Negative emotions have a horrible effect on your bodies. They hinder digestion, create acidity, adversely effect self-confidence and body image. Notice that I left our the words “can cause”… reason being is because they DO. Not only does it effect your digestion but it can even cause weight gain.
If you ever find yourself feeling shame, guilt, or disgust during or after eating… your state of mind is going to effect your metabolism. The science behind this is the role of the hypothalamus. This is the part of your brain that harmonizes mental inputs along with biological processes that take place in your body.
These negative thoughts regarding what we are or did eat cause the hypothalamus to transmit negative signals. This turns into a form of self-punishment in both conscious and unconscious ways. This internal process discourages metabolic activity, slowing digestion and causing your body to store more calories as fat rather than burning them as energy.
Be Kind to Yourself
When you enjoy your food as you’re eating it and well after, your hypothalamus releases pleasure signals that stimulate your digestive organs, allowing your body to break the food down, absorb the nutrients, and burn the calories. So, if you ever find yourself feeling poorly after a meal, I recommend that you sit back and first search deep within and see if you are harbouring any negative emotions that are attached to that meal or food. There are always other factors that can come into play; allergic reactions, over-eating, eating highly processed foods, and so forth… but if you eat a healthy diet and still feel bad about what you ate… look at your emotions first, then take it from there. Bottom line… stop being mean to yourself. Befriend Yourself!
Think of it this way… If we spoke to our friends or loved ones the same way we talk to our bodies… we would not have any friends. So, filling yourself with thoughts like “this is going to make me so fat” while eating is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The reality of it all is that five of us could sit down to a meal and all have the same foods dished up on our plates… what’s really interesting here is that each of us will metabolise this same meal differently in response to our unique thoughts. So stop and ponder upon the fact that on how you think and feel about a food can be just as important as its nutritional value.
Food should be a source of pleasure and nutrients, not shame and guilt.
Yours in health, Maria Lucey, Nutritionist and Health coach