Have you ever found yourself endlessly munching down bags of chips while preparing for your exams or gobbling up on ice cream while having a stressful day? Well, this phenomenon of eating a lot more while you’re stressed out is called stress eating and it’s not good for your body!
Here’s how stress eating primes your body to store fat:
• While you’re stressed out, your body produces the hormone cortisol as well as Neuropeptide Y. The cortisol increases your appetite. It’s basically a hormone that is released when the body is under stressful conditions, therefore, the hormone causes hunger for high calorie foods that are high in sugar and fat.
This causes over-eating. The cortisol further reduces the metabolism of these foods and promotes the storage of these foods because the body sees stress as a signal that food may not be available in the future, even though you may be stressed about matters other than food. It’s the body’s natural instinct to store food reserves in the form of fat when under any kind of stress.
• During this time, your body also produces the hormone insulin. The insulin produced further enhances the conversion of the carbohydrates you eat into fat and also enhances the uptake and storage of fats in fatty tissues.
• The Neuropeptide Y produced by the brain’s emotional center, called the amygdala, also prompts a person to eat foods rich in carbohydrates, which, in turn, is stored in the form of fat in the body.
• Moreover, it’s pretty common not to keep an eye on your food and over-eat while you’re stressed out, which further increases the caloric intake, resulting in obesity.
This is how stress eating primes your body to store fat. The next time you’re stressed out, find another outlet to take it all out, an outlet that doesn’t involve eating!