Do you eat when you are upset or stressed and feel guilty about it later and wonder why you did it? Do you put weight on during stressful periods in your life despite how you eat or how much exercise you do? Well, it’s not your fault! And this blog discusses why.
Is the only thing between you and a large packet of chips, a family block of chocolate and a tub of ice cream, a short drive to the servo? The real question, however, is why are you craving these foods?
According to Chinese medicine, your physiology drives your psychology – in other words the health of your organs has a big influence over your mental state and your behaviour. If the health of an organ is not what it should be, this can easily drive cravings and over-eating. Let’s look at the common ones:
- Poor Spleen or Stomach function – if you crave the sweet things in life, your spleen and or stomach function isn’t right. You may find you also carry too much weight, feel heavy and groggy when you get up in the morning, have a bit of a foggy head, have sinus problems or snore. You may also have any of bloating, general gastritis, reflux and possibly even nausea. Your Spleen and Stomach crave sweet foods when they aren’t functioning correctly.
- Poor Kidney function – if you crave salty foods like potato chips, savory biscuits, cheese, etc… your Kidney function probably isn’t right. You also find any of a sore lower back, sciatica, sore knees, sore bones/joints, urinary issues, deafness, tinnitus, bowel problems, fertility/conception issues, asthma, hot at night, unwanted sweating, insufficient will power, determination and tenacity, poor memory or low sex drive. Your Kidney craves salty foods when it isn’t functioning correctly.
- Poor liver function can also contribute to emotional eating. The liver is like the fence to your emotions – when your liver is strong, your emotional fence is up and you can cope with a lot of what life is throwing at you. If your liver is weak or not functioning well, your emotional fence is down and things can really bother you and get to you easily. You are more likely to get upset, which is more likely to trigger emotional eating. If you get easily irritated or frustrated or even angry, or you tend towards depression, then your liver function is probably not right.
Weak Heart function can also have a similar affect.
Stress and Weight Gain
If you are highly stressed and tend to put a lot of weight on around the middle it’s likely that your adrenals are over-stimulated and are pumping out too much cortisol. Eventually your adrenals will be exhausted and so will you. High stress levels also stimulate over-eating through the mechanisms discussed above.
It’s Not Your Fault
If you over-eat resulting in too much weight, it’s not your fault. The problem is that one (or a number) of your organs are not functioning properly leading to cravings and the need to eat. In Chinese medicine your organ health governs your mental and emotional health.
Breaking the Cycle to Lose Weight
Chinese medicine (through pulse diagnosis) is very good at determining which of your organs are not functioning well and then treating you with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. By strengthening your organs and returning their function back to normal, you are far less likely to crave foods or binge eat. Couple this with a reasonable diet and some exercise and you should be able to lose weight naturally again.