If you turn to food whenever you are stressed you could be like 43 percent of people in a recent study that also turn to comfort food and the subsequent weight gain when under pressure. Women are more likely to overeat unhealthy foods in response to stress. If you are constantly dealing with the pounding in your temple, and waves of tension rippling through your stomach, then it might be time to get a handle on your stress.
When stressed your body sends an alarm signal to your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Both of which are very damaging to your talomeres; the genes that prevent aging. If you let stress continue for longer than 10 minutes you will continue to pump out cortisol; this hormones sole function is to make you hungry to replace the energy burnt up during the fight or flight response. Research has suggested that cortisol is one of our most powerful appetite signals and may interfere with our ability to control our hunger and will make us crave sweets. Although having healthy snacks on hand may seem like a good idea, be careful not to restrict yourself from any of your favorite foods as it can lead to making you binge later.
Instead of reaching for food, try to do some exercise instead. Not only does being active reduce cortisol, it will balance your hormones and boost testosterone helping to build muscle and increase your metabolism.
Winding down before you hop into bed can help with de-stressing and good quality sleep lets you handle stressful situations more calmly. Try to aim for at least eight hours per night to keep cortisol in check.
Taking up yoga or meditation is one of the best things you can do. Not only does it help with over all calmness and peace of mind, it teaches techniques that you can use when it all becomes a bit too much.