You know what it is: stress eating. We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. Stress eating usually happens when we want to disconnect from the moment. It’s like changing the channel in our brain to try to change how we feel. But it usually makes you feel worse. Afterward, not only does the original emotional issue remain, but you also feel guilty for overeating.
Why I Can't Eat At All?
Now, you might be one of those people who will lose their appetite when stressed and wonder what this all has to do with you. It’s true; approximately 10% of the population loses weight when going through something stressful while the vast majority of us, the 90%, gain weight.
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In the short term, stress can shut down appetite. A structure in the brain called the hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone, which suppresses appetite. The brain also sends messages to the adrenal glands atop the kidneys to pump out the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). Epinephrine helps trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response, a revved-up physiological state that temporarily puts eating on hold. Because eating is not a priority when a building is on fire or a car is plunging in your direction.