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How come some people eat a lot when they are stressed and others don't eat at all?

Stress makes some eat more, some eat less.

By owenPublished 4 months ago 5 min read
How come some people eat a lot when they are stressed and others don't eat at all?
Photo by Adrian Solomon on Unsplash

So I've been wondering why some of us devour our feelings when we're worried, while others can barely stomach a crumb.

First and foremost, let us confront the elephant in the room (or, should I say, the elephant on our plates): stress eating. You've had a bad day at work and before you know it, you've devoured an entire pizza and a container of ice cream.

It's as if your worry and problems vanish into thin air...into your stomach.

On the other side, there are those who can scarcely eat anything when they are worried. They're the ones who appear to have lost both their appetite and their sanity. It's as if their bodies are saying, "Nope, not today, stress. I'm not going to take any of your foolishness."

So, what exactly is the problem? Why do some of us eat when we're stressed, while others can't even think about eating? Friends, the answer is in our biology.

Stress causes the hormone cortisol to be released, which might enhance our desire for high-calorie, sweet meals. This is because, in our caveman days, stress was a warning sign of impending danger, and our systems craved rapid energy supplies to help us fight or run.

Even if our stress comes from a job deadline rather than a wild animal, our stress reaction is still built to seek sweets and fat.

Cortisol, on the other hand, can suppress our appetite and make us feel sick, resulting in lower food consumption during stressful periods. As a result, it's a two-edged sword.

But our biology isn't the only factor. Our upbringing, cultural traditions, and individual personalities can all have an impact on how we feel about food and stress.

Some people may have learnt to turn to food for consolation, whilst others may equate eating with losing control. Because our stress reaction is influenced by our mental and emotional condition, two persons may react differently to the same stressor.

The answer to the age-old conundrum of why some people eat when they are stressed and others do not. It is the result of a complex interplay of biology, upbringing, cultural standards, and personality.

The main reality is that everyone handles stress differently, and there is no right or wrong method to do so.

So, the next time you go for junk food or skip a meal, remember that it's all good. We're all humans in this together.


Let's go a little deeper into the subject of stress eating now. It isn't just a mindless habit; it can have major effects. Weight gain, increased risk of heart disease and other health concerns, and a vicious cycle of stress and overeating can all result from stress eating.

But don't panic, there are ways to break the cycle of stress eating. Here are some pointers:

  • Recognize your triggers. What causes you to crave junk food when you're stressed? Is it the time of day, the situation, or the emotion? You can begin to take control and develop healthy methods to cope by becoming aware of your triggers.

  • Be mindful. Take a minute to pause and contemplate when you find yourself stress eating. Consider whether you're actually hungry or simply trying to distract yourself from your stress. Concentrate on your physical sensations as well as the flavors and textures of the food. This can help you become more aware of your hunger and fullness cues, allowing you to avoid overeating.

  • Find different strategies to deal with stress. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, whether through exercise, yoga, meditation, or socializing with friends, can help you break the pattern of stress eating.

  • Choose healthful foods. When you sense the temptation to stress eat, strive to select healthy foods that will offer your body with the resources it requires to cope with stress. Salmon, avocado, and almonds, which are strong in omega-3 fatty acids, can aid to lower inflammation and support a balanced stress response.

  • Get plenty of rest. Sleep is vital for hormone regulation and stress management. To help keep your stress levels in check, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Remember that stress eating is a typical problem with no shame attached.

You can overcome it with the correct tools and help and build a healthier relationship with food and stress.

Stress and our connection with food are both complicated and personal journeys. It is critical to identify the underlying causes of stress eating and discover appropriate coping mechanisms.

Whether or not you are a stress eater, taking care of your mental and physical health is the key to living a happy and fulfilled life. So, don't be too hard on yourself, and continue to strive for a better, healthier you.

It's also important to note that everyone's relationship with food and stress is unique and might alter over time.

What works for one individual may not work for another, which is just fine. It all comes down to figuring out what works best for you and being kind to yourself along the way.

Another crucial consideration is the role of social and cultural norms. Society frequently puts a lot of pressure on us to look and act a specific way, which can lead to stress and disordered eating habits.

It is critical to question these conventions and focus on your own health and well-being rather than trying to fit into a mold that does not serve you.

Finally, if you're battling with stress eating or disordered eating patterns, it's critical to seek help. Speaking with a therapist or nutritionist can be extremely beneficial in resolving your connection with food and stress and creating good coping mechanisms.

You do not have to go through this alone, and there is no shame in getting assistance.

Stress eating is a complex and personal issue with major implications for our health and well-being. We can, however, conquer it with the correct tools and help and build a healthier relationship with food and stress. Whether or not you are a stress eater, taking care of your mental and physical health is the key to living a happy and fulfilled life. So, be gentle with yourself and continue to strive for a better, healthier you.

I hope you enjoyed this topic, and please leave a comment below if you have any views or experiences to contribute. Take care until the next time, and keep munching (or not munching, whichever floats your boat).

mental healthpsychologyhow todietadvice

About the Creator


Composer, poet, and essayist, with a deep interest for philosophy, psychology, food, and interactive media. https://linktr.ee/wagyuadobo

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