When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol, the stress hormone. It's actually an appetite stimulant, Charlie Seltzer, MD, a physician board-certified in obesity medicine, told POPSUGAR in a previous interview. This explains why when you're stressed, you just want to eat and you can have a harder time saying no to carb-heavy, fatty junk foods.
"Gaining weight due to stress is very common, and there are actually physiological reasons we tend to eat more and crave more unhealthy foods when we are stressed," Amanda Barnes, MS, RDN, owner of Amanda Barnes Fitness, said. When you eat these kinds of foods, your brain releases dopamine, which activates the reward and pleasure centers in our brains. "This is a continuous loop, leading to increased appetite and cravings, which in turn can lead to weight gain," she explained.
Find healthy ways to relax each day and fuel your happiness. Take 10 minutes alone to write in your journal, listen to music, walk in nature, cuddle with your kids or a pet, or do this tension-melting yoga sequence.