Stress and Eating

Why does it seem like every time you get stressed you turn to a bag of potato chips, a pint of ice cream, or comfort foods like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese? Actually, there's a good reason - cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone that helps our bodies respond to stress by preparing us for the fight or flight response and causes powerful food cravings. Unfortunately, the fats we crave (and ultimately eat) go straight to our abdomen, which is the worst place to store fat because it causes your cholesterol and blood pressure to rise. These are risk factors for heart disease.

There's no easy way to get away from stress in our lives. Any change that is out of the ordinary - whether it's positive or negative - may cause stress. This isn't always a bad thing; small doses of stress can give you the energy you need to accomplish things. They key is to learn how to manage stress and our response to it.

Here are some tips you may want to try:

* Take small portions of your favorite food or whatever you're craving
* Have a plan for how much you'll eat and stick to it
* Eat slowly to savor the food
* Increase your exercise to counter some of the calories
* Try other ways of relieving stress such as walking, reading or journaling

Rachel Lukasavige is a Health Coach at Lukas Coaching. Visit for a ton of free tools to help you improve your health, finances, business, career & life!
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