last year? This is perhaps the greatest discovery yet. The better I master this, the more beautiful things appear on my path. Things that make me happy: nice encounters, an inspiring conversation, a wonderful book, a financial windfall, gifts in all kinds of areas. Positive energy attracts positive energy.

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