Are You Stress Eating? Here’s How to Find Out
Stress is a very common reason for overindulging in comfort foods. Our brain’s chemical responses to certain foods lead to habit-forming behavior, and even thinking about eating induces self-rewarding brain changes.
A whopping 38% of adults say they overeat or choose fattening foods because of stress on a regular basis.1 While these results come from self-reporting surveys, using a Diet Type assessment to identify what triggers your own dietary challenges can point the way to more effective change.
Let’s find out why donut holes and French fries seem irresistible when things get rough.
What Does Stress Eating Feel Like?
When we feel fine one moment and then suddenly start looking for a rich snack or fantasizing about sugary foods we will have when we get home. we know there must have been a trigger. We might graze continuously on high-powered tidbits or not feel like eating all day but then load up on carbs and sweets all evening. Both of these are responses to stress and exhaustion.
Stress initially suppresses appetite because of adrenaline, but after it continues for a while, the body responds by producing cortisol and other chemicals to tell the depleted brain to seek concentrated energy and the building blocks needed to replace endorphins and serotonin. We instantly crave sugar, fat, chocolate, and other foods that have made us feel better in the past.
Why Is It So Hard to Stop Stress Eating?
These fat- and sugar-rich foods create chemicals in the brain that can make us euphoric, re-energized, or even calm and soothe the parts of the brain that process stress and emotions. This behavior is instinctive and has survival at its base. It is no wonder that for many people these stress effects overwhelm their better judgment and their desire to make healthy eating choices.
Is It Stress Eating or Something Else?
Understanding your own triggers and reasons for straying from your chosen healthy eating program is the key to achieving success. To find out if stress eating is your biggest challenge, or if another type of disordered eating best describes your situation, take our diet type test today.
This nutrition self-assessment test will identify these symptoms of stress eating:
- You become hungry suddenly rather than gradually.
- You must have something specific, rather than being hungry for healthy foods.
- You eat the item until it is gone or you are uncomfortable.
- You feel guilt, shame, or hide your eating because you feel unable to control it.
Stress eating is not the only way we short-circuit our relationship with food. Understanding your unique life factors and how your personality type influences your behaviors can open your eyes to a more effective way to manage your diet.
Take the Quiz
Only by finding the individualized approach that will support your personality, lifestyle, and unique physical makeup will you be able to achieve a lifetime of intentional, intuitive, healthy eating patterns. The DietQ diet type quiz will give you the insights you need to create the diet plan that will work for you.