Oftentimes, your food habits – especially the ones revolved around overeating or loss of appetite – are caused by stress. Do you find yourself subconsciously snacking on sweets at work, or find that you enjoy ice cream after a stressful interaction with your partner?
Stress and food have been linked since as far back as when we were hunters and gatherers living in tribes. During those times, food could be scarce, so whenever there was an abundance of food inside us, our bodies jumped at the opportunity to make it into fat.
This tactic helped our early ancestors survive long stretches where they couldn’t find food. Their bodies literally formed their own food storage in the form of fat cells.
The same instinct still exists in us today – when food is available and we are stressed, it is natural and very common for us to over eat.
Now, however, most of us aren’t hunting and gathering our food. Nor are we going big stretches of time without consistent meals… So the overeating is actually building up unhealthy habits that will hurt us in the end.
Stress And Eating
Small amounts of stress will actually suppress your appetite, which helps you focus while you are hunting for a meal. Chronic or long term stress on the other hand, will actually increase your appetite.
If you have been stressed for a long period of time because of work, school or your home life, then you are much more likely to overeat and eat foods that make you feel safe. If you have had issues in your past with money or feelings of lack, then you actually may even be subconsciously drawn to foods that are high in protein and fat.
Stress And Weight Gain
Foods that are high in protein and fat can be quickly stored in your body as extra fat. Your body doesn’t understand why you are stressed, all it knows is that it needs to prepare by storing everything it can get its hands on.
Sometimes, your stresses and fears aren’t happening right now. Sometimes, you are feeling anxiety because of a possible future event or you are carrying big emotional weights from your past. Whatever it is, if it is not happening right now, then stressing about it might be doing damage to your body.
That stress will actually cause your body to store excess weight for a non-existent future apocalypse. You can’t get mad at your body though; that is how it is designed to respond.
The best thing you can do is learn how to get your stress under control. Some of the best techniques for that involve mindfulness meditation, time management, developing an awesome support system and making sure you are grounded in the present moment.
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