How to Stop Eating Because of Anxiety
Sometimes, you may find yourself craving junk food after a long and stressful day. If so, know that you are not alone. Many people tend to seek comfort food to help reduce the feelings and effects of anxiety. While it may help to make you feel better immediately, eating emotionally has significant long-term side effects including diabetes, heart disease and obesity. However, the question remains, why does anxiety make us reach for some feel-good food, and what can we do about it?
During a stressful or dangerous event, your brain sends signals to your body to produce cortisol, a hormone that helps you respond to the situation. Cortisol elevates your heart rate, quickens your metabolism and makes you more alert to be able to handle whatever happens.
Chronic Stress and Anxiety
When we are in chronic stressful situations, our bodies don’t stop producing cortisol. Instead, the production goes into overdrive and leaves us constantly feeling anxious and alert to everything around us.
As much as eating rich comfort foods can help to lower your anxiety for a short time, eating emotionally can lead to some devastating long-term effects on your health. Continued stress in your life may cause you to indulge in comfort foods frequently. When you eat as a result of the heightened cortisol levels, these calories can often be stored as fat around your abdomen. This excess fat can increase the likelihood of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Alternatives to Snacking
Fortunately, there are alternatives to eating to help handle stressful situations. Exercising, meditation and yoga also help to stimulate the areas of your brain that make you want to eat comfort food. Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing regularly can help your body avoid the cortisol stress response completely, eliminating the desire to snack.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercising frequently and raising your heart rate is great for helping manage your stress, anxiety and depression. Exercising increases your temperature, helping you to relax. It also causes your brain to release chemicals known as endorphins, making you feel better.
Eating as a response to your emotions is a common issue that affects many people around the world. Learning why, your triggers and alternatives to emotional eating can help you feel better and stay healthier.
Enrolling in holistic nutrition courses at the Edison Institute of Nutrition can help provide you with additional tips and tricks to help stay healthy. We are an internationally recognized school offering online classes. If you’d like to learn more about any of our programs, call us today at 1-800-456-9313. You may also contact us online.