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Stressing the Point

Everybody gets stressed. It’s a fact of life. Even people who live the least stressful lives experience stress at some point.

We all react differently to stress. Some of us get angry or irritable, some get teary or just quiet. And yes, there are those of us who eat.

Part of the problem about eating when you’re stressed is that stress itself actually makes you eat.

Yes, you read that right – stress makes you eat. Worse still – it makes you eat foods that are high in sugar and fat. Uh-huh – I can see how not surprised you are.

There are two kinds of stress: Acute = short term stress – and – ┬áChronic = long term stress. Studies prove that acute stress is actually good for you, and helps to increase your metabolic rate, burning more energy. However, other studies have shown that badly managed chronic stress does the opposite. It slows down your metabolism and increases your appetite.

That’s right: long term chronic stress makes you fat.

If you want to read more about this, try this article here.

As upsetting as this is, there is an even more interesting point to all this. Researchers have discovered what so many of us already knew – and that is that comfort food can actually reduce stress.

That’s right – your strategy for coping with stress has actually been working. Which is, of course, why you keep doing it.

From my own experience, I know that I put on the most amount of weight in my life over a particular 3-year period during which I suffered from constant chronic stress. I didn’t realise it at the time and had no idea what it was doing to me – but I ate all sorts of fatty foods I’d never eaten before, and couldn’t stop. And the kilos piled on (and I still haven’t got rid of them!).

The answer, clearly, is to find different ways to manage chronic stress that don’t include self-destrictive eating. There’ll be more about that in my next post.

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