Dieting — ‘Stress Eating’ is a Myth
You know the routine. Maybe you've had a less than perfect day, so you go home from work and the first thing you do is open a bag of chips and start noshing like crazy. You're justification for this is that you've had a stressful day, and you need some comfort food.
Now, I don't know about you, but for me, comfort food is lots of pasta with a rich sauce and maybe some Italian sausage, but it could just as easily be a hot dog or Little Debbie Snack Cakes. I justify this intake of calories by telling myself that it will take the edge off everything, but it turns out that I'm just kidding myself. No friends, according to the latest research, I'm just looking for an excuse to binge on junk food.
A new study in the journal "Biological Psychology" says that stress eating is just a myth. In fact, the article takes the whole thing one step past that and plainly states that we are more like to eat more when we are feeling good and positive than we do when we are stressed or down.
The article in NYMag states,
At the end of the ten-day period, the researchers discovered that contrary to popular belief, stress wasn’t a motivating factor in what they called “taste-eating.” In fact, the opposite was true: The more stressed-out people felt, the less likely they were to report eating for reasons other than hunger. Across the participant pool, the only relationship the authors found between negative emotions of all kinds and taste-eating was in low emotional eaters, who actually did eat less when they were feeling bad.
I thought about this article and how I can go on junk food binges, and darned if they're not right. I may go for real comfort food like pasta and such when I need "comfort" food, but when I go for the junk, I'm usually in a pretty darn good mood.
So, what do you do when you are down instead of binge eating? Well, the article suggests that you keep a journal, go for a walk or jog, treat yourself to a nice hot bath, or even just cry it out.
Pass the tissue and the Pringles.