According to mental health experts, the human body secretes a stress hormone called cortisol when our brain senses danger
New Delhi: There are many biological and psychological explanations for why we get stressed and have anxiety and panic attacks. While many people just stop eating out of depression, there are a lot of us who gorge on wanted pounds because of unhealthy and unhinged binging on food.
How stress promotes weight gain and unhealthy cravings
Cortisol protects you from immediate threats by sending your body into fight-or-flight mode. But when your stress levels are regularly high because of work pressure or relationships, it can lead to chronic cortisol elevation.
Cortisol is known to promote weight gain, belly and visceral fat, which is a toxic kind of fat, surrounding the internal organs. Studies have shown that people with higher cortisol levels tend to have a higher body mass index.
Various research has revealed that people tend to eat more unhealthy sugars, junk, processed food, sodium, soda, etc. when they are under stress.
How to train your brain to
crave healthy food?
A few ways to do so are:
- Cut back on junk slowly: If you have been eating a lot of processed food, do not chuck away the habit instantly, as it would be back in no time. Gradually reduce your outings and take one step at a time.
- Know your trigger foods: We all have food that triggers our cravings. While some chocolates are friends when they are down and out, others binge on ice creams when stressed. Know your triggers and act accordingly.
- Keep healthy foods handy: It is very important to stuff your kitchen and pantry with healthy snacks and food to cut down on junk. Whenever you feel like snacking, just open the fridge and take out that fruit you have been planning to eat for a long time now.
- Say no to sweets: Strengthen the resolve in your mind to say no to sweets and sugary foods since they trigger more stress.
- Eat more protein and fibre: Both protein and fibre are not just nutritious and nourishing, but they also keep you full for a longer time, thus helping to keep the cravings for junk food away.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.