Does Daily Stress Cause You to Eat More?

Stressed Businessman Scarfing Food

While sitting nervously at your desk at work, you wonder if you’re going to meet a demanding deadline today. Before you’ve settled the question in your mind, you catch yourself getting out of your chair in order to head straight to the vending machine.

If you can relate to this scenario, you’re not alone. Succumbing to stress eating is common. However, if you want to lose weight and keep it off for life, you must find solutions to your stress cravings. 

Corticotropin versus Cortisol Release

Interestingly, short-term bouts with stress can suppress your appetite by signaling the brain to produce the hormone corticotropin. Unfortunately, when a stressful episode lingers, your adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol. Cortisol stimulates your appetite. To successfully combat your stress, strive to eat real, healthy foods including:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean meats
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds 

If you battle stress daily, your cortisol levels might remain elevated. 

Substitute Protein for Caffeine

Begin each day by eating a lean source of protein such as chicken, fish, beans, or eggs. The protein will provide you with a good stress coping mechanism, energy. Protein also contains certain amino acids. These substances help your brain manufacture chemicals that assist in controlling your emotions. Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking the recommended eight glasses of water. Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages such as tea, soda, and coffee in large quantities. Too much caffeine can make you feel anxious. 

Exercise and Rest Can Lower Stress Levels

Besides eating healthy foods, exercising regularly is another great way to lower your stress levels. Engaging in calming forms of exercise such as tai chi and yoga are especially beneficial for some people. To avoid sleeping problems at night, work out early in the day. Resting comfortably each night is crucial to avoiding stress during the day. Aim to get at least six to eight hours of sleep every night. By eliminating the stress in your life, you might finally be able to lose weight and gain the body of your dreams.


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