Excessive Consumption Of Stress Eating Comfort Food Promotes Stress, Here’s The Explanation

Consumption Of Stress Eating Comfort Food 

Do you feel better after emotional eating, or do you have a habit of stress-eating because it comforts you? Well, it might work for the time being, but according to recent research and studies on this habit, it was discovered that there may be factors that can have a negative impact on people. Stress-eating comfort food and heightened stress levels are closely linked with each other, but the question is- does it really work every time? Or is it beneficial?

Researchers have shed light on the reasons behind this phenomenon and, at the same time, have provided healthier alternatives that can be implemented to cope with stress. In a recent study that experts in psychology and nutrition conducted, it was revealed that when people are stressed over something, they are likely to turn to comfort food. These are the items that usually have high sugar constraints and unhealthy fats.

Although these foods may provide comfort temporarily, they cause harm to the body in the long term. These momentary pleasers possess the tendency to contribute to psychological responses that can intensify stress levels over time. This is the reason why it is important to understand this vicious cycle and break the pattern by adopting healthy options to cope with stress.

How Does The Body React To Comfort Foods?

Take the example of a person who works 9-5 at the office and then has a family to manage. This person will have many stress triggers in life that cannot be avoided, such as project deadlines, boss, wife, children, education, and much more. When this person is stressed, his body’s response mechanism is activated and releases hormones such as cortisol. When a person consumes something with high sugar levels or unhealthy fats, it triggers the brain’s reward system. Hence, the stress is subsided for the time being, and he gets relief.

What do you think will happen if he is stressed again? Isn’t it obvious that he will try the same thing, and then it will go on as a repeated act? It is okay to practice something that relieves the stress, but if that damages the psychological behavior of the person, then it must be stopped.

As the studies suggest the long-term impact of this act can lead to increased cortisol levels, which will eventually cause heightened stress, anxiety, and even fatigue. However, with this long-term warning, they have also suggested healthy alternatives that can be considered for effective stress management.

Body React To Comfort Foods

Healthier Food Alternatives To Manage Stress Levels

One of the most popular alternatives that everyone implements to manage stress is the consumption of dark chocolates. They are the alternate food for highly sugary snacks and contain an antioxidant that helps to promote the release of endorphins. This will not harm your body, unlike sugar, because it is made up of 70% cocoa and doesn’t have any drawbacks.

Along with dark chocolate, green tea, yogurt, oatmeal, nut butter, and berries work efficiently to manage stress levels. Also, fruits and nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashews, raisins, etc, offer healthy fats that support brain function. Intake of items rich in antioxidants can gently boost energy and offer a calming effect, thus subsiding stress.

However, healthy food choices alone are not enough for effective stress management, as one must be mindful of their eating practices. Overeating can be dangerous, and people often tend to eat more or less when they are stressed. Involving the practice of mindful eating can offer a calming effect on the stressed person. One must pay attention to the sensory aspects of eating, such as taste, texture, and aroma of the food items, as it allows a conscious and enjoyable dining experience.

Comfort food eating has been the most preferred approach until now to manage stress levels, but the findings from the studies suggest that it needs to be reevaluated. Yeah, foods with high sugar and unhealthy fats are indeed alluring, but one must be aware of the consequences of consuming them for a long time. Since there are other alternatives that are healthier and more effective to manage stress, why not adopt them as the management approach? It is for the benefit of the individual to understand the impact of food on stress levels and make choices that promote resilience and a balanced lifestyle.

Also Read: Nutritionists And Dietitians Reveal The Foods They Avoid In Their Own Lives 

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