Battling Food Addiction Before Hitting Retirement Age Sunday, June 26th, 2016
Before your retirement, it’s important to keep yourself in tip-top shape. This is so that you can avoid the numerous diseases related to obesity. Exercising is a great way to reign in the extra pounds and to increase your endurance and strength. But before you hit the gym, you need to address another important factor in controlling your weight: unhealthy cravings and eating habits.
If your idea of destressing after work is curling up on the couch with a lot of sweets and salty comfort foods, then you aren’t alone. There are studies that show a link between depression and high sugar intake, especially in post-menopausal women. Also, people with depression or those who are under considerable stress tend to consume plenty of sugar- and fat-rich comfort foods to gain a temporary feeling of calmness and comfort.
The reason for this is a hormone called dopamine, which is released when the brain “rewards” you for doing something right, like eating. The release of dopamine is what makes sure we keep repeating actions that embolden our survival. We feel dopamine as a rush of pleasure, and our brains are constantly looking for ways to keep receiving dopamine.
Repeating an action that causes dopamine to be released into your system overloads the reward circuit in the brain. The brain reacts to the continuous surge of dopamine by removing some of the hormone’s receptors. Because you have fewer receptors, you need to eat more to achieve the same level of pleasure, and this is what jumpstarts the addiction. The craving can get to the point where you start to feel unhappy without ingesting junk food, similar to the withdrawal symptoms experienced by addicts.
You can start breaking the cycle of overeating by becoming more mindful of your cravings. From there, you can cut down on junk food and sugar intake. In due time and with healthy eating habits, your dopamine receptors will return to their normal baseline levels. In addition to that, you can still get that familiar rush of dopamine by eating healthy and filling foods.
Aside from cutting down on unhealthy food, it’s also a good idea to optimize your diet. Pair proper food intake with an exercise regime designed around your body type and health considerations. This way, you can better your chances of enjoying a lively, happy retirement life. But if none of these work, it may be high time to ask for some extra help. Check with our hormone replacement therapy clinic in Beverly Hills to find out if your eating habits or excess pounds are caused by hormone imbalance.
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