Why anxiety makes us eat more (and how to get out of the loop, according to experts)

“I deserve this cake”, “I feel like eating”… These are just some of the phrases that we hear or say on a daily basis. Completely uniform, reflective Autocorrelation between anxiety and eating.

[Cómo saber si estoy teniendo un ataque de ansiedad y qué hacer para intentar calmarlo]

But is it healthy? How do we fight the need to eat at all costs to offset stress? Several experts explain the mechanisms and how to combat it.

Food and stress

Miguel NavarroCEO of Fierce healththe school Connected Nutrition, Training, and Emotional Wellbeing, and Ana Montes, Clinical Director, They mention some of the causes and factors that lead to poor eating due to anxiety, and what are the steps to overcome them.

Emotions can influence food intake through a The tendency to eat foods to satisfy or regulate certain emotions. Negative emotions such as stress, sadness, anxiety or even boredom generate a desire to escape from the body, which often translates into a desire to eat comforting and pleasurable foods such as sweets or carbohydrates.

They add: “On a physical level, emotions can affect cortisol and serotonin levels, which is reflected in appetite. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can increase hunger and promote the accumulation of belly fatWhile serotonin can reduce appetite and regulate cravings for sweet foods.

Foods and drinks that help treat anxiety

“Anxious food consumption can have very negative consequences, which is why it is so important Learn how to manage your emotions in a healthy way By doing exercises, meditating, talking with family and friends, organizing fun plans, and of course, with the help of mental health professionals.”

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You always have to look for the root of that discomfort, howeverWhile we’re working on it, we can incorporate into our day some foods that make us feel better. The gut-brain axis is one of the main conduits of our emotions, and there is a two-way connection between the two ends, so if we help improve our digestive system, we will improve that stress or anxiety,” he explains. Dr. Lara Garcilan, registered dietitian and nutritionist From HM Torrelodones University Hospital.

According to the doctor, “There are three important food groups: foods rich in tryptophan such as eggs, nuts, legumes and fish … which will help the production of serotonin, the hormone of pleasure; and foods rich in GABA, a neurotransmitter that allows this communication between the digestive system and the brain, such as oats, potatoes and salmon.” And spinach, broccoli, and bananas, which reduce anxiety and stress.”

Finally, he adds, “magnesium-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate or pumpkin seeds.”

How do you control desire?

Conscious eating, which includes paying attention to the food eaten, savoring every bite and enjoying the process of eating. It also helps to recognize physical hunger and fullness cues, which can prevent overeating. Mindful eating can also be positive for controlling the amount of food you eat.

For example, chewing food a certain number of times, stopping eating when satisfied, or avoiding distractions during meals.

Identify and avoid anxiety triggersIt can be caused by factors such as stress, lack of sleep, and lack of physical activity.

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Plan meals It can help prevent overeating due to anxiety, as it allows you to control ahead of time the foods that will be eaten, in an effort to ensure that they are always nutritious foods. This is very positive to avoid the temptation to overeat during times of anxiety or stress.

Seek emotional support To reduce the emotional burden. Talking with a therapist or a close friend is helpful for processing feelings and is a way to manage anxiety without resorting to overeating. Plus, it can help you be less isolated and more connected to others.

Mindfulness practice, a practice that involves conscious attention to the present moment without judgment. It helps reduce anxiety, as it allows you to recognize and accept thoughts and emotions without reacting impulsively.

Mindfulness is optimal for acknowledging those thoughts and emotions, without reacting to them impulsively. Through the practice of mindfulness, it is possible to learn to recognize patterns of thinking and behavior and, over time, to change them to avoid overeating.

This can be practiced through breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or doing everyday activities such as washing dishes, taking a walk, or taking a shower. Just try to be present in the moment and let the person focus on their feelings and thoughts in the moment, without judging them.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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