Control Stress Eating
If you are struggling to stick to your weight loss plan, stress eating could be the culprit. Individuals who are trying to lose weight in Orlando should be aware of the role that pressure plays in their food choices. Watch this video to learn about the facts of stress eating.
Research has demonstrated that when put under stress and presented with both a healthy and unhealthy food option, people are more likely to select the unhealthy choice. This may be because when under pressure, your brain influences you to reach for the short-term reward. For individuals who are trying to lose weight, the stress that they experience may hinder their weight loss success.
- Emotional eating: Stress eating is a form of emotional eating. This is where individuals turn to food as a way to cope with negative emotions. Emotions can include stress, anxiety, sadness, or boredom.
- Comfort food: Stress eating often involves indulging in so-called “comfort foods” that are typically high in sugar, fat, or salt. These foods are often associated with positive memories. Or feelings of comfort and can temporarily provide a sense of relief or pleasure.
- Triggering factors: Stress eating can be caused by various factors, including work pressure, relationship problems, financial stress, school stress, or major life changes. Stress eating can become a habitual response to these stressors.
- Hormonal response: Stress activates the release of cortisol, a hormone associated with the body’s response to stress. Cortisol can increase hunger and cravings, leading to a desire for high-calorie foods.
- Temporary relief: Stress eating can provide temporary relief from emotional distress by distracting individuals from their negative feelings. However, the relief is short-lived and can be followed by feelings of guilt, shame, or regret.
- Weight gain: Consistent stress eating can contribute to weight gain and obesity due to the consumption of excess calories. The foods typically consumed during stress eating are often high in sugar and fat, which can lead to weight-related health issues over time.
- Cycle of stress and eating: Stress eating can create a vicious cycle where individuals feel stressed, eat unhealthy foods for temporary comfort, experience guilt or negative emotions about their eating behavior, and then feel more stressed, leading to further stress eating.
- Mindless eating: Stress eating often involves mindless or unconscious consumption of food. This is where individuals may eat rapidly and without paying attention to their hunger or fullness cues. This can lead to overeating and a loss of control over food intake.
- Alternative coping strategies: It’s important to develop healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress instead of relying on stress eating. Engaging in physical activity, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, talking to a supportive friend or therapist, or engaging in hobbies can be effective alternatives to stress eating.
- Seeking help: If stress eating becomes a chronic or uncontrollable behavior, it may be helpful to seek support from a healthcare professional or therapist who can provide guidance and strategies for managing stress and emotional eating patterns.