Yes, “stress eating” is a thing.
Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary “comfort foods” push people toward overeating. Researchers have linked weight gain to stress, and according to an American Psychological Association survey, about one-fourth of Americans rate their stress level as 8 or more on a 10-point scale. In the short term, stress can shut down appetite.
But if stress persists, it’s a different story. The adrenal glands release cortisol, and cortisol increases appetite and may also ramp up motivation in general, including the motivation to eat. Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress doesn’t go away — or if a person’s stress response gets stuck in the “on” position — cortisol may stay elevated.
There’s a lot we can do for stress eating. In this webinar, we’ll talk diet, herbs, supplements and lifestyle to tame the stress beast and short circuit the stress eating cycle.