It’s Not You, It’s Your Endocannibinoids

You know how food always smells the best when you’re super hungry?

In a recent issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, French scientists have been looking at the why our brains do this…and they’ve found that it’s got to do with the same parts of the brain that react when we’re high.

When you diet, skip a meal or fast, your brain creates compounds called endocannibinoids. These are chemicals that drive you to eat. Turns out the brain receptors that create these endocannibinoids also amp up your smell.

The French team discovered this by testing mice. These brain receptors also made the mice more sensitive to odors when their tummies were empty or their brains were stoned.

The data suggest that the major way marijuana triggers the munchies, at least in mice, is through olfaction. For humans, we’re more complicated…there’s more than just smell at play that causes us to get the munchies. However, this demonstrates another way your brain can get triggered around food, smells of food or thoughts of food and urge you into binging.

This adds to my “binge eating myth” that binge eating is the result of emotions or stress, requiring therapy to overcome. Binge eating may not be so complicated. If your brain is triggered by the sight, smell or though of food and sending urges to eat driven by chemicals (endocannibinoids), you can learn to recognize when this is happening and choose another way to respond to those chemicals rather than caving into cravings.


If you want to learn how to break through your habit of overeating or binge eating, my Binge Eating Breakthrough ebook is for you. You'll learn powerful tools and distinctions to be able to understand and overcome your urges to eat more than you want. You'll also learn step-by-step strategies for managing your cravings and feeling control with food.


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