Emotional Eating and Food Addictions

Emotional eating and food addictions can combine with cortisol creating a double whammy for rapid weight gain under times of high stress.

The stress hormone cortisol may reduce basal metabolic rate over time and the increased calories from emotional eating combine to exacerbate the problem.

Sometimes hunger isn’t the trigger for eating. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you crave?
  • Why do you eat?
  • What is your vulnerable time for snacking or overeating?

The overwhelming urge to continue to eat high sugar foods or dairy based food groups can stem from a newly researched arena of nutrition. The identification of morphine receptors in the human brain led scientists to the discovery that some people convert wheat based foods into a morphine like substance called, appropriately, gliadomorphine. Others will do the same with dairy based foods, converting them into their own feel-good hormone called beta casein morphine. If left undetected this can create an ongoing unstoppable urge for more of the culprit food as these people feed their habit.

Chocoholics and ice cream lovers, bread and biscuit addicts need to take special note. Once identified there may be a short period of withdrawal symptoms while these individuals wean themselves off their ‘fix’. Our practitioners can support those people, who will have a larger than average detox in the first 3 to5 days of our weight loss program as they are weaned of their foods of addiction.  In the same way as morphine can create daily fatigue once free of the culprit foods, these people can experience markedly improved levels of energy.


Learned Behaviour and Weight Gain

By Dr Karen Coates

Were you told by your parents that you had to finish EVERYTHING on your plate before leaving the table, no matter how full you felt? Did you come from a family where refusal of food was seen as an insult to the cook? We develop lifelong habits from our family of origin. Despite all good intentions these habits may not serve us well as stressed adults carrying extra weight around our middle.

Our relationship with food goes beyond that of pure nourishment. There are positive cultural and social aspects to the dinner table that feed not only the body but also the soul. But sometimes our relationship becomes toxic and creates a pathway to poor health.

Studies in neurophysiology tell us that it takes about six weeks to change brain pathways of learned behaviours, and a further six weeks to consolidate newer more positive behaviours.

The choices we encourage you to make during our 6week weight loss program allow you to identify unhelpful connections with food and set you on a different and positive pathway. The weeks following fat burn require an important commitment in order to cement theses new patterns of behaviour into the future. This is made all the easier because of the positive changes already occur in as a result of clean food an impassive weight loss on the fat burn phase of the program.

One in Four Australians are obese

One in four Australians aged 18 years and over were obese in 2007-08, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Since 1995, the rate of obesity has risen from 19% to 24%, with men gaining weight faster than women.

There were just as many people overweight (37%) as there were people of normal weight (37%) in 2007-08, a slight shift from 1995 when there were more people of normal weight (41%) than there were people overweight (38%).

Rates of obesity were related to a number of environmental and socio-economic conditions: A third of Australian adults living in areas of most disadvantage were obese (33%), almost double that of people in areas of least disadvantage (17%). People who had not completed Year 12 were more likely to be obese (31%) than those who had completed this level of education (19%). More adults in outer regional and remote Australia were obese (31%) than those in major cities (23%).

When data on overweight and obesity are combined, the picture of increasing weight gain in Australians becomes more evident. In 2007-08, 61% of adult Australians were overweight or obese. This rate was higher for men (68%) than women (55%), and higher for older people than younger people. Three-quarters of 65-74 year olds were overweight or obese (75%) compared with 37% of 18-24 year olds.

The consequences of this level of overweight and obesity are increased risks of chronic health conditions, increased health service use and increased mortality.

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)