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How Stress Can Cause Us To Eat Unhealthy Foods

In times of stress people tend to eat less healthy foods as a manner of coping with the present situation. This habit may be too difficult to break, unless reasons of this behaviour are laid. Here are some of the explanations of how stress lead to people eating unhealthy foods during difficult situations.Unghealthy food

Physiological and Hormonal Explanation

Giving in for these less nutrition foods is not uncommon among individuals who are under stress. When stressed, the body releases higher amounts for cortisol, also known as stress hormone. This hormone helps the body prepare for the foreseeable plight, and several other physiologic reasons.  However, higher cortisol level in the blood produces cravings for foods which are either too salty or too sweet.  People are vulnerable to choose unhealthy foods when they are in difficult situations.

It is also hypothesized that when individuals are stressed, they are not equipped to counter cravings for the foods, which are usually shunned under regular circumstances.

What to do about it?

It is recommended to ensure adequate amount of sleep in order to regain mental and physical energy. Eating small yet frequent meals might be helpful, too. These two solutions are helpful to manage stress eating.

Solicitation of Social Support

When individuals are stressed, it is natural tendency to tap all the available social support. It can be a useful way of stress relief, and can indeed make the person feel a lot better. Unfortunately, gathering the families and close friends might mean little or big compromise against healthy lifestyle. This might require beverages and foods to share such as hot fudge sundaes, french fries and chips, and soda of any sorts. This scenario is an example of emotional or stress eating in social mode.Unhelathy food 2

What to do about it?

Inviting all available friends for a cocktail or bar hop during the peak of emotions and stresses might not be as effective as it seem. It is important to let the matter cool down a bit, and allow self to sink into it. If it’s really necessary, one very trusted friend might do either personal meeting or a phone call. This way misplacing the pressure to overeating can be avoided.

Clouded Awareness

Eating unhealthy foods is typical forms of stress response. This is because an individual is sometimes less aware of reasons and facts when under a lot of stress. Without being so mindful on the nutritional content, he or she may just continually pick on whatever foods seems readily available such as chocolate bars, packed and canned foods.

What to do about it?

It is recommended to remain conscious on the details of everyday life even under stressors. These may include daily plans and schedules, house chores, safety and food selections. A partner or a close friend can acts as a guide.

Pleasure Hunting

When asked on the trivial thing to do when under stress, most people will answer binging on the next meal. Preferred food items are usually ice cream, cake, potato chips and the likes. This is attributed to the ‘feel good’ moments it can provide. It can give the soothing and relieving effects comparable to that of narcotics. Hence, habits which are difficult to break.

What to do about it?

There are other available options of self-reward and pleasure other than unhealthy foods. Learning new skills or rekindling old ones can be effective ways of coping up.

Eating might be one of the effective coping mechanism techniques of relieving stress. However, eating foods which are unhealthy is a different story. Individuals who are guilty of this habit must remember that emotional or stress eating is a cycle, and must be stopped before it could take the toll in one’s health.