When something goes wrong at work or issues arise in your romantic relationship, you may feel an urge to eat. This is called emotional eating and it’s caused by stress. If this stress isn’t dealt with properly it can lead to serious health consequences. In fact, a new study shows that too much stress over an extended period of time can contribute to obesity.
Researchers from the University College London analyzed four years of data from over 2,500 men and women over the age for 54. The study found that “exposure to higher levels of cortisol over several months is associated with people being more heavily, and more persistently, overweight.” While more research is needed, it could be possible that reducing your stress could be a new method of treating obesity. Would you like to lose weight and reduce your stress?
Listed below are just three helpful tips to help you with stress and emotional eating
- Start the day off big. Too many of us skip breakfast, but this can cause migraines and exhaustion and contribute to stress. Eating a large breakfast in the morning can keep stress at bay and it can also help with weight management. In fact, it’s been said that people who eat large meals in the morning and small meals at night tend to lose more weight.
- Replace the food in your fridge and pantry. When you’re stressed you are more likely to reach for unhealthy snacks (cookies, chips, or caffeinated drinks) to satisfy your cravings. This can lead to weight gain. By replacing the unhealthy food in your fridge and pantry, you’ll be more likely to lose weight.
- Talk to a professional. Talking to a mental health professional can also help lower your stress levels. With their help, you can identify your stress triggers and find mindful solutions for dealing with them. This can curb your emotional eating habit and help you lose weight.
Bonus. Stress-caused obesity doesn’t just impact older adults. Emotional eating can also cause weight gain in younger adults and children as well. Want to learn more? Try reading this article on how stressed adolescents have an increased risk of childhood obesity.