Are you a stress eater? Or, does stress take away your appetite?
For me, it depends on the stressor. But when it’s the former, I usually run for cheese or sausage from my favorite Italian specialty store.
That just goes to show that we all have patterned eating behaviors associated with certain triggers.
But for those of you who rely on those highly processed Frankenfoods, you might want to pay attention to research out of Australia.
Because a new study found you could be doing a lot more than eating away your sorrows…
Stress + junk food = disaster
Scientists at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research discovered how reaching for certain comfort foods during periods of stress can actually alter your brain’s response to satiety (feeling full and satisfied).
Indeed, this behavior may cause your brain to seek consistent reward through food.
As a result, your stress eating binge could turn into a form of ritualist eating, as junk food cravings get BIGGER and HARDER to ignore…
And, eventually, your waistline—and metabolic health—will suffer.
More specifically, researchers found that an area of the brain called the lateral habenula will remain activated even when there’s NO stress, which will keep your body wanting more and more rewards (through food).
Now, anyone who has, or has had, a bad relationship with food knows that we eat with our brains, not our stomachs. And this study simply drives that notion home.
Healthier lifestyle choices
We still have a lot to learn about how our brain controls our eating patterns.
But we do know it’s necessary for the brain to tell us when we aren’t getting pleasure from the food we’re eating. And that’s what makes these findings so eye-opening…
Because if stress paired with junk food can override this natural brain response—well, all I can say is, that’s rather intense.
So, in addition to following a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh, whole foods—including nutrient-dense snacks….
I also encourage you to adopt successful stress-busting techniques. Because this isn’t about brief, stressful moments—the study highlighted chronic stress.
Some good news is, following a healthy diet goes a long way in dulling the edges of daily stress. (This sensible approach will help protect your heart, too.) So can regular exercise.
But if you need some extra support, I suggest cannabidiol (CBD). In fact, CBD has become my treatment of choice for anyone suffering from stress, or stress-related conditions like anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness.
To learn about how to find a high-quality CBD product—including form and dosage—check out the July 2020 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“Ready to try CBD?”). Subscribers can log in using the “subscribers” tab on my website.
“Why chronic stress drives our brains to crave comfort food.” StudyFinds, 06/12/2023. (studyfinds.org/chronic-stress-brain-comfort-food/)