In today’s episode I will be discussing how to end stress eating. Stress can be difficult to define because it has so many causes and is different for different people. But you know what stress feels like, and you also have probably experienced how stress can wear you down—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The bottom line is - we all react to stress differently. Your perceptions and reactions to different situations are what make them stressful or not. Your perceptions are like wearing glasses with a certain color lens. If your lenses are red, then everything you see looks red. Don't knock stress eating One of the most common ways we deal with stress is by overeating. Eating can serve to push down unwanted emotions or it can be a way to numb yourself when you don't want to feel what you are feeling. Eating can provide us with a temporary feeling of comfort. This is only a problem if it is your only way to deal with stress. Comfort foods are part of the body’s inherent feedback system to help you return to balance. When stressed, you eat comfort foods that make you feel better for a time by stimulating the dopamine reward centers in the brain Stress is the #1 cause of emotional overeating and bingeing Acute stress leads to the fight, flight or freeze reaction and the release of adrenaline and is sometimes associated with loss of appetite. However, if stress continues, cortisol is released, stimulating your appetite, making you feel hungry all the time, it also makes you more likely to eat “comfort foods” and put on weight. 3 Ways to Deal with Stress Eating Social support: Tapping into sources of social support (family, friends, clergy, etc.) is important in managing stress and helping you cope with food and weight issues. Avoid eating when you're tired. When you’re stressed to the max, you may feel tired and have low energy. Don’t mistake this for true physical hunger. Prioritize your well-being: One source of stress is always putting other people first and not doing good self-care. When you feel stressed - get a massage, see your chiropractor, or just take a bubble bath. Take some time to reset and replenish your energy. Stress is unavoidable—we’re all prone to it. It is vital to recognize the signs of stress before it causes health problems for you, to be aware of your personal stressors, and to develop strategies for managing stress.