Friday, October 3, 2008

Dr. Mercola Poses the Question: Are You Thinking Yourself into Gaining Weight?

Does mental activity, especially those that require analysis and creative thinking cause you to gain weight? Dr. Mercola says that “thinking” may have something to do with weight gain!

A taxing day of mental work can be as physically exhausting as actual physical work! So you can say that “thinking hard” can also increase appetite. Research has shown that mental work actually “destabilizes” your insulin and glucose levels, and that’s what may be causing the increase in appetite and subsequently - eating.

For now, it’s safe to say that there are many factors we can look at, that leads to increased appetite, and many are connected to your mind.

Dr. Mercola
Explains What Your Mind Has to Do With It

One of the states of mind that leads to more eating is stress (remember, mental challenges also induce stress). Everyone can relate to this truth, and to a certain extent this response is hard-wired into you.

Researchers found that when rats are chronically stressed, they release glucocorticoid steroid hormone (cortisol in humans) which leads them to engage in pleasure-seeking behaviors - which includes eating high-energy foods. When they eat these foods, they develop abdominal obesity - but the negative aspects of chronic stress were not as sharp!

It is normal to want to relieve stress but not at the expense of physical health! Abdominal obesity or “belly fat”, may naturally result from increased food intake, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and more. Nipping stress in the bud at its core is a much better solution than calming your nerves with a big, greasy slice of pizza!

In addition, stress is not the only culprit that leads you to eat more. A 2004 study by British researchers found that about half of adults turn to food in times of boredom and loneliness!

Does This Mean Mental Work Leads to Weight Gain?

Dr. Mercola answers “no.” But being aware that your appetite may be awakened after a long, arduous meeting or hours at the computer is something to bear in mind. If you feel hungry, then you should eat something. Just see to it that it is something that will actually provide your body with nutrition! Determining your nutritional type, and eating accordingly, is the only way to feel satisfied, give your body the nutrients it needs -- without having to worry about gaining weight.

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