“There is no love more sincere than that of food”. This ironic phrase by Irish playwright and journalist George Bernard Shaw (1956-1950) illustrates the longest romance in history: that of the human being for food. Eating is one of the greatest human pleasures. When eating, there is a generalized release of serotonin (satiety and pleasure substance) by the body. That is, the pleasure of eating food is instantaneous.
Eating is also a collective pleasure, it is not for nothing that many people say that life happens around the table. Those who are on a diet and have an active social life find it more difficult to avoid temptations.
The number of overweight adults and children in Brazil increases every year according to the Vigitel survey (Surveillance of Risk and Protection Factors for Chronic Diseases by Telephone Survey) carried out since 2006 by the Ministry of Health. Currently it indicates that 49% of Brazilians are overweight and 16% of them are obese.
For psychologist Germano Rosa, overweight in particular can be linked to emotional factors and bad eating habits that cause false hunger, a hungry reaction in situations where eating was associated with situations in which it originally was not.
Psychologist Germano and nutritionist Aline Costa listed twelve reasons why people believe they are hungry. Check it out below:
1. You are dehydrated
You know that hunger that doesn’t go away? Maybe she is thirsty. To avoid this feeling, nutritionist Aline Costa gives the tip: “Stop and think before giving in to food. Drink a glass of water and only then will you be able to distinguish hunger from thirst and gradually learn what you really need”. The psychologist Germano completes “True hunger reacts to typical bodily and environmental stimuli. Stomach growling and salivation at pre-set feeding times, that’s hunger,” he says. To avoid this situation, Aline remembers that feeling thirsty is a sign that your body is already dehydrating, so you should drink liquids even before feeling thirsty.
2. You spend your day looking at food Instagrams
The Journal of Neuroscience published research in which it was shown that exposure to images of good-looking dishes activates the part of the brain responsible for craving, and the result is usually a little overindulgence at the next meal. “Images of delicious food will almost always awaken and stimulate hunger, as our body is conditioned to respond in this way to sensory stimuli”, says the psychologist. For the nutritionist, in addition to avoiding these images, the ideal is to be well fed, fractioning meals into small portions ingested every 3 hours.
3. Are you anxious or stressed?
Two of the most common causes of binge eating (when you eat a lot when you don’t need to) are anxiety and stress. Both sensations can cause you to eat too much or too little. “Stress and anxiety can only indirectly stimulate hunger; in people who learned that in the face of stress or anxiety, the resource to satisfy them would be to eat. To detect stress, it is interesting that the person starts to notice their own behaviors. Tense reactions and a feeling of being too worn out are typical behaviors of a ‘stressed person’”, observes Germano. The nutritionist recommends a diet rich in fiber and foods that stimulate the production of leptin, the satiety hormone, present in raw ginger, silver banana, whole grains and cereals, cocoa, alfalfa sprouts, and unsweetened green juices. , between others. More briefly, a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins, avoiding processed foods.
4. You eat in front of the TV
The habit is highly criticized by nutritionists, because in this situation you end up eating more than normal and without realizing it, as you are distracted. The psychologist highlights yet another aggravating factor: “Feeding and being present at the same time in front of the television stimulus teaches our body that it must feel hungry in this situation. That is, in future situations, it is possible that starvation will occur in front of the TV. It is the same mechanism when we learn to be afraid when we see a mouse or a cockroach”, he exemplifies.
5. You are lacking in nutrients
It is called Hidden Hunger a disease caused by the lack of certain nutrients in the body. One in four people suffer from this disease according to the World Health Organization. The diagnosis is made by a blood test and the treatment of the disease is simpler than its diagnosis: food supplementation, diet diversification and physical exercises.
6. You have PMS
Women during the period of premenstrual syndrome and pregnant women experience specific cravings that are related to the load of hormones that the body receives in these particular situations. Be careful that these desires do not result in extra pounds on the scale.
7. Are you sad?
Unresolved passions and difficulties in resolving personal conflicts are directly related to changes in serotonin levels, the pleasure hormone that is released when we eat. Eating when you’re sad can be an instant relief, but this behavior tends to cause a lot of problems in the short and long term, so avoid eating to “compensate” for a sad event.
8. You sleep little
Some studies indicate that people who sleep less than 8 hours a night tend to be overweight from eating larger than normal portions. The relationship between sleep and overweight has not been directly confirmed, as it could be linked to other health factors that even people who sleep more, who are therefore healthier, could have.
9. You’re Eating Too Much Sugar
Sugar can be the great villain of diets, according to Aline Costa because, in addition to being caloric, it activates the body’s “need” to ingest more sugar. “The more sugar you consume, the greater the desire for that food. Leptin is a hormone that controls the satiety that a person feels, foods with a high sugar content impair this performance”, she explains.
10. You do a lot of happy hour
A piece of advice from nutritionist Aline Costa is to reflect on your programs and outings, which do not always have to involve food, especially unhealthy ones. Happy hour is full of delicious and caloric temptations, so care must be taken not to overdo these events.
11. You are procrastinating
Sometimes food is just an excuse to not have to fill in a blank sheet of paper, write a boring text, start a job. Everyone is aware that procrastinating doesn’t solve it, but if you want to do it anyway, look for a plate of salad and not a chocolate bar.
12. You talk a lot about food
Do we get hungry when we’re talking about food, or are we talking about food when we’re hungry? For psychologist Germano Rosa, both alternatives are possible. “When we talk about food, our body reacts to the verbal and image stimuli of this speech, that is, we can be hungry. And talking about food can bring an advance on the pleasure of eating just for this memory of what it’s like to eat”, he concludes.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
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