Stress Eating: Why Stress Reduction Is Much More Important Than Eating Healthy

by susan on June 24, 2012 · 0 comments

How many times today have you “stressed out” about “something”? If your life is hard – school, family and job – you may get stressed out. And, it’s common. But, what exactly causes someone’s stress?

Well, that depends on who you are! Every person is stressed out by something and they react in different ways to stress. For example: you might be afraid to talk in public. However, your friend may feel that talking in public is the way to relieve stress. Stress is different for everybody and you need to know what it is stressing you out.

Keep in mind that stress is not just mental; it’s also physical and, for some folks, eating is the way to cope with stress. This is a very bad habit to have. After all, eating to cope with stress is the surefire way to gain weight, weight and more weight! Before you know it, you’re certainly not the same person you were before the stress took hold on your life.

After all, when you’re stressed out, you don’t go for the good food. Rather, you reach for the sugary, loaded with fat food such as ice cream, cakes, candy, etc. These foods, as you know, will pile on the weight.

Research: Stress Causes The Body’s Appetite To Shut Down

According to research, stress shuts down the body’s appetite. The brain has a structure known as the hypothalamus, which products a corticotrophin-release hormone. This will suppress the appetite. The brain sends the adrenal glands messages to release epinephrine (or adrenaline). This is what causes the body to experience the fight or flight response, which can keep people from wanting to eat.

However, stress causes the adrenal glands to release cortisol, another hormone, which increases the appetite and the motivation to eat. When the stress is over, the level of cortisol should drop. However, if the stress does not go away, the cortisol stays high.

3 Ways Of How You Can Deal With Stress

As you see, it’s not just about eating well or exercising that helps you to lose weight. You also have to reduce the amount of stress in your life to ensure you stick to those good eating habits. How can you reduce the stress in your life?

1 – Exercise

Yes, exercising is a great way to reduce stress. It works to temporarily decrease the level of cortisol in the body. While intense exercises can work, the best types of exercises are ones that focus on meditation such as yoga and tai chi.

2 – Meditation

Numerous researches suggest that meditation can reduce stress, although they were primarily focused on heart disease and high blood pressure. Meditation can help people make better food choices. Thus, instead of grabbing the snacky, sweet and/or salty foods, you choose foods that are better for you such as apples, bananas, etc.

3 – Social Support

People who are under stress need the help of their family and friends to get through the tough time. If your job is the cause of your stress, it’s important to talk to someone about the situation. Talking about it and listening to the advice can help you overcome the stressor.

As you see, losing weight isn’t just about consuming the right foods or getting enough exercise. It also means focusing on your mental health and reduces the stresses that you have in your life. When you can do that – and do exercises and eating well – you can lose the weight you want and feel good all at the same time.

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