How Stress Can Affect Your Eating Habits
Updated: Apr 4
Stress leads to major anxiety that can have a high impact on your eating habits. Suppose you have had an argument with your partner or are stressed due to work pressure. These all reasons can cause stress eating.
Stress and your appetite are connected with each other. But according to psychologists, this connection varies from person to person. Some people avoid their hunger and food consumption due to stress, whereas some others become emotional eaters and overeat.
Why Does a Person Stress Eat?
Studies recommend a gender distinction in stress-dealing behavior. Women apparently turn to overeat more and men to smoking or alcohol consumption. And obesity associated with stress-related eating is also found more in women than men.
Stress from work pressure and other kinds of issues correspond with weight gain, but only in people who have been overweight from the beginning. Obese people have increased insulin levels and stress-related weight gain is more possible to happen in the existence of high insulin.
Effects of Stress on Appetite and Food Consumption
Stress does not just impact your food habits but also your metabolism. It can temporarily suppress your food cravings. However, if stress persists, it causes overeating. It motivates you to eat more. Stress also appears to impact food choices. Emotional or physical distress heightens the consumption of food high in sugar and fat. High insulin and cortisol levels are responsible for this.
Overeating is definitely not the only stress-related behavior that causes weight gain. Stressed individuals don’t sleep properly, work out less, and drink more alcohol. All of these can contribute to gaining weight.
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Stress without Changing Eating Habits
When stress impacts your waistline and appetite, you can prevent yourself from consuming high-fat and sugary foods. Consuming these comfort foods can trouble you a lot. Take a look at the steps you can follow to relieve stress without changing your eating behaviors:
1. Work Out
Based on the duration and intensity of work out, cortisol levels vary. However, overall workouts can reduce some bad impacts of stress. A few activities like yoga, Zumba dance, etc can relieve stress much.
Many studies suggest that meditation can help you relieve stress, although some studies have also paid heed to cardiac issues and high blood pressure. Meditation also helps people become more cautious about their food consumption. With practice, you may focus better on the impulse of grabbing a high fat and sugary comfort food and suppress the impulse.
3. Get Social Support
Sources of social supports like family and friends may have a good impact on the stress you encounter. For instance, people working in stressful areas like hospital emergency departments possess better psychological health if they have enough social support.
To combat stress eating, you should keep stressful thoughts away. This relieves your anxiety more. Take breaks at work by closing eyes and taking deep breathes. Working out regularly and sleeping properly can also help you live a stress-free life.