What is Stress-Related Eating?

Stress Eating?

Stress Eating?

In this modern age, almost all people face daily stress from sources such as a job, school, 
living conditions, or relationships as a matter of course. Health problems resulting from stress 
usually reside not with the actual cause of stress itself, but with the person`s 
answer to the stress. Unfortunately, many people choose to automatically respond 
to daily stress factors with food. Interestingly enough, a study in Finland that examined stress 
related eating discovered that the most common stressors for men were 
being single, unemployed, or having a low educational level, while for women, the most significant stressor 
was possessing a lack of emotional support.

Foods can change moods, 
as they trigger both chemical and emotional reactions in the body. These reactions can 
help to temporarily cause a feeling of calmness, but this positive feeling doesn`t last for 
long. The problems caused by stress related eating, such as unwanted weight gain and guilty emotions, can 
quickly eclipse these good feelings. The negative thoughts from these results of 
stress related eating can turn into a vicious cycle, causing you to eat more food, which then 
leads to more guilt, and so on.

 Good news, though! This cycle can be 
stopped with an effective program called The Hungry Heart-emotional eating 
help that curtails 
the need to feed emotional, rather than physical hunger.

Stress depletes the body`s neurotransmitters which 
help to stabilize emotions, but many options to food can 
boost these feel good triggers. Exercise is an exceptional 
choice, as it not only releases endorphins, but it also burns calories and increases health. An effective 
exercise program doesn`t need to be expensive or elaborate; anything that gets you in motion 
is a positive step. 

In any successful stress related eating program, it is also 
critical to understand the unique purpose that food is serving in your 
situation. Keeping a food diary can be beneficial; for a week, write down 
information on what, where, and when you eat, as well as your feelings before, while, and after eating. This 
diary can be helpful in identifying trigger situations that lead to stress 
related eating behaviors, which can be the first step to resolving the situation. Pay 
close scrutiny to the feelings identified in your food diary. Examine the 
feelings associated with stress related eating for patterns that point to past loss or trauma, 
which can be reactivated by a trigger event in the present. These past 
occurrences can be varied, such as an unstable childhood, abuse, or a serious injury or 
illness, but all these occurrences have the common trait of being 
potential triggers for present day stress related eating problems. Working with a Professional 
Counselor may be an effective solution to resolving the persistent feelings associated 
with past events.

 Mending stress related eating problems is a difficult 
procedure, but the more you find about yourself and care for your body and emotional 
health, the less likely you will abuse food to deal with stress.


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