How Stress Affects Your Diet

By Donna Stark

Let's be honest with each other. In an average month, how many times do you feel stressed? Once or twice a week? Multiple times a day? Every minute you are awake? From kids to work to finances to even getting the household chores completed, most people are faced with stressful situations every single day, and although we know that stress can make us sick, impact our moods, and affect the quality of sleep we get, we don't often think about how it can sabotage our diet, do we?

Stress and Your Diet

Since stress has become so commonplace in our daily lives, we don't even think twice about how it can affect various aspects of our health. One aspect that often tends to get overlooked is how stress impacts the way we eat. Take a look.

Appetite

As the levels of stress fluctuate during the different circumstances in our lives, so will our appetite. This is because some stress hormones suppress our appetite while others can lead us to feel ravenous. It's important to take notice of how your body reacts to the level of stress so that you can make wise choices in those moments.

Weight Gain and Health Risks

Generally, our bodies burn fewer calories when under stress and go into a "fat-storage mode," which can easily affect your weight. But in addition to that, cortisol (the body's main stress hormone), increases the amount of fat stored around the stomach and organs, and that can increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes if your stress is long-lasting. 

Cravings

Have you ever heard of emotional eating? Studies have shown that higher levels of stress can increase the likelihood of snacking throughout the day. You may also find that your cravings for sweets, comfort foods, and high-calorie meals intensify during those moments as well.

Increased Risk for Health Issues

In small doses, stress is good, but if it persists and becomes a chronic issue, it can increase the risk of serious medical conditions. In addition to poor sleep and erratic mood swings, unmanaged stress can also increase the risk of serious medical conditions, cause the body to store more fat and burn fewer calories, and disrupt your natural appetite while intensifying your cravings for unhealthy foods. So the next time you start feeling a little stressed (or a lot), take the necessary steps to stay ahead of it. And if you don't know where to start, head on in to see your local chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic! They are always ready to help you live your healthiest and happiest life!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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