Feel like a snack? Find out why you’re hungry.
Stress can be the reason your clothes are too tight. Here’s why.
So you had an argument with someone, and immediately after you stormed off in a huff, you felt a ravenous yearning for a toasted cheese sandwich?
That’s what stress does, and the bad news is that it could be adding centimetres to your waistline. This news could make you feel even more stressed, which in turn could result in more weight gain. Not very helpful if you’d like to drop a size or two. It’s so unfair, right?
How and why does this happen? Let’s look at stress, and how your body reacts to it.
When you encounter a stressful situation, your body responds by going into ‘fight or flight’ mode, in which you either face the threat or run from it, by giving you a rush of adrenalin to help.
But when you’re stressed, your body will also release cortisol, which can make you feel hungry, even when you’ve just eaten, and that’s when you reach for a snack. And with too many of us, it’s a snack high in fat and / or sugar.
Another interesting thing about stress is that there are some foods that make you feel calmer. Carbohydrates for example, will stimulate serotonin production, which improves your mood.
Try to choose foods that may help produce serotonin: like milk and yoghurt, or low GI rye bread and brown rice over the processed, white variety.
Sugary food will also give you a serotonin boost, but a doughnut or a cupcake will inevitably lead to a sugar ‘crash,’ which sends your energy levels down.
So when you’re stressed, be aware of your body’s reaction, and ask yourself: Am I really hungry? And if you really are, have a snack, but make the right choices for your waistline.