Stress Cravings Don’t Last but Weight Gain Does


Woman Looking at Comfort Food in Refrigerator

When you’re dealing with a lot of stress, some of the normal reactions you may experience include difficulty sleeping, cravings, feeling emotional, or feeling nervous. While everyone deals with stress, each person reacts differently. Although some individuals lose their appetite when feeling stressed, most people deal with the opposite problem. Stress often triggers emotional eating. For some people, it’s because they are feeling extra hungry while stressed, and for others, they turn to food as a source of comfort.

Since many people turn to food when they are stressed, it’s not a surprise that stress can be the top predictor of regaining or gaining weight. Recurrent stress often shows up at work and at home, and when you feel overwhelmed with stress, it’s easy to think you don’t have the ability to exercise willpower over what and how much you eat. However, if you’re aware that you’re going to deal with a stressful situation, you have the power to come up with survival strategies that can help you avoid those stress cravings and the weight gain that comes with them. Think about the comfort foods you turn to when you’re stressed and then make sure you don’t have them around when you’re dealing with stress. 

In most cases, those stress cravings will only last for 10 minutes. If you’re able to get involved in another activity to distract yourself, the craving will probably pass. Work to divert your attention from the cravings by going on a walk, listening to music, or talking to a loved one. A cup of hot tea can help too, since the warmth and soothing aromas can help calm you while easing your tension. If you don’t drink tea, a mug of chicken soup is a great option that will make you feel comforted.

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