The stress response in the body is also known as the flight or fight response. Initially the brain tells the adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline. Your appetite is initially shut down, and the body becomes a lean, mean, calorie burning machine, but only for a few minutes.
Imagine yourself a few hundred years ago, being chased by a hungry bear. A few minutes is all you need to kill the bear, get away from the bear, or be eaten by the bear.
After that you start to produce cortisol, which among other things makes you hungry. Imagine again that you are escaping a hungry bear. Why would a cave man continue to feel stress after killing the bear?
Our bodies are simply not intended for long term stress
Our bodies are simply not intended for long term stress. We worry about bills not due until the end of the month, we worry about things that only might happen, we feel stress because we take on too many roles and too many tasks for ourselves and worry about how we can fit it all in. Gone are the days when we actually had a whole village to help us raise our children. The stress response was intended for immediate flight or fight and not for continuous worry and stress.
Hunger hormones and the cravings for high calorie and high fat foods aren't the only reason that stress makes you over eat. Stressed out people don't sleep as well, and sleep helps to lower ghrelin levels. (another hunger hormone) Not only is the craving for high fat and calorie foods programmed by our DNA during stress, we celebrate our happy occasions with food. Making these foods truly a comfort food in times of stress.
Stressed out people also drink too much alcohol and, in the interest of time, choose more convenient highly processed foods valuing time over health.
This is why any diet that encourages food drama ("I can''t have any...." " I can only eat...." ) is doomed to fail. Most diets only address what to eat , the rare few that address the issue of calories out are better, but there are so few, if any, that address when and under what circumstances we should eat and why. Diets simply can't address the psychology behind willpower, stress eating and habit.
This is where coaching can be the most helpful
By managing stress and gaining a deeper understanding of your body and it's food cravings you can rock out nearly any diet plan and achieve success. For great stress tips simply click "stress" in the blog categories to the right to be directed to my previous posts on this topic and watch for upcoming posts on stress eating and stress management.
As always I appreciate you for visiting my site and I thank you for your comments and shares.