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A Dysregulated Dance

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>> Hi. It's nice to connect with you again. In this lecture, we're going to round out this module and some of the biological factors that might connect with emotional eating. As we've discussed emotions, stress, and disrupting natural cycles like circadian rhythms can dysregulate metabolic processes in the body. This lecture focuses on chemical messengers that influence food choices, appetite, digestion as well as potential impacts of common emotional eating habits. Let's start with a few simple definitions. Chemical messengers are compounds that transmit signals. In short, they tell the body what to do. Hormones are chemical messengers produced by glands in the endocrine system that are transported through the bloodstream to signal different parts of the body to carry out their specific functions. Neurotransmitters are part of the nervous system. They send signals between nerve cells to communicate information. The brain uses them to tell other organs to function. Are you with me? Again, you don't have to memorize this, but you might find it beneficial. The first important chemical messenger we'll discuss today is neuropeptide-Y or NPY, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain. NPY regulates food intake, what and how much we eat, it motivates us to eat and it delays satiety by encouraging us to eat more. Remember leptin, the satiety hormone? Normally after you eat, leptin increases and inhibits NPY. NPY is typically highest in the morning but also receives a boost during deprivation like when we restrict food or diet. When our sugar stores, otherwise known as glycogen are low, NPY encourages us to eat and then drops when we do. But with excessive food intake, NPY levels remain high. In fact, there seems to be a correlation between high NPY levels and obesity. Why? Well, partly because high NPY motivates us to eat more. The second chemical messenger is cholecystokinin or CCK, which is a satiation hormone in the digestive system. The higher the level, the slower our digestion. The faster we feel full, the less food we eat. In other words, we have a lower appetite. Therefore, lower levels of CCK might mean that we don't feel as full after eating larger portions. One area of ongoing research is possible connections between CCK and disordered eating patterns such as restricting and overeating. Some eating habits can dysregulate the chemical dance, not only in terms of how much we eat but in terms of what we eat. Take NPY for example, NPY motivates us to eat carbohydrates, including sweets, by turning on our taste for them. If we delay NPY, it strikes with greater force later on. If we restrict food, skip meals, or feel emotionally stressed, the adrenal glands release corticosterone, a hormone that triggers NPY and in turn can create cravings for carbs and sweets. In addition, ghrelin, the hormone that signals hunger, activates the reward center in your brain for sweet and fatty foods. However, eating sugar, fructose in particular, doesn't suppress ghrelin, that means that your appetite continues even if your stomach is full. Have you ever eaten an entire box of candy or multiple cookies and still not felt satisfied? This is one of the reasons that you might recommend that your clients crowd out breakfast foods like sugary cereal and donuts which might lead them to consume many more calories later on. You know how restricting foods can often end up backfiring and making you even more preoccupied with restricting? Yes, this vicious cycle can keep you stuck both mentally and physically. This is why dieting is discouraged as a solution for individuals who binge. Let's bring pleasure into the equation. As it turns out, pleasure is important biologically as well as psychologically. Remember that CCK is a satiation hormone. It shuts down appetite when you feel satisfied. Satiation is somehow connected with pleasure, right? If we don't enjoy what we're eating, we might reach for more pleasurable foods to feel satisfied. This is often psychological. However, there also appears to be a biological component at work. If we don't feel satisfied, NPY increases appetite. In other words, if you're dieting, NPY wants you to eat carbs. Have you ever gone out to eat and, in an attempt to be healthy, ordered something like salad instead of the burger and fries you really wanted and then found yourself snacking on chips when you got home? This explains why. For clients who have a tendency to binge or eat compulsively ordering the dish they really want rather than trying to restrict might help them consume fewer calories and feel better in the long run. Side note, galanin is a neuropeptide that motivates us to eat fat. It increases fat cravings specifically in the evening. Again, dieting and depriving the body of fat boosts galanin often leading to overeating later on. However, galanin isn't as crucial as other chemicals in this complicated dance. Insulin, on the other hand, is a key player. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels. When you eat food, your body digests it and turns it into glucose so the body can use it. Insulin clears the glucose from the bloodstream by signaling cells to absorb it. However, various factors can contribute to insulin resistance an important components of diabetes, some of which include obesity, diet, inflammation, stress, and lack of sleep. Insulin resistance is impaired insulin sensitivity. It means that sugar remains in the bloodstream because high levels of inflammation block cells from receiving it. This leads to lower glucose tolerance and increase blood sensitivity to sugar, which over time can lead to increased appetite, weight gain, and eventually stress-related inflammation like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Consider insulin one more piece of the puzzle. You'll notice that I'm talking a lot about stress. That's because insulin and stress are connected. Increased cortisol levels, aka stress, increase insulin circulating in the body. This causes blood sugar to rise and puts the body in a proinflammatory state. In simple terms, it causes the body to store fat, specifically that stubborn visceral fat that we discussed earlier, which is specifically found in the midsection. Again, it's a vicious cycle because visceral abdominal fat also contributes to insulin resistance, increased cortisol, and overeating, partly because this can also lead to leptin resistance making us less aware of satiety signals. In short, inflammation and weight gain affect each other. Eating too much at night, snacking too often, eating large portions, and eating certain types of food can all contribute. Sound familiar? These are the most common eating patterns of individuals who struggle with emotional eating. Knowing this won't resolve their problems, but bringing awareness and strategy to the table can be an important component of a long-term solution. How are you doing with this? I know, it can seem complicated, and that's okay. You don't have to memorize this. And you don't even have to understand it all. The key points matter most and you'll have them on your Recap handout. There are many potential biochemical players that help regulate what, when, and how much we eat. Emotional eating can disrupt this hormonal orchestra leading to a host of issues. It can also explain why clients might gain more weight even if they're making healthy choices. Again, your clients might not see connections between their eating habits and their emotions. All we know is that they can't stop. So sometimes it's helpful to bring in some science to help them see the bigger picture. As a Health Coach, always remember scope of practice. For example, hormone cycles, including the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, medications, and medical conditions can alter hunger. So be sure to refer clients to professionals who can support them in this capacity and collaborate with healthcare providers when possible. At the end of the day, remember your supportive role. You can help clients break their psychological and biological cycles through self-awareness, self-empowerment, and exploring a wide variety of options based on that particular client's personality, values, goals, and a myriad of other variables. It's one size fits none, even when it comes to a lot of the science. To practice the material this week, we're asking you to apply some of this to Teresa, our weekly case study, using a coaching partner who can role play. Yes, a new twist to encourage creative coaching. We've included details to guide you in the Skill Building Activity section of your Learning Center. Send out your experiences in the Facebook group. And as always, share this material with someone in your life who might appreciate it. I'll see you again soon.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 59 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 10
Posted by: integrativenutrition on Mar 14, 2019

A Dysregulated Dance

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