Christmas overeating: why do we again and again want to eat

What many associate the holidays? With abundant food. These days we eat a lot, eat often, and what is interesting: no matter how much we ate the next day (or even the same day) we again want to eat. Why? In our case the stretching of the stomach? All of these questions looking for answers the publication of the BBC.

Новогоднее переедание: почему нам снова и снова хочется есть

Photo: Depositphotos

If you think about it, it looks quite strange: the next day after a big obiralovka we can again eat as much. And because we again want to, as if we forgot how our stomach was hard.

Why we feel hunger even after such feasts as Christmas and the new year’s feast? So is overeating stretches our stomach that it is already the next day there are more places for food?

The answer is simple: we feel hunger in spite of the huge amount of food that was consumed the day before, and thanks to him.

That generally is the feeling of hunger? The urge that drives you to eat — is the result of a certain number of physiological changes in your body.

Yes, it’s true: the stomach varies in size depending on whether it is complete or empty.

The stomach shrinks when food is digested, to help her pass on into the intestinal tract. He purrs when the air and the food in it move around as food is pushed below. After that the stomach is expanding again, he’s ready to eat — that is the job of hormones.

But what food makes our stomach longer, stretch it — not quite. Our stomach is very elastic, and even after a hearty lunch, it returns to its original volume (from 1 to 2 liters).

In fact most people stomach has roughly the same amount — regardless of our height or weight.

What we may not realize, is the work of hormones hunger NPY (neuropeptide Y) and AgRP is synthesized in the hypothalamus, and ghrelin, in the stomach.

Ghrelin is released when the stomach is empty, and it stimulates synthesis in the brain NPY and AgRP. The last two of the hormone responsible for creating feelings of hunger, which interrupts the work of those hormones, which are responsible for the feeling of satiety.

Perhaps it is strange that the level of ghrelin may be higher in lean people and lower in full. It would seem that the hunger hormone should a larger number be present in those who eats more. But this contradiction reflects how complex our endocrine system.

So, for hunger answer basically just three hormones, while the feeling of fullness — more than ten. Two of them, GIP and GLP-1 stimulate insulin production to control carbohydrate metabolism.

Several hormones are responsible for the decrease in the rate of movement of food through the digestive tract, which gives our body time to digest food. Two of them play a major role in reducing hunger: CKK PYY and.

But even if our stomach has a hormone system alerts that it is empty, often bringing the acquired knowledge derived Association referencing the time of day when the “need” to feel hungry.

Thus, even if you had a big meal in the afternoon, in time for dinner, you again want.

“If you take a chocolate bar or chips, when you sit on the couch watching TV, your body gets used to associate sitting on the couch with delicious food. As a result, as soon as you sit in front of the TV, you feel hunger, explains Karolien van den Akker, researcher at Centerdata (Netherlands). — This happens even when you are full”.

Overeating as such is not so bad, says van den Akker. In contrast to the clinical diagnosis of “binge eating” (binge) in which a person often feels a sense of guilt or shame, ordinary overeating is simply a habit that can be overcome.

But “purchased hunger” can make such an achievement very difficult.

When we get used to the pleasure of food (especially foods high in sugar) at certain times of the day, combined with a certain smell, a certain situation and behavior, every memory about such things awakens the appetite.

It is not only a psychological but also a physiological response — salivation, like the proverbial Pavlov’s dogs. People in this sense are not much different from dogs.

Was an experiment conducted where people were shown a simple image, circles and squares. When they saw the squares, they were given chocolate, and afterwards, whenever they saw a square, they wanted chocolate.

And chocolate is to develop such a “hunger” to give very little — 1-2 grams, for four days. To get used easily, notes van den Akker, but to wean heavier.

Sometimes even our moods, our emotions can trigger a psychological trigger. People often say that losing control over how much they eat when they are in a bad mood or tired.

In principle, any mood, even the good can be a trigger that triggers an automatic behavioural response in the form of hunger, if in this mood you are constantly eating something.

During the experiments, was not once shown that we eat more. Perhaps because the pleasure of the society of friends reduces the concentration to control how much we eat.

Even in the laboratory, when people were given a plate of pasta, they ate more in the presence of a friend with whom you can chat.

The knowledge of all this helps to deal with such habits. “When we’re trying to help people eat less, we focus on weaning from acquired habits, says van den Akker. — We explain to them that eating once something is delicious, it is not necessary to repeat this experience in the next days to fix the habit.”

And this is important: other studies have shown that only one time breaking the habit to eat, we quickly slip into the habit of eating properly.

So, perhaps, there is nothing surprising in the fact that the next day after a hearty family dinner with family and friends, we again feel hungry. And then on the same day, for dinner.

It’s not because we have stretched the stomach, but because we have accustomed oneself to eat a lot on holidays.

When our brain receives the appropriate signals — the smells, images, sounds, with whom he associated Christmas or New year, he is again ready to battle, to a great meal at any of the public holidays.