Stress and Weight - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Stress and Weight

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Stress plays a huge role in our health.

Studies have found a stressful life can cause issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and now weight.

Mary Ellen Hopkins explains the link.

No doubt about it, we live in a stressful world. And doctors say, when we're stressed, we may not eat as well as we should.  

Psychologists at the Mayo Clinic have found that during very stressful times, people tend to eat to fill an emotional need even when they are not hungry.

And that can include snacking on comfort foods that are often high in calories and fat.

It is sometimes referred to as emotional or stress eating.  

Doctors say there are ways to handle emotional eating.

First get a handle on the stress. People who are in control seem to stick to better eating habits and exercise more.

What's the best way to handle stress? Try these tips:

- Recognize stress, and the warning signs like anxiety, irritability and muscle tension.
- When eating, ask if you're really hungry or just eating to eat.
- Don't skip meals, especially breakfast.
- Don't have comfort food, like potato chips and candy, available in your home or office.
- Practice relaxation exercises, such as yoga and meditation.
- Get plenty of sleep.

Doctors say, feeling more comfortable with your inner self, can cut down on inner stress, and therefore cut down on emotional snacking.

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