By Victoria L.
The bills are stacking up beside my laptop, cash at the company is bare, the house is a mess, and the kids want rides to birthday parties. The worst part is, no one is here to help, to give me any sympathy for the ever flowing stress. Well, there is one thing that can help me, I can always rely on the fridge to stand up for me and my problems.
In Canada alone fifty seven percent of the population is considered overweight or obese. There may be an array of different reasons, medical issues, lack of exercise, and maybe the most common issue, stress eating.
Stress is the body’s natural way of dealing with different problems and frustrations. A short spurt of stress is known to lower appetite, proven by Harvard University. However the real issue is stress over long periods of time, the brain will release hormones that increase motivation, and a desire or want for more energy. Once you start, the sugars and fats hit the “reward centre” in you brain, and with a bad emotional state, craving and eating more is likely. When the stress goes up so do the cravings.
As you hit the sweet spot in your reward system, the cravings for sugar and fats returns. After eating until uncomfortably stuffed, you feel the regret of eating caused by emotions and it just makes you more stressed. It’s a dark cycle which has a more than one third of the earth’s populations considered obese. Of course, eating isn’t the only factor that is adding to obesity. Stress also causes loss of sleep and exercise, as well as drinking addictions which can lead to becoming overweight.
It is proven that women will turn more to food and men will turn to smoking and alcohol. Stress related weight is also linked to high insulin levels. When stressed the body will release adrenaline which releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone increasing ambition, and motivation to eat. Which is why when constantly stressed, cortisol levels stay up making you constantly want to eat.
The best thing to focus on is where the stress is coming from. Talking it out and fixing your problems is the only thing that will stop the overeating. To top it off, try to keep healthy foods in the house and keep up daily exercises!
Harvard University. Why stress causes people to overeat. (2012 February 1). Harvard Health Publication. (2015) Retrieved March 3 2015 <http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/why-stress-causes-people-to-overea>t
Health – Obesity. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2015, <http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=6>