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The root cause of stress and stress eating

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

The power of managing your inner dialogues, how our brains are wired with a negative bias and the joy of just being.

More and more, we have young adults coming into the clinic and their test results indicating a high level of stress, edging close to total burnout.

Their adrenal cortex which produces hormones vital to life such as cortisol (helps regulate metabolism and the body’s stress response) and aldosterone (helps control blood pressure) are out of balance.

There are many categories of stress - emotional stress, dietary stress, pain in the body or hidden inflammation.

Stress can be an emotional, mental and/or physical reaction. Maybe it’s your job, your expectations that you have of yourself or even money problems that are stressing you out. While these are common triggers, they are rarely the root cause of stress.

Different people cope with prolonged stress differently. 18 months into Covid 19, it is normal for many of us to experience pandemic fatigue and sometimes a loss of control.

The key is to tune into your state of mind - is your inner dialogue being kind to you? Do you often find yourself in stressful situations? How do you react in these situations?

The emotional eater

People cope with the stress differently. Some resort to emotional eating, putting the body into a blood sugar roller-coaster, and creating a cycle of cravings, overeating and sometimes mood swings. Guilt often comes into the mix as well. They ping between clean eating, and sometimes even depriving themselves of food, before binging into comfort foods like ice-cream and greasy pizza, leaving them feeling stuck and defeated.

How to stop emotional eating and restoring your sense of self

First, we need to understand that stress triggers our body's “fight or flight” response that releases a particular hormone into our blood stream that increases hunger - the body craves energy to combat against whatever stressor we may be facing.