Ask Dr. Joy Miller: What's eating you?

By WEEK Producer

October 31, 2012 Updated Oct 31, 2012 at 8:19 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- What's eating you? In tonight's Ask Dr. Joy, we are looking at some symptoms that might lead to those extra pounds.

Here's what we know about being overweight: 

* Brain center that controls emotions and stress also governs our appetite
* Early life experiences set the stage for later overeating
* Those who easily experience negative feelings are likely to be overweight
* Impulsive people on the high end of the spectrum tend to be 24 pounds heavier than those who are low on impulsivity
* Those who are not agreeable tend to gain more weight
* Those who have poor emotional relationships with their mothers at a young age are two times more prone to being obese at age 15.

Are there some personality types that are more prone to being overweight?

Night owls: Tend to be sleep deprived and that drives down the hormones that monitor fullness. It fuels our appetite and changes our ability to process sugar. Night owls tend to miss breakfast and sets up night time eating

Stress lovers: These people thrive on deadlines and pressure. It gives them a rise in their adrenaline and cortisol and it feels like a high. This pressure cooker tends to stimulate the brain and boosts carbohydrate cravings and tends to churn excess insulin that accumulates fat, especially belly fat

The co-dependent: This person puts everyone ahead of themselves and their own needs. They feel emotional depleted and tend to use food as a means of nurturing. Food works because it is close, it's available, and it's comforting.  

The Perfectionist: Those who need to have everything in the right place tend to use food to relieve the pressure. They set themselves up for failure with unrealistic expectations and impossible weight goals.

If we find ourselves in any of the 4 above scenerios, are there any suggestions?

Night owl fixers: Try to regulate your sleep pattern to a normal time. Stay away from stimulants, bright lights at night, and keep electronics at a minimum in the evening hours. A calming effect will lower your need for food comfort

Stress Junkies fixer: Exercise and do things to pamper yourself that are not food related. You'll find that once you lower your stress level, your food cravings will moderate

Co-dependent fixers: Set reasonable limits on your time, your energy and your desire to say "yes." You will discover when you take care of yourself and find a balance in your life, you will tend to decrease your desire for food

The perfectionist fixer: Set realistic goals and strive for progress vs. perfection. Remember that have a few flaws makes you human and more accessible and real. When you are a little easier on yourself you'll find the pounds tend to melt away.

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