3 things your body wants more of
27th August 2019
Thanks to a number of clever, intricate systems known as the endocannabinoid system, our body is pretty good at telling us what it needs. If we’re cold, we shiver. If we’re hot, we sweat. If we’re tired, we yawn. As we go about our daily lives, there are a plethora of different things happening in our bodies to maintain the status quo.
And while most of the things that our body does is all about keeping an equilibrium (in other words, making sure things stay the same), there are a few things that your body wants more of, the more it has.
One of the more complex systems in your body is your digestive system and a key part of that is your stomach. Your stomach is an elastic organ, which means that it’s capable of stretching and shrinking based on what you put in it.
Food, liquid and air can all expand your stomach, as it accommodates to make room for everything. But the key thing about your stomach being elastic is that it’s capable of snapping straight back. So eating one big meal or having a heavy weekend won’t permanently stretch your stomach. It’s only if this behaviour is repeated for a long time that you make the effects more long-term.
The reason that weight loss can often be so difficult is because once you begin overeating, your body gets used to that level of food and demands the same. And once you’ve stretched your stomach, it needs more food in order to feel full (hence why it’ll signal you to feel hungry).
If you’re trying to lose weight, focus on eating small, regular amounts so that your stomach doesn’t get completely empty and lead you to overeat. Drink plenty of water too, as this will help you to feel full without the calories.
Everyone talks about how the hardest part of exercising is getting started and that can be true in a number of different ways. Regular exercise can be hard if you don’t enjoy it but once it becomes a part of your routine, you’re more likely to stick to it.
More than that though, the more you exercise, the more your body wants you to. This is because physical exertion releases a number of hormones, particularly endorphins. The release of this neurotransmitter is what’s often known as ‘runners high’. Not only do endorphins make you feel good and happy, but they can also work as a painkiller and can even ease stress.
Endorphins aren’t the only hormones released during exercise though. It also releases serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is typically thought of as the chemical responsible for happiness (although in reality, it’s more complex than a one-line summary) and this is why regular exercise has been linked to a decrease in depression.
It’s the dopamine that’s responsible for why your body wants more exercise the more it does though. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that’s released in any scenario where a reward is up for grabs, and the association of the act with the reward creates a motivation to do the act again.
So the reward of exercise is the release of endorphins and serotonin, and dopamine makes you want to achieve that happy feeling again.
In a similar way that doing more exercise makes you want to do more exercise, having more sex makes you want more sex. This is because sex releases a number of the same hormones, including serotonin and endorphins, which lead you to feel happy and carefree.
Another important hormone released during sex is oxytocin, which is often referred to as the ‘love hormone’. It’s role in intimacy, closeness and social bonding have been well-researched and it’s another reason that we crave more, the more we have it.
Physically too though, more sex makes you want more sex because it boosts your libido.