The effects of stress on your eating habit

effects of stress on your eating habit

Stress is an intense attack which could cause emotional, psychological, physiological or behavioral exertions on the human body.

Stress can modify your eating pattern and also determine the type of food and frequency at which you eat. All of these are not ideal for your fitness or weightloss goals.

Effects of stress on the eating habit

Investigative studies have shown that stress can affect the eating habit in diverse ways and they can be grouped under four major headings. They are

  • Emotional
  • Physiological
  • Psychological
  • Behavioral

1. Emotional effects

Stress can affect your emotional state and modify your eating habit in the following ways:

  • Preference for energy dense snacks, which means intake of excess calories
  • Snacking without limits
  • Impulse eating i.e., eating on-the-go, not necessarily out of hunger
  • Overeating especially for depressed people just to while away time

2. Psychological effects

Just as stress is able to affect your state of the mind, it is also capable of changing your eating habits. An unstable person cannot think straight and as such the below factors are noticeable with psychological effects of stress:

  • Poor eating habits which could be the end result of nervousness, loneliness or boredom
  • Substance abuse such as taking alcohol or drugs
  • Nutritional vulnerability because of lack of dietary requirement in your foods
  • Skipping meals
  • Heavy consumption of unhealthy food

3. Physiological effects

The major effect of physiological stress on eating habit is binge eating. Read more about this eating disorder here.

4. Behavioral effects

  • High dramatic shift in food choices which could be detrimental to your well-being
  • Higher levels of stress might make you choose unhealthy foods such as fatty foods or baked foods over wholesome meals

Way forward

It will be beneficial for your health if you keep stress at bay. Always remind yourself that the key to a healthy mind is a healthy body. So, be mindful of what you eat and how you eat regardless of the situation.

Consider the suggestions below to alleviate the effects of stress on your eating habit

  • Identify the root cause of the stress and solve it once and for all
  • Have a record of these stressors and know how to avoid them when you see signs

Above all, do not hesitate to see your doctor if you have symptoms of stress that refuse to go away.

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