While some people may lose their appetite and are unable to eat when faced with stress or other negative emotions, plenty more reach for sugary and carbohydrate heavy foods, like chips, cookies or doughnuts. Stress, or emotional eating, is an attempt to suppress or soothe unpleasant feelings, which along with stress can include anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, loneliness, fatigue and even boredom. Comfort foods do not only elicit immediate enjoyable sensations- albeit only briefly- but are also often tied to emotions and happy memories. Negative emotions can become so linked to poor eating habits that people often instinctively reach for a handful of pretzels or slice of cake whenever they become stressed without realizing what they are doing.
The experienced team at Lakeshore Renewal first teach patients to recognize the triggers that prompt them to turn to unhealthy comfort foods. Once those triggers are identified, the weight loss specialist can assist each patient in developing his or her own alternative plan for handling these emotions when they arise. No single strategy will work for everybody. For one person calling a close friend may be the answer, while for another taking a brisk walk around the block may do the trick.
Serotonin absolutely plays a role. Stress and other strong emotions can deplete serotonin levels, which increase cravings for carbohydrate-laden foods. This becomes a vicious and unproductive cycle. Stress causes serotonin levels to drop, which leads to emotional eating. Emotional eating contributes to weight gain, which perpetuates frustration, prompting a greater decrease in serotonin levels, and so on. To combat this, Lakeshore Renewal offers the highly-effective Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program which encompasses the use of a specially formulated and patented serotonin supplement, along with an FDA-approved appetite suppressant, to tackle cravings at a physiological level.
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