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It's True! We Really Do Crave Fatty Foods When We're Stressed

It's True! We Really Do Crave Fatty Foods When We're Stressed

If your chocolate cravings are any indication, you may have already suspected that high-fat foods are a woman's go-to snack when stressed. Now there's evidence to confirm your suspicions — UCSF recently conducted a study to examine the relationship between eating habits and chronic stress.

Researchers surveyed 600 overweight or obese women regarding their diet and stress. Issues classified as chronic stressors included job dissatisfaction, financial worries (like inability to pay rent or mortgage), or dealing with an ailing loved one. The women dealing with these taxing personal issues reported a higher likelihood of being unable to control what they ate, and a tendency to eat more fattening foods. Chronically stressed women were also more likely to force themselves to keep a regimented, strict diet to control weight gain, even skipping meals. The downside is that it's hard to keep up a regimented program, and being stressed means a plan like this is bound to backfire — ultimately there's a breaking point, and we're more likely to overeat.

To learn more about stressed-out eating, just


While this study may not offer any groundbreaking info, it does serve as a healthy reminder: Be conscious of when you're actually hungry, and remember, there is such a thing as emotional eating. Be more mindful of your mental health and how it affects your food choices, and make healthy eating a priority. If you need some creative, healthy snack alternatives, visit our Snack Attack group for ideas.

lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 7 years
IT's important to note that fatty foods don't have to mean fattening.... Healthy fats like almonds, almond butter, and avocados are a staple in my diet. It is interesting that that's what we crave when we're stressed. now that i'm aware of it, when I"m stressed I'll make sure I add in some fatty foods.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Yeah, makes sense to me too. My mom is a prime example of this...she's always super stressed out from work and when she decides to lose weight, she always goes on one of those super-strict diets like Jenny Craig or Slim Fast or some other plan where you have to eat low-calorie/low fat cardboard crap. She'll stay on it for about a week, but then she always claims she's "stressed out" and will go through 1/2 gallon of ice cream in two days and go "off" the diet. I could never go without my fat...I just make sure it's from something like nuts or fish and not junk food.
laellavita laellavita 7 years
i never thought about that link before -- that overweight and stressed women were also the ones most likely to be on strict diets and all, but now that i do think about it, it really makes sense.
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