Have you ever ate food because you were feeling stressed out? Have you ever felt stressed out about the food choices that you’ve made? It turns out that the two can negatively reinforce each other.
Stress and Heavy Foods
When you feel stressed, a number of chemical changes occur in the body. One of them is the release of Cortisol. Cortisol causes you to feel more alert, energized and ready for action. But it also causes the body to crave high-energy foods. On an evolutionary level, this is a positive thing – back in the day, we were being chased around by predators, and this extra performance boost and energy storage may have allowed us to escape unscathed.
But the stress response of our ancestors doesn’t translate very well to modern life. Especially in the case of chronic stress – in these cases, your body remains tensed up and demanding fat-rich foods. And we all know the predictable results that come with a high-fat diet. To make matters worse, during periods of chronic stress excess calories are deposited in greater numbers at your midsection and turned into fat. This is because fat stored around the waistline can be more quickly accessed by the liver in times of immediate need.
Stress and Overeating
If you’ve read this far, the implications are probably pretty clear – not only is stress detrimental to your overall health, it could also be particularly damaging to your weight loss efforts. So be sure to eat right and exercise regularly. But if you’re still feeling stressed despite good behavior, figure out what your triggers are – and then work to disarm them.