The Link Between Obesity and Stress Eating

Most people are already aware that stress eating or eating as an emotional response is bad for their health. Stress eating can easily lead to excessive weight gain and eventual obesity if a person does it to excess. There are lots of reasons for this, with the most obvious being that people rarely take out their stress by ravaging a bag of carrot sticks. No, people tend to eat ‘comfort food’ when they are trying to deal with large amounts of emotional stress. And comfort food tends to be the worst combination of carbs and sugars a person can find.

But carb loading is not the only reason that stress eating leads to obesity. Recent studies have found evidence that when you are stressed out, insulin exerts control of a molecular pathway that is in the brain that actually leads to weight gain. When you are stressed out, your adrenal glands release cortisol, a hormone that increases your appetite and encourages you to eat. And the insulin in your body simultaneously encourages you to eat foods that are high in sugar and fat, so that it can fuel your body with energy.

That’s just the beginning though. The real reason that stress eating eventually leads to obesity is because the molecular pathway that responds to insulin can actually develop a resistance to insulin. This means that your body will produce more insulin and increase your cravings in an attempt to overcome the resistance. You will naturally want to eat more carbs and sugars due to the increased insulin. This leads to a vicious cycle of carbo loading which if allowed to continue will eventually lead to major weight gain. The best way to avoid this is to eat a diet that helps avoid insulin resistance

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