Why You Stress-Eat and How To Stop It

It happens when we’ve had a bad day at work or school or when you’re having problems with a significant other. Whatever triggers it, stress eating is one of the most common reasons we pig out on junk food.

Our friends from CNN shed light on why we stress eat and tells us how to put a stop to the mindless “stress eating.” Read the article below and eat less junk this weekend! Whether stress-eating induced or not!

“It’s perfectly human to want to avoid pain and seek relief,” says Minh-Hai Alex, a registered dietitian and founder of Mindful Nutrition in Seattle. “Stress eating usually happens when we want to disconnect from the moment. It’s like changing the channel in our brain to try to change how we feel,” she explains. 

This is why you turn to food when you’re stressed 

It’s no surprise if you suddenly feel famished when deadlines or crises strike. “Stress activates your adrenal glands to release cortisol, increasing your appetite,” says Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC, psychologist and the emotional eating expert behind the site Too Much On Her Plate. Stress also impedes hunger hormones, like ghrelin, that regulate your appetite, research shows. If the anxiety is cutting into your sleep, a lack of zzz’s ramps up your appetite even more. 

How to stop stress eating 

Ready to break free from stress eating and bring back happiness to your eats? Try some of these simple tricks next time anxiety strikes. 

1. Focus on the real issue. 

We all know food is just a crutch when we’re stressed. “Stress eating is not the primary problem, but a symptom of unmet needs,” says Alex. Ask yourself ‘How do I feel?’ or ‘What do I need?’ to figure out what’s really getting under your skin. 

2. Think long-term. 

Take a minute to focus on the future (whether that means recalling your weight loss goals, or how awesome you want to look on vacation next month) before you give in to stress eating. It can help get you out of the moment so you make healthier food choices instead of succumbing to the lure of a tasty treat, suggests a 2014 study. 

Read the rest of the article here.


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