If you are an always-on-the-go mom, you likely view stress as a way of life. If you are carrying some extra weight, this stress could be at the root. The level of stress present in your life does play a part in weight gain. By understanding the impact of stress and taking strides to control your stress, you may find that dropping those pounds becomes a bit easier.
When your body experiences stress, it responds by releasing cortisol, reports “Women’s Health Magazine.” This seemingly simple hormone plays a large part in determining just how hungry or full you feel. Research into the impact of cortisol indicates that this hormone may have an impact on ghrelin and leptin, two hormones vital to creating the feelings of fullness that you likely seek when you sit down at the dinner table.
While the desire to eat when stressed may seem totally random, there was once a need for this natural drive. When safety was constantly in question, this drive encouraged humans to gear up for battle as danger neared. When these early humans sensed they were at risk, chowing down would give them the energy they required to best whatever beast was challenging them.
The Need for Junk
Just as the drive to eat is natural, the drive to eat junk food when stressed is part of human design. As “Women’s Health Magazine” reports, when you are about to be challenged, the prehistoric you needs to convert food to energy rapidly. Because junk food is easier to digest and can more rapidly be transformed into raw energy, it becomes the food you are most likely to choose when stress strikes.
Too Stressed to Exercise
In addition to leaving you craving carbs, stress can also have a negative impact on your weight. You may be less likely to set aside time for exercise during these periods of extreme duress. While it may seem that a period of high stress is no time to hit the gym, the opposite is true. When you exercise, your body releases hormones that combat stress, making it easier for you to overcome your stress-related struggles.
Beating the Munchies
While it is not easy to overcome the drive to snack that accompanies stress, it is within your power. To decrease the likelihood that you become a stress snacker, avoid keeping junk foods in your house. Also, as you feel your stress levels creeping up, take a break and head outside, venturing out on a walk or engaging in another healthy pastime.